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Sutherland Pro Bono Client People of Hope Prepares for Historic Groundbreaking

May 22, 2007

ATLANTA (May 22, 2007) – After six years of preparation, the People of Hope, Inc., a Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP pro bono client, announces plans to break ground on its project site.  As the effort finally comes to fruition, a ceremony to celebrate Phase I groundbreaking will be held Thursday, May 24 at 5:30 p.m.  The ceremony will take place at the new home site, located close to downtown Athens, Ga. at 255 Freeman Drive.

People of Hope is a nonprofit organization founded by low-income, multicultural families who were displaced when a mobile home park was shut down to build a luxury apartment complex.  Forty-three families created People of Hope with the mission to build Georgia's first permanently affordable, resident-controlled manufactured housing community.  The model was based on more than 80 successful parks in New Hampshire and Vermont.  The 17.2-acre site has 26 single and 14 multi-section home lots and is equipped with a community center building, playground, picnic area and walking trails. 

Over the past six years, Litigation Partner Charles T. Lester, Jr. led the Sutherland team of more than 20 lawyers on the pro bono People of Hope project, including Partner Eric L. Sidman, Counsel Charles Flickinger and Associates David W. Adams, Enrique R. Anderson, Churchill H. D. Hooff and Benjamin H. Sawyer. "It has been a privilege to work towards this historic goal with People of Hope.  After losing their homes, these families will now be able to own their own land.  My colleagues and I are honored that our work has contributed to the American dream of these deserving families," Lester said. 

Skipper G. StipeMaas, a Community Economic Development attorney with Georgia Legal Services, Inc., serves as co-counsel of People of Hope.  "We are thrilled to break ground on the People of Hope site.  The dedicated hard work of volunteers such as those from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan has brought the People of Hope residents a newfound sense of ownership and responsibility," StipeMaas said. 

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 450 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit sutherland.com.

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