Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 7

w w w.BERKSBAR.org

Baseball Hero Inspires
Pro Bono Work
By Donald F. Smith, Jr., Esquire

I

n 1972, an 11-year-old boy, growing up in
Mansfield, Pennsylvania, idolized Roberto
Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirates' all-star
right-fielder. He found No. 21 to be a " joy to
watch " and simply " admired him. "
On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1972,
after arranging for three relief flights from
Puerto Rico to the earthquake-stricken
Managua, Nicaragua, only to learn the
flights had been diverted by corrupt officials,
Clemente decided to accompany a fourth
flight to assure that the plane's contents would
be delivered to the survivors. Tragically, the plane crashed into the
Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off from Puerto Rico. There
were no survivors.
The death of his boyhood hero, while on a mission of mercy,
devastated the young Douglas S. Wortman. He was an avid
reader from a young age, especially of history, thanks to being fed
books by his grandmother. Following Clemente's death, Doug
read a biography of his idol. " I
could not believe he suffered from
racial discrimination, how he could
not stay in the same hotel as his
teammates, simply because of the
pigment of his skin, " Doug recalled.
Learning that " instilled in me a
sense of injustice that I have never
lost, " explained Doug.
" It may sound corny, but Roberto
Clemente's life and death really

inspired me, " he added. " I have taken a
Clemente quote to heart - 'If you have the
ability to help others and you don't, then you
are wasting your time on this earth.' "
For Doug, that inspiration has translated
into accepting pro bono challenges whenever
asked, resulting in his being honored with
the 2020 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro
Bono Award. In nominating him, Rebecca
Dempsey, managing attorney of MidPenn
Legal Services' Reading office, wrote that
Doug " has always gone above and beyond to
help others by providing pro bono legal services to clients, making
justice attainable to those in need. "
Pro Bono Coordinator Mariam Matias is so glad that Doug
is receiving the award. " A simple 'thank you' is not enough for
him, " she said. " I hope he understands how much he is valued and
appreciated, for all the times he has gone the extra mile to help
clients. "
In 2019, Doug provided pro
bono representation to obtain a
guardianship for two children,
whose mother had been in an
accident, after the client had been
turned down everywhere else. He
also took on multiple child custody
cases last year, when most attorneys
in the Berks Pro Bono Program will
only take one, if any. " I never want
to see a parent pro se in child custody

continued on next page

Winter 2020-2021 | 7


http://www.berksbar.org

Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21

Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 1
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 2
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 3
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 4
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 5
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 6
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 7
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 8
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 9
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 10
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 11
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 12
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 13
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 14
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 15
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 16
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 17
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 18
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 19
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 20
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 21
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 22
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 23
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 24
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 25
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 26
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 27
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 28
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 29
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 30
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 31
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Winter 2020-21 - 32
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Fall2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Winter2020-21
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Summerr2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/Berksbarrister_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/Berksbarrister_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarristerFall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister-Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarristerSpring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com