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Law Firm Continues To Aid Hoke County School System Long After Conclusion Of Landmark Leandro Case

  • July 29, 2005

Parker Poe Donates 215 Computers to School District At Center Of 10-Year Legal Fight

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 28, 2005 – Robert W. Spearman and Melanie Dubis have spent a decade battling for low-wealth school districts like Hoke County, and they're still finding ways for their law firm to help even after their legal victories have forced the state to come up with more money for education for low wealth schools.

Thanks largely to their commitment, Charlotte-based Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP is making a huge donation of computer equipment to Hoke County schools, including 215 used computers and an entire generation of hardware and software from the firm’s five Carolinas offices . The equipment was scheduled for delivery at the school system’s offices today at approximately 10:30 a.m.

“These computers are going to be put right to use in the classroom, and we’re excited about that,” said Allen Strickland, superintendent of Hoke County schools. “This donation is just the latest example of the unwavering commitment Bob, Melanie and Parker Poe have demonstrated in the course of our long fight for children in Hoke County and throughout North Carolina.”

Spearman, and Dubis , partners in Parker Poe’s Raleigh office, were lead attorneys for Hoke County and other low wealth school districts in the so-called Leandro litigation (Hoke County et. al. v. State of North Carolina and the State Board of Education), which confirmed the state’s constitutional obligation to provide a sound basic education for all N.C. schoolchildren.

Spearman had heard that Parker Poe would be replacing all of its computers and got the idea to donate the used equipment. He put in a call to Hoke County school officials, who were more than happy to be on the receiving end of the offer.

“We demonstrated in court that schools in Hoke County and other low-wealth districts throughout the state have tremendous needs, and the additional state funding is certainly part of the solution,” Spearman said. “But wherever we live in North Carolina, our schools also need greater community support from individuals and businesses – in the form of time and expertise volunteered and supplies donated – in order to truly succeed.”

The computer equipment donated by Parker Poe will augment new computer equipment the school district has purchased with some of the additional funding made available as a result of the Leandro ruling, Strickland said.

For his work on the school funding litigation, Spearman last year was named special honoree in the North Carolina Justice Center’s 6th Annual Defenders of Justice Awards. In 2002, he received the Razor Walker award for his legal efforts to promote the welfare of N.C. children.

About Parker Poe Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP currently has more than 175 lawyers, with five offices in the Carolinas. Parker Poe has North Carolina offices in Charlotte and Raleigh and South Carolina offices in Charleston, Columbia and Spartanburg. The firm provides a complete range of legal services and has extensive experience in antitrust and business torts, banking and finance, bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights, commercial litigation, corporate and commercial law, employee benefits, employment, environmental, government, health care, international, mergers and acquisitions, public finance, real estate and commercial development, securities, tax and torts, trial and insurance. Parker Poe is proud to be a member of TerraLex®, a global network of independent law firms in 93 countries. As the exclusive North Carolina member, our clients have access to more than 10,000 attorneys from the 145 member firms.