Federal judges from the southern district of Texas set the notice discontinuing jury trials to the tune of Hamilton’s, “I’ll be back.” Nice to see something fun and legal these days.
On Friday, June 19, 2020, County Executive Steuart Pittman issued a proclamation declaring it Juneteenth Day in Anne Arundel County. Juneteenth is the anniversary of the date the last enslaved people, who were in Texas, learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, two years after it was issued. It was then and is now a day of celebration. To commemorate in Anne Arundel County, there was a march beginning at the MLK Foot Soldiers Memorial at Whitmore Park ending at the Kunta Kinte Memorial at City Dock, socially distanced and with masks.
You might wonder how the information finally made it to the last people to know in Texas. Joe Lawson, Deputy Director of the Harris County Law Library, shared that he”found an article written for our local bar journal, The Houston Lawyer, which includes an interesting passage about how news of the end of slavery arrived in Houston:”
On June 20, the 34th Iowa Regiment and five companies of the 114th Ohio Regiment marched through Houston and occupied the courthouse. A cannon placed in front of the courthouse was fired every day, breaking the windows around the courthouse square.
The full article is available at:
Reconstructing Reconstruction: Stories from the Harris County Court Archives on How the Rule of Law Was Restored After the Civil War – The Houston Lawyer, January/February 2008
The Columbia Law School Scholarship Repository has added this title. Access (for free) is provided here. It is described on the site as follows:
The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.
This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal issues the pandemic has raised, especially (though not exclusively) for law in the United States: from the rights of prison inmates who live under conditions that make them exceptionally vulnerable to the highly contagious virus to the options for contracting parties who now face circumstances that make it impossible for them to live up to their past commitments. The book does not give legal advice. Instead, it identifies critical legal issues that affect many peoples’ lives, offers fresh perspectives for thinking about those issues, and provides guidance to legislatures and policy makers about the legal challenges ahead.
After a break of more than two months, the law library was able to again offer the opportunity to the public to speak to an attorney about their civil legal issues. This is normally an-in person program, but with the courts having to close to the public due to the pandemic – not to mention that face-to-face meetings are not a good idea no matter what at this time – the law library had to find another way to provide the service. Many thanks to attorney, Joe Gormley of Gormley Jarashow Bowman for volunteering to be the first online “lawyer in the library.”
Skype for Business worked out well. It allowed for easy access via phone or an online link. Today, all chose the phone option. All of the four slots were filled. (We are starting with fewer time slots so that we can get used to the new format. It seems when online, the transition takes a little longer between appointments.)
This remote program is now scheduled through July. The program, as before, will be held every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The next session will be on June 3, 2020. The monthly programs that were held in-person at the Anne Arundel County North County Regional Library on the third Wednesday and at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday are on the schedule, too, from 3:30 pm until 6:45 pm. (The hours are a little different to accommodate the new format.)
Sessions are now by appointment. Register online here or call the law library at 410-222-1387. Once registered, a link to an online intake and agreement will be sent via email. Meeting information is sent the day of the program. Anyone without computer access, can schedule an appointment as well as fill out the intake with the assistance of library staff by phone.
The Ask a Lawyer In the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. Every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can talk with a volunteer attorney for up to 20 minutes. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program that was held monthly at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday, in the evening, will continue online as well. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.
The Lawyer in the Library program is now available remotely by phone or video conference. The Lawyer in the Library is a civil legal self-help program where you can speak to an attorney for up to 20 minutes. The program is coordinated by the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and sponsored by the Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.
Issues that may be addressed include:
- Debt and bankruptcy
- Landlord/Tenant questions
- Real estate
- Employment and wage claim issues
- Contracts, warranties and/or consumer disputes
- Wills, estate planning, probate, living wills
To prepare for your session:
- Write a list of specific questions for the attorney.
- Make sure that you have any paperwork and information related to the case on hand.
- Organize any paperwork from most recent on the top to oldest at the bottom.
- Identify all deadlines.
- Prepare a timeline of the legal issue.
Lawyer in the Library is offered every Wednesday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and from 3:30 pm – 6:45 pm on the third Wednesday and last Tuesday of the month. Register here: http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library
Law Library services will be unavailable today, May 25, 2020 for the Memorial Day holiday. The Law Library will be available via phone and email tomorrow, Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open – virtually these days – Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website’s list of Court Holidays.
Interested in the history of this holiday? Please see the following provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/
Contact the law library at 410-222-1387 or AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov
- COVID Divorce
- COVID Evictions
- COVID FosterCare
- COVID Unemployment
- Check out the COVID Playlist as they add more.
More articles on COVID resources can be found on our Coronavirus/COVID19 Resources page.
The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has updated the article, Major Consumer Protections Announced in Response to COVID-19. This article covers many topics of concern to consumers as related to COVID-19:
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the ‘‘CARES Act,’’ Pub. L. No. 116-136
- Federal Foreclosure and Eviction Suspensions; Mortgage Loan Forbearance
- Banking Agency Guidance on Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications
- State Limitations on Foreclosures and Evictions
- Federal Changes re Appraisals for Mortgage Loans
- Student Loans, Other Debts Owed to the Government
- State Actions Regarding Utility Service and Telecommunications
- State Limits on Collection Lawsuits, Post-Judgment Remedies, Debt Collection, Repossessions (Private Creditors)
- Price Gouging
- Collection of Civil and Criminal Debt Owed to the State
- Banking and Bank-Extended Consumer Credit
- Bankruptcy Changes
- Fair Credit Reporting
- Stopping Automatic Payments from Bank Account
- Insurance Premiums
- Health Insurance Coverage
- CARES Act Employee Protections
- Advice and Assistance for Consumers
This article also includes links to the first chapters of all of the NCLC publications. Titles include Home Foreclosures, Fair Debt Collection, Mortgage Lending and many more. These titles are a part of the law library’s collection with print and online access. Check out the library’s online catalog by searching “NCLC” for a listing of library holdings. Call the law library if you need information from any of the NCLC titles.
The Law Day webpage of American Bar Association states that Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. Read the ABA’s History of Law Day to find out more.
To celebrate please visit the exhibit at the Library of Congress online, Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.
National Library Week begins today. The original theme was “Find Your Place at the Law Library.” With so much change in how libraries of all types are operating, an alternate theme was devised.
Maryland Court Law Libraries will be unable to provide in-person assistance until June and as a result are trying to make sure that previous in-person users are aware that law libraries can be accessed remotely.
Maryland public libraries, like the Anne Arundel County Public Library, are offering online programming and access. The Anne Arundel County Public Library provides access to their digital library, resources for learning and an “ask a question” link.
Please take time to visit your local public library and law library in Anne Arundel County to celebrate National Library Week. I know that we will be happy to “see” you online and look forward to seeing you in person in the future.