Category: Community Support

Ana Prendergast honored for pro bono work

Ana Pro Bono Awards

Ana Prendergast was honored at the 28th Judicial District Bar luncheon for her pro bono work

Ana Prendergast was honored at this month’s bar luncheon for her pro bono work for clients of Pisgah Legal Services.  Ana is one of the local nominees for the North Carolina Bar Association’s annual statewide Pro Bono Awards, along with other Asheville attorneys Evan DeWandler, John Noor and Kevin Radey.  Ana was nominated for the NCBA’s 2016 William L. Thorp Pro Bono Service Award. The 28th Judicial District Bar and Pisgah Legal Services co-sponsored the nominations.

Ana was nominated for generously volunteering her time and services at no cost to help clients of Pisgah Legal Services with cases involving domestic violence and estate planning.  Pisgah Legal Services works to provide legal assistance and advocacy to low-income people in Western North Carolina.

Brenda travels to Montrouis with Consider Haiti

Brenda, Consider Haiti

Brenda Coppede with a child at a Consider Haiti clinic in Montrouis

Earlier this month, Brenda Coppede traveled to Montrouis, Haiti as part of a Consider Haiti volunteer team that provided clinics for children in several Haitian communities.

Consider Haiti is a non-profit organization here in Asheville that has been working for over 15 years to promote the health and welfare of children in Haiti. The organization provides resources and support for grass roots efforts to create sustainable nutrition and medical support through its four core programs in Haiti.

Jim Siemens serves as Treasurer on the Consider Haiti board and has been on several trips with the group in recent years. Siemens Family Law Group is thankful to be involved with others in the Asheville community in Consider Haiti’s work. You can learn more about Consider Haiti at


Help Support Local Domestic Violence Agency: Helpmate

Julyan Davis, Helpmate Benefit

Julyan Davis, Black Balsam Oil on canvas

Local Artist Julyan Davis is hosting an art sale from which 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Helpmate, a local organization devoted to helping victims of domestic violence in our community.  Helpmate provides emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis line, case management and court advocacy services, along with counseling and domestic violence prevention education for victims of abuse and their children.  Come enjoy beautiful art and live music for an excellent cause.


Friday December 11th, 2015 5-8 PM
Saturday December 12th, 2015 10-4 PM

A sale of artwork to benefit Helpmate, Asheville’s domestic violence agency. Landscapes and other oils, from Maine to Asheville to Charleston, by Asheville artist Julyan Davis.

Live music performed by Greg and Lucretia Speas.

100% of proceeds to go to Helpmate. Checks payable to Helpmate.

Julyan Davis Fine Art
2004 Riverside Drive #Z
Asheville, NC 28804

Facebook: Open Studio Helpmate Benefit

Buncombe Struggles with Income Mobility

asheville_siemensfamilylawgroupIn a recently published Harvard study on economic mobility in the United States, counties across the U.S. are ranked from best to worst.  Buncombe County comes in at the bottom, ranking 2,386 out of 2,478.  Boys and girls growing up in low-income households in Buncombe County will earn on average 13.1% less at age 26 than their low-income peers nationwide.  The impact is greater for boys, with an 18.6% loss in income, than for girls, at a 6.8% loss.

A New York Times infographic, The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares, illustrates the projection that today’s low-income children in Buncombe County will make $3,420 less at age 26 than their counterparts across the U.S.

The growth we see in downtown Asheville makes it easy to forget that life for many young people in our community is hard – and getting harder.  This study, 16 years in the making, helps explain some of the harder things I have seen at the Courthouse in 20 plus years of law practice.  Policymakers should consider this study as the City and County continue to grow and develop.  It’s a matter of social justice that we can’t afford to ignore.

The study, The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility, is part of The Equality of Opportunity Project, and you can find the story from the Asheville Citizen-Times here: Study finds little path from poverty in Buncombe County.

Consider Haiti: We are the Difference

Consider HaitiConsider Haiti is a not-for-profit organization founded in Asheville 15 years ago.  I serve on the Consider Haiti Board as Treasurer.  Many in the Asheville community have had a role in the operations of Consider Haiti.  If you have purchased a pumpkin from Grace Episcopal on Merrimon (the pumpkin patch on the hill), you have supported Consider Haiti.  If you ran the Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore Estate in 2015, you supported Consider Haiti.  Doctors, nurses and lay people from Asheville have been running medical clinics for Consider Haiti throughout the organization’s existence.  The program reflects the good will of Asheville.  In May, I visited the Consider Haiti program in Mountrois, Ivoire and Fond Baptiste, Haiti.  I made the trip with my Dad, the Consider Haiti Board Chair, and his son.  Consider Haiti is staffed by seven Haitian men and women living in the communities they serve.  This video was made during my trip, and it does a better job describing the program than I can do with words.

Local Attorneys Supporting Consider Haiti

10360441_10152635429143001_8058354947429754920_nSiemens Family Law Group has formed a charity partnership between Consider Haiti and the Biltmore Marathon. Local bar members Ana Prendergast, Katie Fisher, Patrick McCroskey, Jennifer Moore, Jessica Walters, Matt Roberson, Bryant Webster and Jason Wilson are participating in the race on March 15 along with other members of the community.

Consider Haiti is a local non-profit that provides 110 children Sustainable Nutrition, Clean Water, and Community Health Agents. More information about the work being done in Haiti can be found on the Consider Haiti website,

To support the charity partnership, visit and click ‘Donate Now’ or select a runner to help us meet our goal!

Please also consider supporting the Consider Haiti/Biltmore Marathon partnership by volunteering. We need 40 volunteers on marathon day (3/15/15). Volunteer opportunities and sign-ups can be found on the website:

Thank you for supporting the great work being done by Consider Haiti!

Also see the partnership featured on the 28th Judicial District Bar website.


SFLG Running for Consider Haiti

Consider Haiti

On March 15th, Siemens Family Law Group is taking a little field trip to the Biltmore Marathon/Half Marathon. Dorothy and Ana will be running, and the rest of our team will be there volunteering. We will all be there in support of Consider Haiti, a cause Jim has supported for years and traveled to Haiti with in 2013.

Join us in supporting an amazing local non-profit that is doing incredible and valuable work.  Click on over to to help us meet our goal!

Thanksgiving 2013

As the Thanksgiving holiday is once again upon us, we here at Siemens Family Law Group feel it is right to give thanks to our clients, past and present.

It has been with your support that 2013 has brought growth and opportunities for us to give back to our communities.

Attorneys Brenda Coppede and Ana Prendergast joined the firm this year and have brought with them new energy and influence. It has been a wonderful time incorporating two new attorneys into the firm, and we have seen our practice flourish with their input.

Also in 2013, we have donated pro bono hours to the “4 All” Campaign of the North Carolina Bar Association and to Pisgah Legal Services.  We have provided financial support through donations and sponsorship to the Genesis Alliance, Asheville City Schools Foundation and Asheville Youth Cycling, among other organizations.  One of the most rewarding giving back experiences of 2013 was Jim’s travel to Haiti in October to assist in pediatric medical clinics with the Consider Haiti program.

This year has brought some challenges and successes for which we are grateful.  In April, Jim argued in front of the North Carolina Supreme Court on an access to justice issue directly affecting dependent spouses throughout the State.  Jim also continues to advocate for his clients both in trial and in mediation, successfully helping clients resolve issues in the best interest of their families and children. Brenda appears weekly in Buncombe County Family Court, where she has achieved many victories and positive outcomes through advocating zealously for her clients. Ana passed the North Carolina Bar and is building an elder law practice which complements our family law focus. Ana also associates with Jim on family law cases.

Justice, kindness and humility – we value these attributes and give thanks for the chance to put them into practice every day.  Happy Thanksgiving from Siemens Family Law Group.

Siemens Family Law Group Continues to Contribute in 2013

We have always found it important to give back to the community, with money and talent, but 2013 looks to be our best year yet.

We have renewed our commitments to WCQS, Pisgah Legal Services, Asheville City Schools Foundation, Asheville Bicycle Racing Club and Asheville Youth Cycling.  And, we will be doing service work for Mission Manna, Habitat for Humanity, and for two new entities-Mentoring Matters and Call 4 All.

In October, Jim will be taking his first trip to Haiti with Consider Haiti.  Our firm has, in the past, hosted a fundraising event for Consider Haiti.  This year, in addition to making a financial commitment, Jim will donate his time and energy to the cause of delivering food and medical assistance to Haitian children.

The 28th Judicial District Bar Family Law Section has been instrumental in Bar sponsorship of a Habitat House.  Our firm has made a financial commitment to the house, and members of the firm will help raise the walls later this Spring.

Mentoring Matters is a new initiative in Asheville, aimed at matching volunteer mentors with boys in middle school and high school who are without male role models in their homes.  Mentoring Matters will be working in partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.  Jim will be meeting the legal needs of this program.

The Call 4 All program is an access to justice program that Jim has agreed to participate in.  Once a month, Jim will set aside time to consult with an individual in need of Family Law legal advice, screened by the Call 4 All program.  This access to justice program is a collaborative project by the North Carolina Bar Association and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

We are proud to be able to share our time and resources for a stronger, healthier community.  None of these efforts would be possible without the concerted efforts of all Siemens Family Law Group members and the support of our clients.