Thomas P. Holderness Named UNC School of Law’s 2010 Alumnus of the Year

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Professionals

April 24, 2010

Thomas P. Holderness, an attorney with Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson in Charlotte, has been named the University of North Carolina School of Law’s 2010 Alumnus of the Year in recognition of his work with Legal Aid of North Carolina.

Holderness, who helps clients avoid problems through pre-litigation counseling and whose practice focuses on trust litigation, money mismanagement claims, contract disputes and taxes, has provided numerous hours of pro bono legal services in the past year to four families through his work at Legal Aid.

Most recently, Holderness assisted a family of four that had been displaced by fire by helping them avoid eviction. He also helped a homeless couple get SSA benefits and move into a duplex. 

“Mr. Holderness is truly deserving of this recognition because of the tireless dedication he has shown while serving members of the Charlotte community who are in need,” said Seema Kakad, director of the UNC Law Pro Bono Program.

Holderness, who is a 1990 graduate of UNC Law, also was credited for co-designing a project for the 100 homeless families who were temporarily housed in the Hall House last year. He led a team of 15 transactional and litigation attorneys at Robinson Bradshaw to provide direct representation, legal counsel and referrals to those families with tax issues, credit problems, government benefits, estate planning, and other issues.

“Mr. Holderness has been an exemplary advocate for very low-income people in Mecklenburg County for many years,” said Theodore “Ted” Fillette, senior managing attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Charlotte office. “He has been relentless in investigating the facts and legal authorities for helping people in dire circumstances and he negotiates or litigates all feasible claims for his clients. Mr. Holderness provides the highest quality of legal assistance to his pro bono clients that any paying client would expect. He is highly deserving of this award.”

Holderness 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. Both of these nonprofit organizations provide free legal services in civil matters to low-income people to help ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.

In addition to his work for Legal Aid and Legal Services, Holderness has coached youth sports for more than 20 years. He also coordinates The Burrito Project in Charlotte for a segment of the homeless population and is active at First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.

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