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Adams and Reese Pro Bono Paladin and New Orleans Partner Mark Surprenant successfully represented a client pro bono in a contractor fraud case, and that story was told in the “Moving Forward” section of The Pro Bono Project’s February newsletter.

Surprenant received a case through The Pro Bono Project in which a New Orleans resident had been a victim of contractor fraud in that she paid the defendant approximately $20,000 to re-do her house. The contractor took the money; started the job and then simply walked off without any explanation and never returned any of the money to his client.

Surprenant was able to obtain a consent judgment against the defendant contractor for $20,000 and the client is now in the process of receiving full and complete compensation from the defendant. This client never expected to ever receive any of her money from this defendant, and what made this all extra special was the fact that the decision happened right before Christmas, Surprenant said.

Surprenant has long been involved with The Pro Bono Project, formerly serving as Chair of The Pro Bono Project’s Board of Directors; on its Board for over 10 years and is currently a member of its Resource Development Committee. He consistently handles pro bono cases through The Project.


Since the beginning of his legal career, Surprenant has been dedicated to community and pro bono service. In 1988, he created HUGS — the Adams and Reese corporate philanthropy program — and in 2000 he established CA&RE — the firm’s official pro bono program. He is also the Co-Founder of SOLACE, Inc. (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel All Concern Encouraged). SOLACE is a statewide volunteer organization with more than 6,000 volunteers. It reaches out to assist those in the legal community who have experienced some significant, potentially life-changing event in their lives.

Surprenant joined Adams and Reese in 1977 as an Associate and is now the Partner with the longest tenure at the firm. He serves as Practice Team Leader of the Agricultural Chemicals team.