In December and January, the Ask A Lawyer in the Library program provided legal advice to seventeen people. Thanks to volunteer attorneys, Steve Migdal, Jack Paltell, Saul McCormick, and Michele Manculich for providing this service to the public. In January we were happy to welcome new volunteer attorney, Patrice Clarke. Issues included student loan debt, landlord/tenant, expungement, estate planning and immigration.
The Ask a Lawyer in the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program held every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and on the 3rd Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library. You can talk with a volunteer attorney for at least 20 minutes. Registration is required. All sessions are held remotely via Zoom videoconferencing or phone. More information can be found here.
In November, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program provided legal advice to thirteen people. Thanks to volunteer attorneys, Steve Migdal, Jack Paltell, Leonard Englander, and Michele Manculich for providing this service to the public. Issues included trustee compensation, disability insurance, employment, social security and debt collection.
The Ask a Lawyer In the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program held every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and on the 3rd Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library. You can talk with a volunteer attorney for at least 20 minutes. Registration is required. All sessions are held remotely via Zoom videoconferencing or phone. More information can be found here.
Eviction Protection Program Tenants in crisis can contact Arundel Community Development Services (ACDS) to access emergency grants to pay past due rent and utility payments. Certain conditions apply. You can find out more at the Arundel Community Development Services (410-222-7600)
Steve Migdal, Jack Paltell and Leonard Englander were the Lawyers in the Library for December. They assisted 11 people with issues such as unemployment, breach of contract, wills and estates, deed change, neighbor issues and personal injury. The program is not held the last two weeks in December so the Lawyer in the Library is done for 2021.
The Lawyer in the Library will return on January 5, 2022. “Ask a Lawyer in the Library” is held every Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and on the third Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (except for the last two weeks in December). You can talk with a volunteer lawyer for at least 20 minutes about your civil, non-family legal problem for free. All sessions are now conducted over Zoom or by phone.
This program is sponsored by Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee,Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, and the Anne Arundel Bar Association. It is hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library.
Register online here orcall the law library for help. Once you have registered, you will be sent a link to an intake sheet. Instructions for meeting with the attorney will be sent once the intake is competed.
It is tough navigating the court system. There are fees, deadlines, jargon, forms, paperwork, hearings, and many other details to remember. What is a lawyer-less litigant to do?
To help SRLs (self-represented litigants) keep themselves organized and get help navigating the legal process, Civil Justice and the Maryland Judiciary, with A2J Tech, have partnered to create the Maryland Justice Passport, a free online tool that allows participants to scan and upload their documents, share those documents with legal service providers, set up timelines and reminders, learn about legal topics, and connect with legal aid organizations. Litigants can use the Passport as an app on their smartphone or at the website.
Patrons who attend our Lawyer in the Library program frequently ask how to handle conflicts with their neighbors. This is such a common concern that there are countless sources on relevant law, or lack thereof, governing overhanging tree branches, fence placement, etc. For example, look at the number of search hits on Westlaw after entering some relevant keywords in Figure 1.
Below, I have collected print and electronic secondary sources available through the library that cover neighbor law for attorneys and laypersons. We also have a page on mediation resources, which may be a preferable first step in resolving many of these conflicts.
On the shelf and online through the Maryland Judiciary network:
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
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.
Information on power of attorney, health care power of attorney (health care directives) and standby guardianship for children (delegation of parental authority) can now be found here, all in one place, on the Maryland Judiciary’s website.
The page states:
This page provides some standard legal forms to help you prepare for death, incapacity, or unavailability. These documents are complicated and can have serious consequences. Consider consulting with a lawyer before you sign any paperwork.