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Annual Report FY2016

Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 23, 2017

The law library is happy to announce that the Annual Report for FY2016 is ready for viewing.  The law library can provide a print copy but the online version is available here: https://sway.com/PgBY9gJix3SijZSj?ref=Link&loc=play

 

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 22, 2017

Brian LymanOn Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the Law Library hosted another successful Ask A Lawyer In The Library program. Thank you, Brian Lyman from Hillman, Brown and Darrow, for volunteering and providing this service to the public. Six people took part in the program and were able to speak with the attorney to request assistance with issues such as procedure, employment, discovery, garnishment, and real estate.

The next program date is Wednesday, June 28 , 2017 here in the law library.

PLEASE NOTE: The evening program normally scheduled for the evening on the last Tuesday of the month (6/27) at  the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library is cancelled due to a conflict with the Anne Arundel Bar Association Annual Meeting.

The MVLS Brief Legal Advice Foreclosure Clinic is now held on the 3rd Wednesday in the law library from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. More information can be found here: http://aacpll.pbworks.com/w/page/99877141/Foreclosure%20Clinic  Today one person was able to speak with an MVLS staff attorney.  This program participant was happy to have been able to use this service and said: “This is just what I needed. It was good to talk to someone that understood my situation.”  For more information on foreclosure please see the library’s FAQ page on “foreclosure.”

The Ask a Lawyer In the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is 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. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

 

 

 

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WIFI!

Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 20, 2017

wifiThe law library along with other public spaces in the court like the Jury Office now has WIFI.  After waiting for years, it is exciting that we can now answer the question – “do you have WIFI?” – with a “YES.”

Many thanks to our Court Administration, JIS and the Court’s IT Department.

Registration is required as is a Username and Password:

  • Select the “Judiciary Public” WIFI network.
  • Click on the “Don’t have an account?” option.
  • Create an account by entering information in the form.
    • Fields marked with a * must be filled in.
    • Be sure to choose your cell phone provider in order to get a text message.
  • Once registered, a Username and Password will be sent via text message or email.
    • Username and Password will work for 60 days.
  • Enter your Username and Password.
  • Finally, “Accept,” the “Acceptable Use Policy” and you should be connected.

I had trouble accessing the registration form using Chrome.  Edge worked fine as might Firefox.  There are instructions at the information desk and we will be happy to help you connect in any way that we can.

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Ask A Lawyer in the Library – Wednesday (and Tuesday) Wrap-Ups

Posted by Joan Bellistri on June 15, 2017

The Ask A Lawyer in the Library program has been busy as we begin the summer season.  Since May 17, eleven attorneys have provided 57 pro bono hours to assist 48 people with a variety of issues including bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, foreclosure, guardianship, dental malpractice, and employment.

Volunteer attorneys were Jerry Williams, Cliff O’Connor, Alan Forman, Lauren Torggler, Carole Brown, John Bailey, Joe Gormley, Mike Ragland, Jack Paltell, Richard Ronay and Chris Boucher.

The Ask a Lawyer in the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is held monthly at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday (from August through May) and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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Court Holiday – Memorial Day

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 29, 2017

The Law Library is closed today, May 29, 2017 for the Memorial Day  holiday.  The Law Library will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.  A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website at http://www.circuitcourt.org/court-holidays. Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Interested in the history of this holiday? Please see the following:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/

 

 

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Maryland Judiciary Data Dashboard

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 18, 2017

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and Pam Harris, State Court Administrator,  announced the launch of the Maryland Judiciary Data Dashboard on May 16, 2017.

The Dashboard “is an interactive compilation of trial and appellate courts caseload and performance data.  The Data Dashboard is a user-friendly site from which to access data about total incoming and outgoing cases, clearance rates, active caseload volumes, and case processing performance measures.  Data is available county-by-county and statewide.” 

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Ask A Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 14, 2017

Valadez

Mike Valadez

Wednesday, May 10, the law library hosted its weekly Ask A Lawyer In The Library program. Mike Valadez assisted seven people with such issues as landlord/tenant, guardianship, consumer protection, slander and disability, procedure, damage to vehicle caused by shop, and the renewal of a judgment.

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Bar Association 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. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk. Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is 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. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

Next Wednesday the program will be offered twice: at 11:00 a.m. in the law library and at 4:30 p.m. at the Glen Burnie Regional library.

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Equal Justice Conference 2017

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 10, 2017

EJC Collage

TOP: Jenny and Joanie with Steve Scudder MID: Sara, Joanie, Jenny and Marrette

The Equal Justice Conference joins all components of the civil legal aid community to discuss and address issues related to the delivery of legal services to low-income individuals in need of legal assistance.  EJC is co-sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

The EJC is attended by legal service providers like Legal Aid and volunteer lawyer services as well as pro bono attorneys, court staff and judges. You will also find law librarians.  This year I was privileged to have been asked to present with Jenny Silbiger, the State Librarian of Hawaii.  With Sara Witman, a firm librarian with Gordon Feinblatt LLC, we sought to demonstrate:

— how partnering with libraries can effectively increase awareness of and participation in meaningful access to justice programming

— how to identify and use “big firm” resources, that is, know how to access sophisticated research tools for little or no cost

— that libraries are in a unique position to make the judicial system more user-friendly and accessible to self-represented litigants.

You can check it out – slides and handout – in the EJC Dropbox. (Our program can be found there under the title “At Your Service: Partnering with Libraries to Maximize Resources” but was in the program as “Check It Out: Partnering with Libraries to Maximize Resources.”)

We were excited to see the interest from courts and legal service programs in partnering with libraries to expand program reach.  (We were glad to meet Pennsylvania law librarian, Marrette Pearsall, too.)  In addition to learning about the advantages of partnering with libraries, attendees were also given the opportunity to see how law librarians support their work through legal research assistance.

When I first attended EJC, we would sometimes get a perplexed look and asked why we would be at the conference.  Now, when we get to know other attendees, we are  more likely to be told about a library program or asked if we know “their” law librarian.

The EJC  programming was great and I had no trouble finding sessions of interest to attend.  Topics included the use of data to improve and support programs, delivery of brief services, communication, mapping and the future of pro bono. Just as valuable is the opportunity to meet the many people from all over the country involved in providing access to justice. It is inspiring to see all that can be done.

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Law Day – 2017

Posted by Joan Bellistri on May 1, 2017

law_day_2017_300x300On May 1st, we celebrate the rule of law and the role of the law and legal processes, including the court system, in promoting democracy and freedom through our celebration of Law Day. First envisioned by the American Bar Association’s then-president, Charles S. Rhyne, in 1957, National Law Day was established as a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, and May 1st was designated as the official date of celebration by a joint resolution of Congress in 1961.

The topic of this year’s Law Day is the Fourteenth Amendment.  Consisting of five sections, it is the following language from Section 1 which is a cornerstone of the Amendment’s extension of federal guarantees of equal protection and due process to all citizens:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868 there was no provision in the federal Constitution or federal law to prevent the States from enacting laws that “denied to their own citizens the equal protection of laws or deprived them of life, liberty, and property, without due process of law.”  Westel Woodbury Willoughby, The Constitutional Law of the United States at 177-78 (1910).

Representative John Bingham of Ohio played an important role both in drafting crucial language of the Amendment and ensuring its passage in Congress and ratification, was called by Justice Hugo Black “the Madison … of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

For a more detailed analysis please see the section on the 14th Amendment in Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ – the Federal Digital System.

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Maryland Judiciary Launches Comprehensive Attorney Information Database

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 24, 2017

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and Pam Harris, State Court Administrator,  announced the launch of the Attorney Information System (AIS):

AIS is a comprehensive database that brings together information about Maryland attorneys maintained by the court-related agencies that support the Court of Appeals in its role regulating the legal profession in Maryland.  AIS represents a significant investment by the Judiciary to improve the internal management of attorney records.  Beginning this month, each Maryland attorney will receive a letter from the Maryland Judiciary with information about AIS and how to activate his or her account.

More information about AIS be found in this press release dated March 23, 2017: http://www.mdcourts.gov/media/news/2017/pr20170323.html

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