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Lawyer blogging from Afghanistan results in humanitarian effort

After getting turned down by the military a couple times for knee problems, solo plaintiff’s trial lawyer Scott Delius put his practice on hold to join the Army National Guard.

Daily Report’s Meredith Hobbs reports on what started as a mission to set up a legal system for soldiers has become a humanitarian mission to help Afghanis via Delius’ blog and emails.

First Delius’ blog posts:

  • ‘It just floored me, there were children with no shoes in the middle of winter, trash everywhere and livestock feeding off the trash, and people burning the trash to keep warm. Since I left the village this morning I’ve been walking around in a fog. I am overwhelmed by what I saw. I knew that I would soon be back in my warm room, but she’ll [a barefoot little girl] go back to her mud hut with the collapsed roof. She’ll still be cold. And she still won’t have shoes tomorrow.’
  • ‘My deployment will end here in a few months. I’m short on time and I’m out of ideas. Plus, my official duties require me to help train the Afghan army, which takes up most of my time. These people need clothing and shelter. …I recognize that this is an emotionally driven, poorly planned ‘shotgun’ approach fired totally from the hip. Sorry. I just can’t sit still any longer and I’ve got to try something.’

Delius followed with an e-mail to colleagues back in the States asking for clothing, shoes and tents for the Afghan people.

Hobbs reports the results,

He has been amazed at the response. Within a week and a half, people had contributed more than $4,000. Delius’s wife, Allyson Garnett, initially planned to use the money to buy clothing, but then the donations of clothes, shoes, diapers and stuffed animals started coming in.

‘It turned into a campaign across the legal community,’ Garnett said.

Several Atlanta lawyers have spearheaded contribution drives, including Terry Rock at Drew, Eckl & Farnham, where Delius used to practice; Matthew Moffett at Gray, Rust, St. Amand, Moffett and Brieske; James Creasy at Gillis & Creasy; and Delius’s sister-in-law, Christian Torgrimson at Pursley, Lowery, Meeks. Groups in Tennessee, Oklahoma and New York have also organized collections.

Garnett has used the money instead to cover the costs of shipping everything to Delius’s base in Afghanistan. Creasy alone shipped off 70 boxes of clothing and other donations, which take a couple of weeks to reach Kabul. So far, 10 boxes of clothes, shoes and other contributions, which have been sorted by age and gender have arrived, and Delius expects to receive about 200 more.

Khaliq, the Afghan colonel he assists, has told Delius about a nearby village, he said, which is ‘in even worse shape than the one I visited. I hope to get out and take a survey of what they need, make a list, get some volunteers and bag up donations for each family.’

Read the entire article. Delius goes onto to describe the war efforts and the Afghanis’ desire to maintain control of the country and put an end to decades of war.

Scott is an inspiration to all of us in the legal profession. Each of us is capable of helping people. Even blogging, as a way to share practical legal information with those in need, can be important.

For those lawyers, whose sole goal going to work tomorrow morning is to make as much money as possible, maybe you ought to email Scott and ask how you can help.

And for all of us, say a few prayers for Scott and the folks he’s helping.