Thomas H. Davis recognized for pro bono efforts
Thomas H. Davis is a partner at Stinson LLP and was recently recognized in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers in America. This comes as no surprise given the decision he helped bring about in the Western District Court of Appeals last December, which may dramatically increase the number of lawyers able to take on pro bono cases in the future.
Accepting pro bono cases can be prohibitively expensive and until recently, lawyers were unable to recover fees for those cases.
Working with Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Davis helped litigate a case in which several families were seeking help with a landlord who refused to mitigate a serious bedbug issue in the clients’ rental homes. The individuals lacked the financial resources to move and were frustrated by the landlord’s inactions.
"I partnered with Legal Aid attorney Jesi Stanley who wanted to serve and support these families, and I was inspired by her profound empathy for the clients and her determination to achieve a result that would make a lasting impact,” said Davis.
“We ultimately used the Missouri Merchandizing Practices Act (MMPA), in conjunction with other claims, so attorneys might have an example to follow to claim attorney fees and cover costs and expensive expert fees, enabling more attorneys to take on such cases,” explained Davis.
The result included a positive verdict and settlements for each family, as well as the appellate decision that enables pro bono and Legal Aid lawyers to recover fees under the MMPA.
Davis has a background in both the law and pro bono service. He explained, “I greatly appreciate this award, since my father, Heywood “Woody" Davis was one of the earliest board members and presidents of Legal Aid of Western Missouri.”
Davis was recently honored with a 2020 Pro Bono Publico Award. These Missouri Bar awards acknowledge lawyers, firms or organizations for outstanding pro bono activities.
Learn about the inspiring service of more Missouri lawyers on social media with #MOLawyersHelp and join the national week using #CelebrateProBono.