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lawlibrary Pro Bono

Lawyer in the Library: November 2021 Wrap-Up

Steve Migdal and Jack Paltell

This month, attorneys Steve Migdal and Jack Paltell, provided seven hours of brief legal advice to eleven people on issues such as medical record privacy, changing a deed, contracts and consumer complaints.

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.

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 or call 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. 

Contact the library if you have questions: (phone) 410-222-1387 or (email) AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov

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lawlibrary Pro Bono

Lawyer in the Library: October 2021 Wrap-Up

October is Celebrate Pro Bono month. The ABA theme this year is “Moving Forward in a Post-Pandemic World.”  Although the ABA designates a week, October 24 through October 30, Maryland recognizes pro bono throughout the month.

In keeping with the theme, Lawyer in the Library was offered remotely as it has since May of 2020 using Zoom. Four attorneys working from home or office provided more than eight hours of pro bono service to 16 clients.

Many thanks to Jack Paltell, Steve Migdal (AABA Pro Bono Award recipient), Leonard Englander and Carole Brown for their time this month.

Issues this month included estates and wills; landlord and tenant; debt; and employment. The law library supports the work of the program attorneys by sending background information to program participants and the attorney. Most often links to information found on the law library FAQ page are sent. The landlord\tenant page and the wills and estates page are good examples.

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.

Register online here or call 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. 

Contact the library if you have questions: (phone) 410-222-1387 or (email) AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov

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lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono: Anne Arundel Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Award 2021

The Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee celebrated Pro Bono on October 13, 2021 with a virtual recognition event. In the past recognition events included an annual luncheon and the Inn of Court and Bar’s Joint dinner. This year the luncheon was virtual but still members of the Committee, bar and bench gathered on Zoom to see Steven R. Migdal receive the award from AABA President John Doud.

The AABA President’s Pro Bono Award recognizes an outstanding attorney who contributes to the community by providing pro bono service.  John Doud presented the award to Steve Migdal saying that without Steve Migdal, the Lawyer in the Library program may have ceased to exist. Steve signed up for more hours than anyone and was still always ready to step in at the last minute to fill in when an attorney was needed. Steve provided 28.75 hours of service – 40% of all program hours in FY21 and helped 61 people or half of all assisted by the program. You could almost say that the remote program has become the Steve Migdal in the Library Program. With so many facing new legal problems in a very difficult time, the availability of an attorney to provide legal advice was much appreciated by all.

Steve accepted the award and said that he certainly did not volunteer for the award as he did not even know about it but for the same reasons that he became an attorney. He wanted something challenging and he wanted to help people and he enjoys it. Steve said that during this time of COVID, volunteering for the Lawyer in the Library Program let me connect with people in a meaningful way. Whether providing legal advice, practical advice or just a sympathetic ear to someone who is overwhelmed, the real reward is the joy of social responsibility using my abilities to serve the community.

See the video here.

The Lawyer in the Library Program is a limited legal advice program held weekly every Wednesday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and monthly on the third Wednesday from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  The program is a joint effort of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, the Anne Arundel County Public Library, and the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Committee.  The program is sponsored by the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Lawyer in the (virtual) Library

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.”

Joe Gormley, the Lawyer in the Library, with librarian, Joan Bellistri, on Skype.

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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lawlibrary

Law Library Service Available Remotely

Even though the courts are essentially closed, the law library is providing legal research assistance remotely. You can reach us at our regular number: 410-222-1387 or by email: AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov.

The Lawyer in the Library programs have been suspended for now. The programs scheduled in the Anne Arundel County Public Library branches are cancelled at least through May 2.

With the Family Law Self-Help Center closed, help can be found at the remote Maryland Court Self-Help Center by phone, 410-260-1392, or live chat, https://mdcourts.gov/selfhelp/mcshc, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am – 8:00 pm.

Hope that all will be back to normal on April 6, but check the court’s website for updated information concerning the opening of the court and availability of services: http://circuitcourt.org/

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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.