Duly Noted

Legal Aid of Western Michigan recognizes contributions from attorney and paralegal in Kalamazoo area

Colleagues and family gathered at the Kalamazoo Country Club on Oct. 12 to honor attorney Ross Stancati’s support for Legal Aid of Western Michigan and his many years of advocacy for clients in the Kalamazoo community. Attorney Stancati, a graduate of Western Michigan University in 1960 and the University of Michigan Law School in 1963, has practiced in Kalamazoo for more than 40 years, concentrating on a family-centered practice.

The Vlachos Award was created by the Vlachos family in memory of John N. Vlachos, a Kalamazoo attorney with a career long commitment to community service and public interest law. The award is given annually in partnership with Legal Aid of Western Michigan to a person who has made a special contribution to the civil justice community. The reception was co-hosted by the Kalamazoo law firm of Vlachos & Vlachos.

In presenting the award, Board President James Boerigter noted that, although Stancati was frequently opposing counsel on Legal Aid’s cases, he was also one of the first to take a case pro bono, donate to Legal Aid fundraisers and encourage his colleagues to support Legal Aid.

Boerigter also presented a special award for service to Legal Aid of Western Michigan to Nancy J. Kain. Kain retired on August 1, 2011, after 28 years working as a paralegal in the program’s offices in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties. Both past and present Legal Aid attorneys spoke of her invaluable contribution in support of their own work but also of the special contribution that Kain, a St. Joseph County resident, made as the “Face of Legal Aid” for clients, courts and the community in St. Joseph county.