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Posts Tagged ‘access_to_justice’

Celebrate Pro Bono: Free Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic

Posted by Joan Bellistri on October 13, 2017

CPB SmallerA Free Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic will be held Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club at Freetown Village. (7820 Darrell Henry, Pasadena, Maryland 21122) The Fair will be held in partnership with AACO NAACP and the AACO Local Pro Bono Committee. It is a Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – Rho Eta Zeta Chapter Event.

More information on expungement can be found on the library’s expungment wiki page. Here you can find links to the law, information pages and even videos. There are listings of other expungement clinics held in the area as well.

 

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National Pro Bono Celebration has begun

Posted by Joan Bellistri on October 10, 2017

pro bono banner

Maryland and Anne Arundel County have expanded the week-long celebration to the whole month of October.  On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service held its Annual Awards Ceremony.  So nice to be in the room with so many who donate their time to help those in need of legal assistance.  The words of Chief Judge Barbera were inspiring as she highlighted the good that pro bono work provides to those in danger of losing their home or seeing their children.  Tom Mulinazzi whose firm, the Mulinazzi Law Office, was awarded the Law Firm of the Year for pro bono, put it nicely by saying that pro bono work is “an opportunity to be a hero.”

The next night, Thursday, October 5, the Anne Arundel Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Award was presented at the joint dinner of the James C. Cawood, Jr. Inns of Court and the AABA.  Steve Wrobel, AABA President, presented the award with Tasnima Apol, Chair of the Anne Arundel County Pro Bono Committee to Carole Brown, an attorney in a solo practice.  Carole’s nomination read as follows.

Since 2014, Carole has generously donated her time to take pro bono cases to represent numerous victims of domestic violence for the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Carole greets every client with a smile and is kind, compassionate, and caring. Clients feel at ease and are comfortable with Carole’s easy manner. Whenever asked to help, Carole enthusiastically accepts difficult cases in which parties take extreme positions and emotions run high. Carole sets the example in Anne Arundel County of a zealous advocate who is committed to her clients’ best interests.

In addition, Carole has been a flexible volunteer for all of the Lawyer in the Library programs whether in the courthouse, Eastport or Glen Burnie.  Congratulations and thank you to Carole!

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Worth a read: The Education Gap In The Law

Posted by Joan Bellistri on October 3, 2017

The Education Gap In The Law We need to elevate the average person’s knowledge for preventative legal checkups, but how? (By MARY E. JUETTEN Sep 26, 2017 in the Above the Law Blog)

This post mentioned how small businesses most often start out without any kind of legal advice and how 86% of low income people in need of legal assistance go without. Another issue discussed is that “people need to know that they have a problem that requires legal expertise to research or consult appropriate resources.”  Solutions suggested included  be public service announcements or even referrals by banks or insurance agents.

I have another idea: LIBRARIES!  Libraries are considered as reliable and trusted sources of information. Both public law libraries and public libraries are sources of the basic legal information and referrals needed for access to justice. The Maryland People’s Law Library and the AACPLL’s FAQs are perfect examples of online information. Both the Maryland State Law Library and the AACPLL are open to the public.

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday (and Tuesday) Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 28, 2017

On Tuesday evening, September 26, three attorneys were available in the Eastport Annapolis-Neck Community Library for the Lawyer in the Library Program to provide free Legal Advice. Carole Brown, John Lynch of McNamee Hosea, and Jerry Williams of Patel and Williams were the Lawyers in the Library. And on Wednesday Paul Farmer of Gormley Jarashow Bowman was the Lawyer in the Law Library.

 

Six people people took part in the program and were able to speak with the attorneys to request assistance with issues such as foreclosure, buying a house, understanding a settlement agreement, and appeal of an arbitration.

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.

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 the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. 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 September 22, 2017

On Wednesday, September 19, 2017, the law library offered three different brief legal advice programs.

crighton_chase_2017_02

Crighton Chase

Crighton Chase of Hillman, Brown and Darrow was the “lawyer in the law library” in the morning at the courthouse.  He was able to help three people with issues such as debt collection, custody (referred by the FLSHC), and discrimination.  One of  the clients was a Japanese speaker and we were able to use the Language Line as mentioned in a  previous post on language services. At the same time, we had the MVLS Foreclosure Brief Advice Clinic via videoconferencing via Google Hangouts.  A client facing a tax sale foreclosure was assisted by Ellyn Riedl, an MVLS staff attorney, who was in her office in Baltimore.

mvls-logoWhile the two programs were going on we got a request from the FLSHC for the ASL laptop so they could better assist a client who was hard of hearing.  I was able to use the service, too, when the client was referred to the library for help in locating examples of separation agreements.

In the evening the program traveled to the Glen Burnie Regional Library. Josh Tabor of the Law Office of Marla Zide with Cliff O’Connor and Katelyn Maloney of Holmes and O’Connor were the volunteer attorneys.  Issues for which help was provided included real estate, estate administration, power of attorney, and guardianship. Towards the end of the program a young woman stuck her head in the door.  She just wanted to say “thank you” for the help she had received before.  A nice way to end a long day of self-help services.

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 the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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Webinars offered by the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center

Posted by johnjeffreyross on September 20, 2017

As part of the Judiciary’s effort to provide more complete public access to justice, the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center is offering instructional Online Classes (Webinars) on the following topics:

  • Filing a Failure to Pay Rent Case?  (Next class will be on September 27, 2017 from 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m.)
  • Facing Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent? (Next class will be on September 27, 2017 from 10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.)
  • Filing for Absolute Divorce in Maryland (Next class will be on October 25, 2017 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.)
  • Filing Your Case in the District Court of Maryland (One hour class is on demand.)

Register for classes here.

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Ask A Lawyer In The Library: Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 18, 2017

Valadez

Mike Valadez

Last Wednesday, Mike Valadez was back as the “Lawyer in the Library.” Mike was able to help five people with issues such as judicial review, arbitration and wills.

The next program date is Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – at both the circuit court and Glen Burnie locations.  More information here

Also on September 20, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, the law library is hosting a monthly foreclosure clinic through the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS).  Registration is not required but suggested.  (Contact the law library for more information @ 410-222-1387 or lawlibrary@aacounty.org) Check out the law library’s foreclosure wiki page for more information.  Take note of the links to the video’s of the Maryland Access to Justice Department on the Foreclosure Process and Foreclosure Mediation.

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 the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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Language Access Services

Posted by Joan Bellistri on September 15, 2017

Thanks to the Access to Justice Department of the Maryland Judiciary, the law library and the entire circuit court is able to provide assistance in many languages including American Sign Language (ASL).

We can assist speakers of just about any language including Hmong, Tagalog, Japanese and Punjabi using the Language Line service as provided by the Judiciary.  We use the service mostly for Spanish and Korean speakers in the law library.  We now have a special two-receiver phone for use with in person customers that allows for more privacy at the counter.  The court’s new phones have made it much easier to use the Language Line for those that call.

collage_language

And, now, we have a special dedicated laptop that will allow us to assist those who are hard of hearing using ASL.  We can dial up an ASL interpreter at the counter whenever needed.  The laptop will also be used in the Family Law Self Help Center.

If an interpreter is needed for a court case, the Court Administrator’s office will be able to see that one is there on the day of court. More information and a link to the request form can be found of the court’s website here.

The Judiciary’s Court Language Services has also created foreign language portals where you can find forms, brochures, and other helpful information about the Maryland Courts in five different languages: Spanish, French, Russian, Korean and Chinese. 

collage_pllThe Maryland People’s Law Library, a legal information and self-help website maintained by the Maryland State Law Library, provides many articles in other languages. Look for the “non-English Help” links in the sidebar and the”translate this” box on the pages that are available in other languages.

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by Joan Bellistri on August 31, 2017

This week, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program was offered in two different locations and at two different times.  On Tuesday evening the program was held at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library starting at 4:30 p.m. in addition to the weekly, Wednesday program held in the law library from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

In Eastport, Jerry Williams and John Bailey assisted six people with issues such as bankruptcy, wills, child support, and zoning infractions.  Richard Ronay was the lawyer for the weekly Wednesday program from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..  He provided assistance with questions about defamation, a foreclosure eviction, contracts and employment.

The next program date is Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in the law library.  

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 the 3rd Wednesday of the month the MVLS Brief Limited Advice Foreclosure Clinic is hosted by the library.  Participants are encouraged to register for the clinic by calling 410-547-6537, but pre-registration is not required. The Ask a Lawyer program is also held monthly in the evening at two Anne Arundel County Public Library locations – at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the  Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

Do you have a question about foreclosure?  The law library is hosting a monthly foreclosure clinic through the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). The next clinic will be held on September 20, 2017 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in the law library. Registration is not required but suggested.  Contact the law library for more information at 410-222-1387 or lawlibrary@aacounty.org.

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Ask a Lawyer In the Library – Wednesday Wrap-Up

Posted by johnjeffreyross on August 24, 2017

paul-farmer-20150826

Paul Farmer

On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Law Library hosted another successful Ask A Lawyer In The Library program. Thank you, Paul Farmer of Gormley Jarashow Bowman, for volunteering and providing this service to the public.  Eight people took part in the program and were able to speak with the attorney to request assistance with issues such as trusts and estates, guardianship, a claim for damages against a local government, deeds, improper liquidation of assets by a family caregiver, an arbitration appeal, foreclosure and powers of attorney. The next program date at the Law Library is Wednesday, August 30, 2017. In addition, the next evening program will be held in Eastport  the day before on Tuesday, August 29.

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 (August until June) 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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