Gary Green of Little Rock has frequently represented the victims of drunk-driving accidents in court. While doing so, he noticed that in every case, the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) would send a representative to observe the trial as part of its court-watching program.
“I was impressed by what they were able to accomplish, merely by their presence,” Green said, referring to their impact on criminal trials, which they also observed. “They never spoke or participated in the trial, but it seemed clear that when they were present, there was less chance that the judge would impose a lenient sentence.”
In 1994, Green approached the local chapter of MADD to propose a partnership: Every time he represented someone who’d been hurt in an alcohol-related car crash, he would make a donation to MADD.
“It didn’t matter if I won or lost the case,” he said. “I made the commitment to make the contribution and to do it every time.” Green estimates that his firm has contributed roughly $90,000 to the Irving, Texas-based organization.
“I like working with people who are advocates,” he said. “They are single-minded and serious in their mission.”
Green said he was deeply moved when he visited MADD’s headquarters and saw the wall where people have posted photographs of their loved ones who were killed in drunk-driving accidents.
This year, MADD acknowledged Green’s firm as a national corporate sponsor. Green has also produced several TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs) for MADD, paying production costs and, in some cases, serving as spokesman.
“In the states where we’ve done the PSAs, drunk-driving deaths are going down,” Green said. “Now, I know all about correlation and causation, so this is probably purely coincidental—but it makes me feel good anyway.”