Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

The Lawyer in the Library is back – remotely

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

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Legal Help during Coronavirus/COVID-19

The Access to Justice Commission has added a number of legal information one-pagers to their COVID-19 Resource Page. Topics include

  • Find free remote legal help
  • Understand changes in court procedure
  • COVID – Landlord/ Tenant & Evictions
  • COVID – Utilities & Other Essential Services
  • COVID – Unemployment
  • COVID – Immigration
  • COVID – Domestic Violence​
  • COVID – Emergency Open Enrollment for Health Insurance and Medical Assistance
  • COVID – Medicaid Renewal Deadlines Extended
  • COVID – Stimulus Checks to Individuals
  • COVID – Unemployment Insurance
  • COVID – SNAP/TCA/TDAP Benefits

The Self Litigation Litigation Network (SRLN) has been hosting problem solving calls for who provide service to the unrepresented or the SRL. One concern is the availability of certain forms such as power of attorney, health care directives and standby guardianship for children. In Maryland these forms can be found online:

Maryland Legal Service providers are continuing to provide services and intake remotely:

Updated 4/28/2020

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Maryland Access to Justice Commission COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGE

The Maryland Access to Justice Commission is coordinating information among Maryland Legal Service providers and the courts. Their resource page states:

As a Marylander who may be facing a civil legal issue during this unprecedented time, you may have many questions about the status of your case because the courts have closed to the public or you may be confused about your rights.  The Maryland Access to Justice Commission, in partnership with the Maryland State Bar Association, has put together this COVID-19 Resource Page, pulling resources from a multitude of sources to make it easier for you to navigate the civil justice system during this time of emergency.  On this A2JC Resource Page, you will not only find links to different orders, but an explanation of what that could mean to you in non-legal language that you can understand. As the federal and state governments continue to take action on the behalf of U.S. and Maryland residents, we will continue to add helpful resources that will help you understand your rights under new COVID-related laws and post timely updates on court procedures impacted by COVID. 

The Maryland Bar Association has posted the answers to questions asked of the Judiciary here.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

AACPLL Self-Help Services: Lawyer in the Library

Ask A Lawyer in The Library is a Civil Non-Family Law Self-Help Program held in the law library every Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Sign up at 10:45 a.m. for lottery to determine time slots.) Participants can talk with a volunteer lawyer for up to 20 minutes about civil, non-family legal problem for free! No appointment is necessary. Just check-in at the law library’s information desk.

This program is also held off-site twice a month in the evening: at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the the third Wednesday of the month and at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. The start time for these programs is 4:30 p.m. with sign up at 4:15 p.m. for lottery to determine time slots.

Please call to confirm dates as library availability for the program is affected by elections and holidays: 410-222-1387.

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

Preparation for your session:

  • Write a list of specific questions for the attorney.
  • Bring any paperwork and information related to the case.
  • Organize any paperwork from most recent on the top to oldest at the bottom.
  • Identify all deadlines.
  • Prepare a timeline of the legal issue.

The attorney you meet with may not have expertise in the area of law you need. They will make every effort, through the resources in the library, to answer your questions correctly.

Family law issues are best addressed by the Family Law Self Help Center

The Lawyer in the Law Library Program is a limited legal advice service and should not be considered a substitute for representation. If you need an attorney to represent you contact the Anne Arundel Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service or call 410-222-6859. 

Sponsored by
The Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee
and the
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Celebrate Pro Bono: FREE Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic

FREE Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic

Saturday, October 26, 2019
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Boys and Girls Club at Freetown Village
7820 Darrell Henry
Pasadena, MD 21122

Volunteers needed! 

 Hosted by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – Rho Eta Zeta Chapter and the North Arundel County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

SIGN UP to VOLUNTEER: https://tinyurl.com/ProBono2019  

Please contact Ginina Stevenson @ 410-315-8051
OR Joan Bellistri: 410-222-1387 or
joan.bellistri@mdcourts.gov for information.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono: Food, Fun and Pro Bono

The National Celebration of Pro Bono takes place the last week of October, 10/20/2019 -10/26/2019. According to the American Bar Association (ABA):

Every October since 2009, legal organizations across America participate in the National Celebration of Pro Bono to draw attention to the need for pro bono participation, and to thank those who give their time year round.  Read more here

In Maryland, the Pro Bono Celebration tends to go for the whole month of October. In Anne Arundel County, there are a number of pro bono opportunities planned for attorneys that will result in increased access to legal information and services for the public.

Please register for Fun + Food + Pro Bono:

Virtual Advice-a-Thon Pizza Party

An attorney advice-a-thon with food and cheer! Use the Maryland Free Legal Answers website to remotely provide brief advice to low-income Marylanders.  The pizza is real.

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Time: 5pm to 7:30pm

Location: Law Library, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, 8 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Food: Pizza and …..

Registration: https://probonomd.org/event/aa-probono-lawlibrary/

Article Review-A-Thon 

 The People’s Law Library of Maryland (PLL), the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, and the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee invite you to participate in a lunchtime article review-a-thon.

PLL is a free, online legal encyclopedia of Maryland law and procedure. PLL has over 500 articles on a wide range of topics, including family law, landlord/tenant law, estates and trusts, civil procedure, and consumer law. 

Drop by during lunchtime to review an article or two. Food, drink, and library resources will be provided. The details are below.

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019

Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Law Library, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, 8 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Food: Lunch will be provided.

Registration: The registration deadline is Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Drop-ins are always welcome, but we cannot guarantee that lunch will be available for drop-ins. Register @ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peoples-law-library-review-a-thon-tickets-75051975479

Questions? Contact Lee Sampson at leland.sampson@mdcourts.gov

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono

Recognizing Pro Bono 2018-2019

The deadline for reporting pro bono hours is fast approaching – tomorrow!  The time of year for Maryland lawyers to report their pro bono hours to the judiciary has changed.  Maryland attorneys must pay annual CPF assessment and file pro bono and IOLTA reports by September 10. For more information please see the judiciary’s news release dated August 26, 2019.  Attorneys must complete their reporting and may pay their assessment using the Attorney Information System (AIS)

With the change of the pro bono reporting date the Anne Arundel County Annual Pro Bono Recognition Lunch was held in June instead of February.  Judges, court staff and local pro bono attorneys attended the Annual Pro Bono Recognition Lunch in the Law Library on June 20, 2019. Click here to see the list of pro bono attorneys honored at this year’s event: Program 2019.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Lawyer in the Library: August Wrap-up

aug_volunteers

“Ask a Lawyer” is back in full force after the summer break.  Ten attorneys assisted 37 people with contracts, court procedures, replevin, guardianship, appeals, estates and expungement in August.

In addition, the MVLS Foreclosure Clinic helped one person with foreclosure questions. The MVLS Brief Legal Advice Foreclosure Clinic is held on the 3rd Wednesday in the law library from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Questions about foreclosure are answered in the law library remotely by an MVLS attorney in Baltimore.

LIL_collage_2018_08
Frank Lozupone, Mike Ragland, Susan Mays, Jerry Williams, Jack Paltell, Carole Brown, Kaitlyn Maloney, Evelyn Spurgin, and Richard Ronay

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 (except in June and July) and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Ask a Lawyer in the Library: July Wrap-Up

Thanks to our volunteer attorneys  – Jonathan Pasterick of Hillman, Brown and Darrow, Carole Brown, Frank Lozupone of Gormley Jarashow Bowman and Richard Ronay – who assisted 22 people with issues such as divorce, health insurance, contracts, property disputes and guardianship.

In addition, the MVLS Foreclosure Clinic helped one person with foreclosure questions. The MVLS Brief Legal Advice Foreclosure Clinic is held on the 3rd Wednesday in the law library from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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 (except in June and July) and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

Do you have a family law matter? Family Law matters are best addressed by Family Law Self-Help Center which is located in the back of the law library.

Do you have a criminal case? The Office of the Public Defender provides legal services to eligible individuals.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono

Pro Bono Made Easy: MVLS Introduces the Pro Bono Portal

News from Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS):

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS), the largest provider of pro bono civil legal services to low-income Marylanders, unveiled the new Pro Bono Portal to easily connect volunteer attorneys with vulnerable Marylanders who need legal help. Through a mobile-friendly and optimized user interface, attorneys can quickly identify individuals and families who need their expertise. The Pro Bono Portal displays cases in real time using a color-coded system that organizes cases by type and geographic region.

“We are always looking for ways to increase the speed at which we can match Marylanders in need with the generous support of volunteer attorneys. Our refreshed Pro Bono Portal is a wonderful example of how we are evolving our technology to help more people,” said Bonnie Sullivan, executive director, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). “Now, attorneys can easily check available cases from any mobile device and no matter where they are in their daily activities. We look forward to continuing to leverage technology to expand the reach of our services and the commitment of our volunteers.”

During an initial trial with current volunteer attorneys, MVLS’ new Pro Bono Portal received positive reviews. According to Richard (Ricky) L. Adams, associate at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP, the new Pro Bono Portal is “very easy to understand and determine which cases might be interesting to me as an attorney. Hopefully this tool will make it easier for attorneys to volunteer and to share cases with colleagues they know might be looking for such opportunities!”

While the Portal works for all attorneys, it’s particularly ideal for new attorneys to be able to see all the available cases (sortable by case type and geography) and to find a case to jump into to start building their legal skills.

If you are an attorney and want to make an impact in the Maryland community, please visit www.mvlslaw.org/probonoportal to identify a case that aligns with your professional skillset and geographic location