Local attorney Marc Dwyer, managing partner of the law firm Dwyer & Knight, was awarded the 2021 Flagler County Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award by Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida.
“It’s very rewarding because I know the relief it brings, and I know the changes in people’s lives it brings when they can lighten that burden.”
— MARC DWYER
Most of Dwyer’s pro bono cases last year involved bankruptcies, he said on Flagler Broadcasting’s “Free For All Friday” show Jan. 28.
“Needless to say…the people who need to file for bankruptcy might be the ones who need pro bono services the most,” Dwyer said. “And bankruptcy is very complex. It really takes a lot of time and good knowledge.”
Laws surrounding bankruptcy became more complicated in 2005, making bankruptcy more expensive, he said.
Most people who come to Dwyer don’t want to have to consider potential bankruptcy, he said.
“They come because they have to,” he said. “And it’s very rewarding, because I know the relief it brings, and I know the changes in people’s lives it brings when they can ease this burden that they could never lift naturally and organically.”
Dwyer enjoys helping lift the stigma associated with bankruptcy, he said. In most cases, people who seek his help file for bankruptcy due to circumstances beyond their control, he added.
“For example…the subprime mortgage crisis in 2006. That was the last time we saw the biggest spike in bankruptcies….The reckless subprime loans issued by Wall Street – that wasn’t [borrowers’] fault.”
Neither the market collapse nor the fact that jobs disappeared, leaving workers unable to pay the bills, he said.
“As someone sitting here on the front line, people don’t want to fail,” he said. “They come because they really have no other choice.”
Dwyer practiced law in Flagler County for more than 18 years, according to a news release. His practice includes family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy and personal injury law, according to the press release, and he is admitted to practice in all state and federal districts and bankruptcy divisions in Florida.