The Law Library hosted the 7th Annual Pro Bono Recognition Lunch on Thursday, March 8, 2018. This event recognizes and celebrates the attorneys who provide pro bono legal service in Anne Arundel County. Joan Bellistri, Law Librarian and Liaison, Court of Appeals’ Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and the Hon. Ronald Silkworth, Circuit Court Judicial member of the Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee, provided opening introductions. Judge Silkworth emphasized the importance of pro bono and or reporting the hours each year. Joan Bellistri mentioned that the Local Pro Bono Committee has an “APP” or Pro Bono Hours Tracker to help attorneys keep track of their pro bono work. Administrative Judge, Hon. Laura Kiessling, thanked the volunteers for their service and introduced special guest, Judge Clayton Greene, Jr. of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Judge Greene’s remarks were thought provoking as he addressed the need for legal representation for those who cannot afford it and thanked those pro bono attorneys in attendance for their service.
Those being honored included Court Facilitators and attorney volunteers from the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, the Law Library’s Ask a Lawyer in the Library program and Foreclosure Clinic and the annual Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day.
Check out our Program 2018 to see the full list of volunteer attorneys and facilitators.
We had a great turnout for the event, and we would like to thank the following judges and magistrates from the Court of Appeals, Court of Special Appeals and the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County for joining us.
- Hon. Clayton Greene, Jr.
- Hon. Timothy E. Meredith
- Hon. Laura S. Kiessling
- Hon. Alison L. Asti
- Hon. Mark Crooks
- Hon. Glenn L. Klavans
- Hon. Stacy W. McCormack
- Hon. William C Mulford, II
- Hon. Ronald A. Silkworth
- Hon. Michael Wachs
- Hon. Cathleen M. Vitale
- Hon. Sandra F. Howell
- Hon. Charles J. Muskin
- Hon. Timothy P. Thurtle
Attendees were honored, too, having AABA President, Steve Wrobel and AABA Executive Director, Fran Czjaka representing the bar association. Also, we would like to thank Nancy Faulkner from Court Administration; and Kim Klein, Liz Stephens and Sarah Adams from Case Management for attending the Recognition Lunch. It was great to see Bonnie Sullivan, Susan Francis and Amy Hennen from Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. MVLS’ support of Anne Arundel County programs is much appreciated as well as the great photos that Bonnie took of the event.. Special recognition and thanks must also be given to the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the James C. Cawood Inns of Court for funding the lunch provided by Main and Market.
Last, but not least, thank you to the Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee for its leadership in providing pro bono service to Anne Arundel County! Chair, Tasnima Apol, Joan Bellistri, Anita Bailey, Nancy Faulkner, Kim Klein, Lisa Sarro,and Hon. Ronald Silkworth, all members of the committee, were present at the event.
On October 14, 2017 the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee partnered with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Rho Eta Zeta Chapter and the Anne Arundel County NAACP for a Free Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic at the Boys and Girls Club at Freetown Village. Ginina Stevenson coordinated the event and also provided legal assistance. Other pro bono attorneys included Margaret Leonard, Amber Perrelli, Anita Bailey and Lisa Sarro, all of Legal Aid; Nickola Sybblis; and Shawn Gaither of the Public Defender’s Office.
Thirteen people were helped with legal issues including expungement (the #1 question), family law, criminal and housing. It was a bit challenging once it was discovered that the Maryland Judiciary’s Casesearch was out for the weekend making it so attorneys could not review criminal records online. Legal Aid was able to provide intake so that the cases could be reviewed later in the office and the clients advised then.