Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Angie Bergman was named the 2019 recipient of the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award by the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA). This prestigious annual award recognizes a private practice attorney in Tennessee who has provided significant pro bono work either in terms of numbers of cases handled or significance of the work as well as one who demonstrates dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor. Angie is the seventh attorney from Bass, Berry & Sims to have won the award since it was first distributed in 1992 (the award was previously called the Volunteer of the Year Award).
Angie was recognized this year for her work on behalf of an accused individual who was incarcerated for more than three years before trial and argued he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial due to the overwhelming caseload of the public defender assigned to represent him. Through her work on this case, Angie was able to bring attention to the lack of funding for the Metro Nashville Public Defender’s Office and show how that impacts individuals in the prison system. In addition to her busy practice at the firm, Angie has dedicated more than 480 hours on this case over the last three years.
In the nomination process, Bass, Berry & Sims attorney David Esquivel remarked: “What distinguishes Angie and her work in this case was her willingness to sacrifice on short notice her busy practice for paying clients, as well as time with her family, and to devote the significant time required to do this case right in a quick time frame.”
The TBA will recognize Angie and others at the 2019 Public Service Luncheon on January 19. The January 2019 issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal featured a special section celebrating the pro bono volunteers throughout the state. That content is also available online: