PORTLAND – Leaders of the 2005 Campaign for Justice, the legal community’s statewide annual campaign to help meet the need for civil legal aid for low-income and elderly Maine residents, announced that Berman and Simmons, a statewide trial law firm with offices in Portland, Lewiston and Bangor, has made a $30,800 commitment – $15,400 for both the 2005 and 2006 campaigns.

The campaign brings together lawyers from around the state to raise funds for six organizations: Pine Tree Legal Assistance, the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project, Maine Equal Justice Partners, Legal Services for the Elderly, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project and the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic.

Berman and Simmons’ pledge of support is one of two contributions to the campaign from law firms, qualifying each of its attorneys as donors at the leadership level of $1,000 or more per attorney.

It is also the largest commitment ever made to the campaign. The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein made a gift of $7,000, also qualifying each of its attorneys as leadership donors.

“Thanks to the generosity of Berman and Simmons, and nearly 1,200 other members of Maine’s legal community, the campaign has raised over $310,000 in 2005,” said David E. Warren, 2005 campaign chair and managing partner of Verrill Dana. “Maine is now at the forefront of support for pro bono legal services nationally.”

The legal aid programs provide free civil legal assistance with problems involving basic necessities, such as food, housing, medical care, education and protection from domestic violence, in every county in Maine. Legal aid programs turn away thousands of people seeking help every year.

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