Episode 3.5: Champion of the Underdog: Kira Fonteneau

 

In this episode, Miles neutral Julie Jun interviews Kira Fonteneau, a Partner at the 5 Points Law Group, whose employment and civil rights practice covers both Georgia and Alabama.  She currently serves as President of the Board of ACLU of Alabama, Vice-Chair of the American Diabetes Association’s National Legal Advocacy Sub-Committee, and a member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation. 

 

It becomes evident in the first few minutes of the podcast that Kira is an active advocate –  in her civil rights practice, she positions herself as the David to the government’s Goliath.  Kira speaks about giving a voice to the marginalized to send the clear message that their experience matters. She encourages all attorneys to “watch what passes for justice” in criminal courts to see what happens to people who get involved in the criminal justice system to change our criminal justice system. Throughout, Kira’s passion is on full display when she talks about being able to apply constitutional principles to support our democracy in her role at the ACLU. 

 

During the conversation, the listener gets a peek into Kira’s journey as she discusses the inception of the 5 Points Law Group’s and their commitment to helping people through life’s transitions, whether employment, divorce, or death.  Kira discusses the role ADR has in her practice, particularly as it relates to arbitration in employment agreements and mediation at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).  She discusses how challenging it is to get to a jury in employment law as the vast majority of cases get tossed out on summary judgment. As a practical advocate, Kira discusses the risk of court with her clients and contrasts that with the closure and resolution mediation offers.  Finally, she talks about the value of a neutral third-party mediator in bringing cases to an emotionally satisfying conclusion.  

 

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