Nashville Attorney Named Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year

Award to be presented to Michael Abelow at luncheon ceremony

NASHVILLE, Jan. 15, 2010 — Nashville attorney Michael G. Abelow with Sherrard & Roe will be honored with the state's top award for pro bono work at the Tennessee Bar Association's annual public service luncheon this Saturday. Held each year as part of the association's Leadership Conference, the luncheon features award winners in several categories and a keynote address by former ABA President Robert Grey.

Abelow receives the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award for his work preserving home nursing services for 50 TennCare patients who otherwise would have been forced into nursing homes. When Abelow and his colleagues at Sherrard & Roe agreed to take on the case they knew it was a significant commitment in terms of time and effort. The patients at stake suffered from quadriplegia, Lou Gehrig's disease and other conditions that required continuous family support and professional nursing care. The team, led by Abelow, brought suit in federal court under the Americans with Disabilities Act arguing that forcing these patients into nursing homes would cause many of them to suffer medical deterioration and even death. After more than 500 hours of volunteer work, the court agreed and prohibited TennCare from cutting the home service.

Abelow was nominated for the award by Gordon Bonnyman, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, and Gary Housepian, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. The Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to a private sector attorney who has demonstrated dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor, and has performed significant pro bono work. The award is named for Harris A. Gilbert, who served as president of the TBA from 1994 to 1995 and whose dedication to legal services for the poor set a high standard for all Tennessee attorneys.

For more information about Abelow visit his profile on his firm's web site at http://www.sherrardroe.com. A headshot is available on request.


The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 13,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA’s dedication to serving the state’s legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.

For More Information

Stacey Shrader Joslin
Tennessee Bar Association
(615)277-3218
221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

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