Cappello & Noël makes largest single gift from an individual or law firm to Legal Aid Foundation’s Annual Year End Appeal
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. (Dec. 14, 2009)–Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a large, generous cash contribution from Cappello & Noël in the amount of $25,000 toward the Foundation’s Annual Year End Appeal for the Campaign for Equal Justice.
Photo: S. Gunawardane
A. Barry Cappello (third from right) and Leila Noël (third from left) present Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County Executive Director Ellen Goodstein with a year-end donation of $25,000 on behalf of Cappello & Noël, LLP. Left to right: Legal Aid Vice President Saji Gunawardane and board members Michael Colton, Garry Tetalman, Lynn Goebel, Rick Lee and Jody Kaufman.
“This contribution from Cappello & Noël is truly a lifeline! It will provide much needed unrestricted dollars to support the basic needs of the organization as we continue to provide high quality civil justice services to the poorest sections of Santa Barbara County. We are deeply grateful for its continued support of Legal Aid,” says Ellen Goodstein, Legal Aid’s Executive Director.
“Individuals and families are seeking help with serious economic and personal legal issues,” says A. Barry Cappello, managing partner of Cappello & Noël. “Their numbers are increasing as the economic downturn continues. Without the foundation’s assistance, many would suffer great hardship.”
“The Legal Aid Foundation survives on donations. Donations are off at a time when more people need help. The Foundation’s resources are stretched thin,” says Leila Noël, a partner at Cappello & Noël. “With our firm’s contribution, and contributions from others, we hope that assistance will be available to everyone in need.”
“The economic realities are forcing more people to seek our assistance, particularly in areas of housing and domestic violence so demand for our services has increased,” says Goodstein. “However, we are hard-pressed to match demand as a result of reduced fundraising dollars from private and government funders. Our own economic realities have caused us to furlough all our full time staff one day a week. We’re working hard to bring our attorneys back to full time before the rest of the staff, so we can continue to be the safety net for low-income Santa Barbara County residents who have nowhere else to turn.”
For 50 years, Legal Aid’s mission has been to ensure that low-income people and seniors have access to the civil justice system–to secure safe shelter, adequate income and protection from domestic violence and elder abuse. Highlights this past fiscal year include:
- Helped over 5,600 Santa Barbara County residents,
- Assisted 566 victims of domestic violence obtain protection against their perpetrators,
- Volunteer attorneys with Project Outreach and Senior Outreach programs counseled over 360 visitors at the Franklin, Westside and Goleta Community Centers,
- Staff and volunteer attorneys assisted over 4,200 self-represented litigants at the foundation’s three (Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc) courthouse self-help centers.
Cappello & Noël has been part of the Santa Barbara legal community since 1977. It is one of the foremost complex business litigation law firms in the country, often representing individuals and small businesses against some of the nation’s largest corporations and financial institutions.
“Our staff and Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Foundation gratefully acknowledge the ongoing and extremely generous support of Cappello & Noël; it will indeed be a Happy Holiday Season after all,” adds Goodstein.