Pisgah Legal Serves the Plateau

Issue: November 2023

Pisgah Legal Services provides legal aid to the Plateau’s most vulnerable citizens. For more information, go to pisgahlegal.org or call (828) 575-1353.


L to R: Adrianna Gomez, Staff Attorney; Patricia Caddell, Staff Attorney;
Megan Quattlebaum, Community Engagement Manager and Mary Dotson, Office Manager

For Jenny (not her real name), the abuse started at the same time her husband began using drugs. Over four long years, the violence continued to escalate.  With young children at home and no friends or family in the community, she felt trapped.  When her husband eventually took a knife to her throat while her children looked on, she called nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services. 

“It was bleak when I reached out to Pisgah Legal Services,” Jenny explains. “I couldn’t afford lawyers.  My attorney, Patricia, was just who I needed.  She stuck with me and made me feel like I had a voice.” 

With the help of Pisgah Legal, Jenny was able to obtain a restraining order, get a divorce and secure custody of her children. “I am in a much better place now.  I have a job and the kids are happy,” she says.

Jenny’s story is one among too many in our community. The right to an attorney which is enshrined in the sixth amendment is available only to those facing criminal charges. Those who seek help with civil matters do not qualify for a government appointed lawyer.

Three years ago, with the help of area residents, attorney W. Stell Huie took steps to help provide the legal aid that the low-income population needed.  

As Huie explained at an initial get-together, “Our community suffers greatly when the poor are in our midst and are hurting.  Practically every individual providing the services in our shops clubs and restaurants qualifies for legal aid, and they need to be taken care of.” 

In the months that followed, Huie organized breakfasts in Highlands and Cashiers and invited local retired attorneys to attend.  As a result, they raised more than $100,000 – enough to convince the Board of Pisgah Legal Services in Asheville to open an office in Highlands. 

Now, Since Pisgah Legal Service launched its Highlands-Cashiers office in 2020, people living in poverty on the Plateau have increased access to free legal aid.

Since its opening, Pisgah Legal Services has helped more than 1,000 people in our two counties by preventing homelessness, stopping domestic violence, increasing access to health care and securing basic income.  

Community Engagement Manager Megan Quattlebaum said that, “With winter approaching, the population we serve is facing a difficult time, and the need for funding is even more critical.”

Visit pisgahlegal.org or contact Megan Quattlebaum at (828) 575-1353 or email [email protected].

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