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lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono Self Represented

Lawyer in the Library: Wrap-Up for December 2021

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 law library provides information to those that sign-up to speak to the attorney so that are better prepared for their session. Examples of FAQs that can be sent include the Wills and Estates FAQ and the Deeds FAQ. The People’s Law Library of Maryland is another good source of information for those seeking help with a legal problem. This month we sent links to Unemployment Benefits – Appealing a Denial, Problems with Neighbors FAQ and Solving Disputes with Neighbors. This information sent is also shared with the attorney so that they are aware of resources and referrals.

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. 

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: 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 Self Represented

Where to Find Legal Information on Neighbor Law (and Related Topics)

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.

Westlaw search results for query "adv: (fence! boundar! tree harass! noise) & dispute!" filtered to "Secondary Sources," showing more than 10,000 results.
Figure 1: Westlaw search results showing sources on neighbor law

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:

On Lexis Advance:

On Westlaw:

Possible further reading:

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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

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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Holiday lawlibrary

Ask A Lawyer in the Library cancelled on 12/5/2018

The Ask a Lawyer in the Library program will not be held December 5, 2018 because the Circuit Court (and the law library) will be closed on Wednesday, December 5, in recognition of the national day of mourning. The court will reopen on Thursday, December 6. Read more here.

The Ask a Lawyer in the Library will resume next Wednesday, December 12, which will be the last program before the holiday break.

 

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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.