COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES OF PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, INC. (CLS)
By Nora C. Eidelman, Deputy Director
REMINDER: Pro Bono Report and the IOLTA Report are due February 15.
Attorneys must report their Pro Bono and IOLTA reports by February 15 and can file the reports online at http://mdcourts.gov/probono/probonoioltareporting.html. Once you complete the reporting, attorneys can donate to legal services including CLS. Please consider donating to CLS, your funds will be used to continue our mission of assisting residents of Prince George's County with their civil legal needs.
Recent Success Story: Saving a Client's Home from Foreclosure
Prince George’s County remains the county with the highest rate of home foreclosures in the State of Maryland. Since 2008, CLS has provided foreclosure legal services that has saved many of the homes in our County from foreclosure. Many residents go through financial hardships caused by circumstances beyond their control. As was the case with our client Jane Doe, a single mother forced to quit her job during a difficult pregnancy due to a lack of sick leave. She applied for CLS's service with two months left in her pregnancy and the possible loss of her home due to her mortgage default. CLS counseled her on the foreclosure process and timeline. CLS's staff attorney discussed five different strategies to pursue simultaneously (a savings plan, a job plan, a modification plan, a Circuit Court plan and a Bankruptcy plan) to hedge the outcome. She worked closely with CLS's staff, and was placed with a Pro Bono attorney for her foreclosure mediation. During that time, she safely delivered and was able to return to work. Shortly before the holidays, the client's loan modification was approved. Based on CLS's staff and Pro Bono attorney's negotiations, the additional time given to the client allowed her the opportunity to demonstrate the necessary income to modify her loan and keep her home. The client is still in her home raising her newborn son. She is expected to have stable housing and an affordable mortgage for years to come. Attorneys can volunteer in our foreclosure program to help similarly situated clients through the foreclosure process.
FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR REPRESENTATION IN FORECLOSURE MEDIATION
CLS has funding or attorneys representing clients with mediation in Prince George’s County foreclosure cases. The funding provides attorneys $80.00 an hour up to ten hours for representation. Funds cover foreclosure mediation including mediation preparation, representation at mediation, and negotiations. As clients schedule mediation, CLS will contact attorneys in our foreclosure volunteer pool. If you are interested in being added to our foreclosure volunteer attorney pool or require additional information, please contact Michael Udejiofor at 240-391-6532, ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Training, mentoring, malpractice insurance is provided. Funding is available from a generous grant provided by Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC).
Wills for Heroes- February 24, 2018 CLS is proud to sponsor another Wills for Heroes Foundation event. The Wills for Heroes Foundation is a national non-profit organization that provides free wills, advance directives and powers of attorney to first responders, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, corrections and probation officers. More information on the Wills for Heroes Foundation is available at: www.willsforheroes.org.
Volunteer attorneys and notaries are invited to participate in the next Wills for Heroes event to benefit the Prince George’s County Fire Department on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at 16701 Melford Blvd., Suite 124, Bowie, MD 20715. Volunteers will receive training from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and then will see clients for one (1) hour appointments starting at 11:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. No experience in trusts and estates law is required to participate. Malpractice coverage for this event is available to all members in good standing of the Maryland bar through Community Legal Services. To volunteer or to learn more about the program, contact Maryland Wills for Heroes coordinator Bill Kiniry at email@example.com. See you there!
Please mark your calendars for the next 2 CLS Monthly Family Law Clinic for Practitioners:
February 13, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. our guest speaker is Daniel Renart, Esq. from Reinstein, Glackin, & Herriott, LLC. His presentation will focus on best practices and tips for family law practitioners practicing in Prince George's and surrounding counties.
March 13, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Guest Speaker to be announced shortly.
The Monthly Family Law Clinic for Practitioners is a monthly series of guest speakers providing tips and guidance for CLS volunteer attorneys and held at our main CLS office located at 6301 Ivy Lane, Suite 720, Greenbelt, MD 20770. Dinner and refreshments will be provided. To RSVP or for additional information, please contact Jessica Quincosa to register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domestic Violence Legal Wellness Program (DVLWP)
We began our DVLWP this past December to deliver civil legal services to survivors of domestic violence in our County. Our approach is to provide holistic legal services for survivors fleeing violence including brief advice, direct representation and/or referrals based on the survivor's needs. You can refer potential clients to our domestic violence staff attorney at 240-391-6370, ext. 9.
CIVIL CASES AVAILABLE FOR ATTORNEYS AND OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Through our Lawyer Referral Program, we refer income eligible clients to attorneys for representation in their domestic cases. Judicare funding pays the attorneys’ fees. Attorneys receive $80.00 per hour for the first 20 hours/$1,600.00 per case. The next 5 hours on a case, will count as pro bono hours. After the five pro bono hours, CLS may pay for up to an additional 15 hours at the rate of $80.00 per hour from Judicare Supplemental Funds, until funds are depleted. Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) provides the funding for our Judicare program. For more information about MSLC and the Judicare program, please visit https://www.mlsc.org/
CLS's domestic violence program places protective order and peace order petitioners and respondents with attorneys. Limited funding is available for attorneys providing representation in these cases.
CLS encourages attorneys to take pro bono cases. CLS has requests for landlord tenant, wills as well as other civil legal cases. CLS can place cases with attorneys based on the attorney's preferred case type.
CLS also has volunteer opportunities at our Brief Advice clinics. Expand and grow your practice by volunteering around your schedule.
CLS clients have limited means but have real legal issues that require representation. Help CLS bridge the Access to Justice Gap by taking Judicare or Pro bono cases. CLS provides our volunteer attorneys training, mentoring, access to a litigation fund, monthly practitioner's clinics, and malpractice insurance. To learn more about our opportunities, please contact Nora C. Eidelman, at 240-391-6532, ext. 5.
Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. (CLS) is a non-profit organization established to provide quality civil legal services to low-income residents of Prince George’s County. CLS provides direct legal services through the generous contributions by members of the private bar. Additionally, CLS operates free Brief Advice Clinics throughout the County, including in the Prince George's County Circuit Court, Room 2435 M, the Prince George’s County Multi-Services Center in Langley Park and in Suitland’s Windsor Crossings Apartments. For referrals of low-income residents of Prince George’s County to CLS programs, our hotline is 240-391-6370. Intake is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Online applications are available at www.clspgc.org. For more information about our services, please contact Nora C. Eidelman, at 240-391-6532, ext. 5.