PRESTONSBURG — The Appalachian Research and Defense Fund has a new director, and it’s someone with some experience the Eastern Kentucky legal field.
Lance Daniels will take over the agency around June 15. A native of Johnson County, Daniels is currently a major in the U.S. Army Reserve assigned to Fort Bragg Trial Defense Services in North Carolina.
Prior to that, however, Daniels worked both as an assistant county attorney and as a public defender in Johnson County. During his private practice, he was recognized three years in a row for taking the most pro bono cases in Johnson County by the Volunteer Lawyers of Appalachian Kentucky.
“I am both honored and excited to be given the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of AppalReD,” Daniels said. “I am looking forward to helping carry out AppalReD’s mission of providing quality legal services and zealous advocacy to the disadvantaged citizens of eastern and south central Kentucky.”
“AppalReD is very fortunate to have found a highly respected Eastern Kentucky attorney who is familiar with the problems that AppalReD clients face on a daily basissaid John Rosenberg, AppalReD Director Emeritus. “His diverse experience in private and public service as well as JAG should enable him to provide outstanding leadership to AppalReD ‘s excellent staff.”
AppalReD has been without a permanent director for more than a year. Former director Cynthia Elliott was fired in February 2011, amid a financial crisis in the agency that led to staff cutbacks. An investigation was also launched following Elliott’s departure.
Elliott, however, later filed suit against AppalReD, charging the legal aid firm with discrimination. That case has not been resolved.
AppalReD Legal Aid, now in its 42nd year, is a legal services agency which provides free civil legal representation in a 37-county region of more than 244,000 people living in poverty. AppalReD Staff serve approximately 6,000 clients a year through a network of 10 offices and volunteer attorneys in Eastern and South Central Kentucky. AppalReD is funded by federal, state, local and private sources.
Daniels and his wife, Suzanne Daniels, have three children, Lane, Luke and Ben.