Click above to listen to Episode 1 of our new podcast, "The Witness," where we'll hear firsthand stories from attorneys and advocates who are on the front lines of fighting for people living in poverty. Our first few episodes were recorded at the 40th anniversary conference of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS). TALS serves as a statewide coordinator for civil justice issues in Tennessee. The first episode of The Witness features three attorneys and their powerful stories of attorney-client relationships.
Interview 1: Kathryn Ellis and David Yoder
Kathryn Ellis is the Pro Bono Director at Legal Aid of East Tennessee. David Yoder is the retired executive director of Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Before coming to Tennessee in 1993, he was the executive director of Legal Services of Northwest Indiana in Gary, Indiana.
From three stories up, a man leans out the window, and he says, 'Is that legal aid?' And I go, 'Yeah,' and he says, 'Oh, I'm so sorry. I heard the window break on [the legal aid paralegal's] car, and I came running down and yelling at them, and they took off, but they did some damage. I've been keeping an eye on it so they don't come back.'
Interview 2: Tony Seaton and Christina Magráns-Tillery
Tony Seaton is in private practice in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he volunteers at legal clinics sponsored by Legal Aid of East Tennessee. He served until March 2018 on the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission. Christina Magráns-Tillery is a staff attorney in the Knoxville office of Legal Aid of East Tennessee.
She looked up at me with these big sad eyes, and then she sticks her hand up to my face and kind of pats me on the cheek a couple of times, and she says, 'Tony Seaton, you all are good people,' and it almost made me want to cry.
Interview 3: Jane Jarvis and Cathy Clayton
Jane Jarvis is the managing attorney of the Jackson office of West Tennessee Legal Services. Cathy Clayton is the executive director of West Tennessee Legal Services.
It was a really rewarding moment, and it wasn't legal advice, but it was a connection that I really had with her mother that went beyond strictly lawyering.
Kathryn Ellis & David Yoder, Tony Seaton & Christina Magráns-Tillery, and Jane Jarvis & Cathy Clayton