James House

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The 8th Story

It’s a difficult task to win a custody case when your client is in jail. But that didn’t stop Chris Bernhardt, former pro bono fellow with Hunton and Williams LLP, to take on the challenge. Chris felt compelled to help Carolina, a domestic violence survivor who immigrated to the USA with her husband. Carolina’s husband, in the USA with authorization, was an abuser.

After a violent outburst, Carolina called the police and requested a protective order. Her husband told her that if she assisted the prosecutor, he would have her deported. Carolina testified anyway. True to his word, he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Carolina was arrested, and her children were returned to her husband. With the help of Chris and 2 other attorneys, coordinated by The James House, Carolina was released on a U Visa. A year later she reunited with her children on Christmas day.

Since serving as a pro bono fellow with Hunton and Williams LLP, Chris is now an Associate with the Bucci & Dix law firm.

Music: Traveler’s Song, Piano and Strings Session Version By Future of Forestry