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Volunteer Attorney Helps Soldier with Lawsuit Against Car Dealership

October 30, 2017

An Army servicemember obtained a loan to purchase a used vehicle from a car dealership. In the purchase agreement, the dealership acknowledged that the car had an engine problem and agreed to fix it. However, after finalizing the sale, it refused to make the agreed repairs. The soldier then obtained an independent inspection and discovered that the vehicle was irreparably damaged, unsafe to drive, and previously totaled, which was not disclosed by the dealership. The soldier wanted to return the vehicle or get a refund.

Without any cooperation from the dealership, the soldier visited a military legal assistance office, where a Judge Advocate (JAG) recognized the soldier’s need for legal representation from a civilian attorney. Because the soldier could not afford to hire an attorney, the JAG referred the soldier to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the soldier with an attorney who offered pro bono representation. The volunteer attorney filed a lawsuit against the dealership and ultimately reached a successful settlement for the soldier. Through the settlement, the dealership provided a refund to pay off the soldier’s loan in exchange for a return of the vehicle.


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