Attorneys Provide Legal Advice at the 2012 Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day

The Anne Arundel County’s 5th Annual Homeless Resource Day was held on March 31, 2012 at Glen Burnie High School. This was the fourth year that Anne Arundel County attorneys participated in the event by providing brief, limited legal advice.  This year 13 attorneys served 80 clients (1o more than last year) by answering 89 legal questions.  Again this year, questions about criminal records and expungement were the most asked.  Family law questions, as in previous years, were a close second. Detailed statistics can be found on the statistics wiki page.

This year the Local Pro Bono Committee worked to create a program where those who needed to file a petition for expungement would be able to get assistance in filling out the form with the waiver of costs and financial statement.  The Homeless Persons Representation Project had provided training for the Homeless Day volunteers in the library.  HPRP Executive Director, Antonia Fasanelli and Danielle Cover, HPRP Director of Pro Bono Programs, even came to Homeless Day to offer their expert assistance on the spot.  As a result, 2 clients were recommended for HPRP intake and 4 petitions with waivers were filed in the District Court on Monday.   Many did not have criminal records that would qualify for expungement.   Others were able to take advantage of going through intake by the Office of the Public Defender thanks to Bill Davis.

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It helped that there were 13 attorneys on hand to help this year.  With  the nine attorneys who volunteered in the morning to help, wait times for the clients were minimal.  As in past years the afternoon is slower and the four afternoon volunteers were kept just busy enough.

Morning volunteers were Bill Davis of the OPD, Anne Leitess of the SAO, Andrew DiBlasio, Kurt Roper, Kathy Hughes of Legal Aid, Chris Brown, Jessica Qunicosa of Legal Aid, Lonni Summers of Legal Aid and Kari Fawcett with her associate, Ann Marie Dunn.  In the afternoon, Denis O’Connell of the OPD took over for Bill with three attorneys from Legal Aid: Amy Siegel, Lisa Sarro and Anita Bailey.

By Joan Bellistri

Law Library Director for the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

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