Thomas P. Holderness Named Citizen Lawyer by NCBA

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April 21, 2011

Thomas P. Holderness, an attorney with Robinson Bradshaw, is the recipient of the 2011 Citizen Lawyer Award, an annual recognition by the North Carolina Bar Association for lawyers who serve their communities through nonprofit charitable work, public service and volunteerism.

Holderness, whose practice focuses on trust litigation, money mismanagement claims, contract disputes and taxes, is one of 15 recipients of the statewide award, which he will receive at the NCBA Annual Meeting June 23-26 in Asheville. In 2009, Robert E. Harrington of Robinson Bradshaw was also named a Citizen Lawyer by the NCBA.

Holderness was recognized for a wide range of contributions in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, including his weekly deliveries of food to the homeless in uptown Charlotte. To help ensure that homeless people were getting an adequate meal, Holderness launched the Burrito Project in Charlotte in 2007, making and delivering breakfast burritos by bicycle to members of the homeless community in Charlotte every Sunday morning. The project has grown and now includes dozens of people who cook or deliver the burritos and drinks (and occasionally hats, gloves, hot coffee and hand warmers in the winter).

To further help Charlotte’s homeless population, Holderness provides regular pro bono legal assistance to individuals through Legal Aid, Legal Service of the Southern Piedmont, and the individuals he meets on Sunday morning. For example, Holderness co-led a team of 15 transactional and litigation attorneys at Robinson Bradshaw who provided direct representation, legal counsel and referrals to homeless families temporarily housed at the Hall House in Charlotte. The Robinson Bradshaw team assisted with tax issues, credit problems, government benefits claims, estate planning needs, and other issues.

The 2011 Citizen Lawyer award is just one of many recognitions Holderness has received in recent years. In addition to being recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers, as a member of The Best Lawyers in America and a future star by Benchmark Litigation, he was named the University of North Carolina School of Law’s Alumnus of the Year in 2010 in recognition of his work with Legal Aid of North Carolina. Holderness also was previously named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in Mecklenburg County in 2009 by Legal Aid of North Carolina and in 2007 by Legal Services of Southern Piedmont.

Holderness also coaches youth sports and is active at First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.

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