Attorney of the Month Award for Pima County
By Michele Mirto
Scott Simonson has been selected as the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for February. Scott began volunteering with the VLP as a law student and then joined the program as an attorney in 2010. Scott assists VLP clients with real property and contact cases.
Recently, Scott completed work on a case for a VLP client. The client, a retired gentleman, contacted SALA in connection with property damage to a mobile home owned by him and his partner, at a mobile home park in Pinal County. Because the landlord failed to maintain a sewer line, the sewer line malfunctioned, and sewage flooded the mobile home, damaging its walls and floors and rendering it uninhabitable. The case was placed with Scott, who made a demand that the landlord pay for the clients’ replacement mobile home and negotiated with the clients’ insurer about coverage of the accident. Scott helped arrange inspection of the premises with the insurance companies and assisted in documenting the damage.
Scott also defended the clients from claims by the landlord. The landlord argued that the clients breached their lease by discontinuing payment of rent after their mobile home was destroyed. During 2013, the clients relocated to another mobile home park in Pinal County. Scott negotiated a settlement that fully released the clients from all claims or liability from their landlord, that covered the cost of replacing their mobile home, and that handles the removal and demolition of the mobile home. Scott dedicated 79 hours to the matter. The VLP’s monthly award is a distinct honor: of the nearly 1200 attorneys who volunteer their time with VLP, only 12 receive the VLP’s Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award each year.
Q & A with Scott Simonson
Where are you from? Portland, Oregon
Where did you go to college? University of Oregon
Where did you go to law school? University of Arizona
How long have you lived in Tucson? 14 years
What is the history of your practice of law? I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2009 (I started volunteering with the VLP in law school); since 2010, I have been an associate at Quarles & Brady LLP.
What are your current practice areas? Commercial litigation and tribal law
What drives you to volunteer with VLP? It's different things on different days. It's the chance to put into practice my ideals about how our justice system should work, and what an attorney's job should include. It's a chance to serve clients in our community who need help. It's a chance to do challenging, edifying, surprising work.
Anyone you would like to acknowledge for contributing to your legal career / pro bono service? My law firm does a great job encouraging pro bono work, and allowing its attorneys the time and freedom to do pro bono work.
Favorite Tucson restaurant? Little Cafe Poca Cosa
Things you do when not working or volunteering your legal services? I take walks in the desert with my wife, Shannon, and my boys, ages 2 and 4;
What is something you would like people to know about you? I was a newspaper reporter and freelance journalist before I became a lawyer; I worked for papers in Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho and Georgia.
Are you a dog or a cat person? Dog person. We have one, Ruby, a lab mix.
What do you do to unwind after work? I do Crossfit at Wildcat Crossfit.