The Milestone Foundation began 2023 by celebrating the humanitarian efforts of a group of outstanding attorneys. Honorees were awarded our inaugural Compassionate Counsel Award in Miami, FL, at our Cocktail for a Cause event. We are grateful for the support from our attendees and sponsors, as this celebration would not have been possible without them.
At The Milestone Foundation, we strive to provide empathetic and compassionate care to the clients we work with. Many plaintiffs who have experienced personal injuries suffer from trauma and emotional damage as a result of their incident, compounded by everyday occurrences such as job loss, which can place them into financial crisis. Too often, these individuals fall prey to lenders who treat them as a profit and not as a person. It is common practice for lenders to offer multiple advances, charge high-compounding interest rates, and consistently harass plaintiffs on repayment.
Since the pre-settlement funding industry is largely unregulated, it is not surprising that attorneys often deter their clients from applying for funding, even if they need it. They know that most lenders do not offer funding with the needs of plaintiffs in mind. However, The Milestone Foundation provides an affordable and ethical alternative for plaintiffs. As a trailblazer in the pre-settlement funding industry, we aim to partner with like-minded attorneys who share similar ethics in providing plaintiff-centered support.
Our Compassionate Counsel Award was modeled from the gratitude we have for the attorneys who consistently exceed their obligations. With their actions reflecting our mission statement, the Foundation identified qualities we believe define an exceptional attorney, and we have developed the following tenants of what we consider convey compassionate care:
- An unwavering commitment to the Seventh Amendment and belief in the fundamental right to justice.
- A dedication to helping victims of injustices receive their rightful compensation and avoid additional harm or trauma throughout the course of their lawsuit.
- The treatment of clients as worthy of respect and seeking access to fair funding and financial support as a right.
- Defending the best interests of their clients’ well-being well beyond settlement.
At the inaugural ceremony, our executive director Erin Waas presented four attorneys with awards to acknowledge their commitment to these tenants. Our first class of honorees included Kim Dougherty, Justice Law Collaborative, LLC; Ellen Relkin, Weitz & Luxenberg, PC; Anna Rol, Baron & Budd, PC; and Ben Whitley at Whitley Law Firm. Not only do these attorneys provide exemplary counsel to plaintiffs who have suffered personal injuries, they often invest their personal time and philanthropy to ensuring access to justice for all.
As the only non-profit in the pre-settlement funding industry, we will continue to advocate for similarly innovative attorneys taking plaintiff-centered approaches toward justice. We hope that by recognizing attorneys who provide compassionate care, we will help inspire quality care on behalf of all plaintiffs. We are excited to expand our Compassionate Counsel program and highlight more trailblazers in the coming years. If you know of an attorney or colleague deserving recognition for upholding our tenants of compassionate care, please visit https://themilestonefoundation.org/compassionate-counsel/.
Our organization also aims to identify other companies in the legal space who share a commitment to compassionate care. This year, our platinum sponsors included: Western Alliance, Advocate Capital Pinnacle Financial Partners, and Broughton Partners whom we have invited to share why they support The Milestone Foundation and these attorneys.
“We are thrilled to have been a sponsor of the inaugural Compassionate Counsel awards. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, your dedication to your clients is truly admirable.” – Western Alliance
“The Compassionate Counsel awards are a wonderful recognition of the deep-rooted integrity that guides the trial lawyer profession, an integrity that we bear witness to daily in our line of work. We are pleased to have sponsored this year’s awards.” – Advocate Capital
“The attorneys honored in this year’s Compassionate Counsel awards represent the epitome of client service, and we couldn’t be more proud to support such a meaningful award and program.” – Broughton Partners