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Archive for the ‘Pro Bono’ Category

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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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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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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Ask A Lawyer In The Library: Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by johnjeffreyross on May 5, 2017

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.

On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, the Law Library hosted another successful Ask A Lawyer In The Library program.  Mike Ragland and Jack Paltell, both retired, were on hand to assist seven people who requested help with issues such as the recognition of a foreign judgment, employment law, concerns about illegal surveillance, identity theft, landlord/tenant – harassment, guardianship and consumer protection.jack-and-mike

The next program date is Wednesday, May 10, 2017. In addition, the Ask A Lawyer In the Library program is also hosted at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of every month. The programs at these public library branches are held from 4:30 to 6:30. Sign-up at both locations is at 4:15 p.m., and time slots are determined by lottery.

More information about the program is available at http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.  The Ask A Lawyer In The Law Library program is a limited legal advice service.  The program is not a substitute for representation.

Do you have a family law matter?  Family Law matters are best addressed by the Family Law  Self-Help Center which is located in the back of the Law Library.  For more information: http://www.circuitcourt.org/legal-help/family-law

Do you have a criminal case?  The Office of the Public Defender provides legal services to eligible individuals.  Information about the Office fo the Public Defender is available at http://www.opd.state.md.us

Need help with the District Court matter such as landlord/tenant, small claims (less than $5,000), consumer matters, or return of property (replevin and detinue)?  The District Court Self-Help Resource Center provides limited legal services for people who are not represented by an attorney.  Services are provided in-person in Glen Burnie, Upper Marlboro and Salisbury. More information is available at http://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/districtselfhelpctr.html

Help with family and civil questions is available by phone and online chat from the Maryland Courts Self Help Center, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.  More information and a link for chat can be found here: http://www.mdcourts.gov/selfhelp/index.html#maryland

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Expungement Clinic Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 19, 2017

Monday night the law library partnered with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) and the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library to provide assistance with expungement of criminal records.  Matthew Stubenberg, IT director for MVLS, brought IMG_1522in two volunteer attorneys,  Jennifer L. Wazenski and David Mitchell,  who were able to help 4 people to determine if their charges could be removed from their record and prepare the paperwork if they were. (A fifth person had a question about a Virginia criminal charge.  We were able to direct her to information for Virginia at VALegalAid.org.)

IMG_1523

Matthew Stubenberg, provided a training review in the use of the expungement app, MDexpungement.com, that he developed.  This app makes filling out the forms so much easier than filling them out by hand or typing in the required information, especially when there is more than one charge.  With the app the case number is entered and the program will report if the charge is expungeable.  If it is, the information will have been pulled from Maryland Case Search for review and edit.  It will then generate the form for filing.

This a valuable program as criminal record can be a barrier to employment and housing.  Having charges removed from a criminal record and case search can make a big difference in someone’s life.

For more information on expungement in Maryland please visit the law library’s wiki page @ http://aacpll.pbworks.com/w/page/40922164/Expungement  where you can also find links to other expungement clinics sponsored by MVLS and Legal Aid.   

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Ask A Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 14, 2017

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.

On Wednesday, April 12, the Law Library hosted another successful Ask A Lawyer In The

photo 1 (3)

Chris Boucher

Library program. Thank you, Chris Boucher, 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 access to medical recourds, bankruptcy, apeals and foreclosure. The next program date is Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – in the law library and at the Glen Burnie Regional Law Library.

There will be an Expungement Clinic sponsored by MVLS at the Eastport- Annapolis Neck Community Library next Monday, April 17 from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. (More information on expungement can be found on the library’s FAQs wiki page under “expungement.” )

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Expungement Clinic Wrap-up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 13, 2017

The Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) sponsored an Expungement Clinic at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in the evening from 5:00 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.  There were 5 volunteer attorneys who were able to help 19 people complete expungement petitions for filing.  Matthew Stubenberg of MVLS coordinated the program. Matthew is known for developing MDexpungement.com, an APP that can determine if a case is eligible for expungement and then populate the form with the information needed for filing.

More information on expungement can be found on the library’s FAQs wiki page under “expungement.”  The page provides access to the Judiciary’s Access to Justice Department’s self-help video on expungement with tip sheet, articles on the Maryland People’s Law Library of Maryland, and the brochure published by the District Court of Maryland “Information About Removing Criminal Records from Public Access in Maryland” and many more resources.

The referral section contains links to clinics and APPS that can help with expungement of criminal records.

An additional Expungement Clinic will be held at the Eastport Annapolis-Neck Community Library next Monday on April 17, 2017 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

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Ask A Lawyer In the Library – Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 5, 2017

The Law Library has been busy with the  Ask A Lawyer In The Library program. In addition to the weekly courthouse program held in the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library on March 29  and April 5, the monthly evening program at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library was held on March 28.

Carole Brown, Carole BrownSaul McCormick of Lessans, Praley and McCormick, and Jerry Williams of Patel and Williams Jerry and Saulwere the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library volunteers on March 28 who helped with contracts, debt collection and leases.  March 29 was one of the few 5th Wednesdays of the month meaning that attorney Richard Ronay 

Richard Ronay

was on hand to help with such issues as garnishment, reverse mortgages, eviction, sale of real property and deeds. And today, Mike Ragland and Jack Paltell, jack-and-mike

both retired, helped with questions on bankruptcy and landlord/tenant.  Librarians, Leah Curtis of the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library and Joan Bellistri of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library were on hand to coordinate and provide back up research assistance.  
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 in the evening (4:30 pm to 6:30 pm): 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. The next program date is Wednesday, April 12 , 2017, in the law library.

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Ask A Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on March 16, 2017

On Wednesday, March 15, the “Ask A Lawyer In The Library” program was held in both  the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and the Glen Burnie Regional Library. Brian Lyman

Brian Lyman

Brian Lyman

of Hillman, Brown and Darrow helped participants with a dispute with a car dealer and a contract in the morning. Alan Forman of Forman Clothier Law Group with Cliff O’Connor and Katelyn Maloney of Holmes and  O’Connor

cliff-and-katelyn

Cliff O’Connor and Katelyn Maloney

helped nine people with such issues as divorce,wills, fee disputes, and landlord/tenant. The next program date is Wednesday, March 22 , 2017.

It is helpful to prepare for your session with the attorney.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • 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.

If you would like to read up on your issue prior to your session with the attorney, please come find us at the Law Library’s information desk.  We are happy to assist you.

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.

Do you know that legal help is available from the Maryland Courts Self Help Center from 8:30 am until 8:00 pm during the week, Monday through Friday? This is a virtual service via phone (410-260-1392) or online chat.

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