Pro Bono Group

SECOND ANNUAL VETERANS' LEGAL ASSISTANCE CONFERENCE

Date: 
Thu, 04/01/2010 - 8:30am - 5:00pm

The Homeless Persons Representation Project, The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, The University of Maryland School of Law -Leadership in Public Service Program and The Military Law Committee of the Maryland State Bar proudly present:

SECOND ANNUAL VETERANS' LEGAL ASSISTANCE CONFERENCE April 1, 2010 8:30 am - 5 pm University of Maryland School of Law 500 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, MD 21201

This conference is designed for lawyers, law students, policy makers and other service professionals interested in veterans' issues, will examine the current state of legal and ancillary services for veterans and will contain a training for attorneys in representing homeless veterans in claims for service-connected disability.

This is a free conference / training opportunity. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. For more information and to register please send an email to Danyell Cox dcox@probonomd.org or call the PBRC office at 410-837-9379.

Location
Location Name: 
University of Maryland School of Law
Address1: 
500 W. Fayette Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Danyell Cox, dcox@probonomd.org, or call the PBRC office at 410-837-9379
Sponsor: 
The Homeless Persons Representation Project, The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, The University of Maryland School of Law -Leadership in Public Service Program and The Military Law Committee of the Maryland State Bar
AttachmentSize
vetbenefits_infoflyer_0329.pdf113.93 KB

Telebriefing Invitation: The Human Right to Health Care

Date: 
Wed, 03/31/2010 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Health care is a hot topic in public discourse and a top priority for our policymakers. However, missing from most of the debates has been the fact that a majority of the American public consider health care a human right. What would and should real reform look like if this principle guided policy? And how would that affect health care policy and people’s lives in areas like maternal health? 

Join The Opportunity Agenda and the U.S. Human Rights Network for a discussion of the human right to health care. Speakers will analyze health reform legislation, maternal health issues, and public opinion. 

This presentation will include speakers from the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, Amnesty International, and The Opportunity Agenda.

To receive call-in information, please RSVP at partners@opportunityagenda.org by Monday, March 29.

Location
Location Name: 
Telephone conference call
Contact
Name: 
partners@opportunityagenda.org
Sponsor: 
The Opportunity Agenda and the U.S. Human Rights Network

Access to Justice Listening Events

Date: 
Tue, 03/23/2010 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The Maryland Judiciary recently created the Maryland Access to Justice Commission to make and implement recommendations to expand access to the state’s civil justice system. The Commission hopes to enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for persons who encounter barriers when dealing with the courts or trying to solve a legal problem.

The Maryland Access to Justice Commission brings together leaders and stakeholders from the Maryland Judiciary its many justice system partners, including members of the legal services delivery system, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Executive and Legislative Branches, and the Governor’s Office.  The commission also seeks to create a meaningful voice for the public whose interest the commission serves.

The commission will focus on several key areas in making and implementing recommendations to enhance access to justice for all:

  • Enhancing the safety, accessibility and convenience of the courts and justice system for all. [Safety, Accessibility and Convenience Committee]
  • Supporting the legal services delivery system. [Access & Delivery of Legal Services Committee]
  • Assisting self-represented litigants. [SRL Committee].
  • Addressing critical barriers to justice for those with language, literacy, and cultural differences. [Critical Barriers Committee]
  • Promoting public information about the civil justice system. [Public Information Committee].
  • Articulating what access to justice for all should mean in Maryland and identifying ways to measure the impact of the commission’s work. [Definitions & Standards Committee].

The commission began its work by hosting a statewide Forum on Access to Justice on October 20, 2008.  To be a successful initiative, the Maryland Access to Justice Commission must provide a meaningful role for input from a broad range of Marylanders.

The Commission will be holding a series of regional listening events. Over 400 advocacy and service organizations and their clients have been invited to come and speak with members of the Commission and its several committees about their experience with the civil justice system. The events are open to the public.  See attached flyer for dates.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=uYxsGJmiYfLJ8jmUTLbULg_3d_3d

All individuals are welcome to submit written testimony to the Commission.  Get instructions and submit comments here: http://www.mdcourts.gov/mdatjc/regionalevents.html.

Location
Location Name: 
Our Daily Bread
Address1: 
725 Fallsway
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21202
Contact
Name: 
Pamela Cardullo Ortiz
Phone: 
410-260-1258
Sponsor: 
The Maryland Judiciary
AttachmentSize
Access to Justice Listening Event flyer.pdf122.89 KB
Access to Justice Listening Event flyer - Spanish.pdf103.83 KB
Directions to Our Daily Bread.pdf50.82 KB
Access to Justice Instructions on Written Statements.pdf31.83 KB

Hospital Debt Collection information

A memo that Louise Carwell circulated last year on the new law regulating hospital debt collections. Another bill which will add additional protections for consumers faced with hospital bill collections looks like it is going to pass during this legislative session.

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Hospital Debt Collection.doc34 KB

MDLC: Advanced Film Screening of "Healing Neen"

Date: 
Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

The Maryland Disability Law Center invites you to a special advance screening of our latest documentary, Healing Neen, Monday, March 22 at The Charles Theater in Baltimore, MD, 6-8pm. The film chronicles the amazing recovery from trauma and addiction of one of the women profiled in our award-winning 2007 short-documentary, Behind Closed Doors.

Synopsis: After surviving a childhood of abuse and neglect, Tonier “Neen” Cain lived on the streets for two nightmarish decades, where she endured unrelenting violence, hunger and despair while racking up 66 criminal convictions related to her addiction. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, an innovative Maryland trauma, mental health and addictions program---Tamar’s Children—offered her a way out . . . and up.

We hope that you can join us to celebrate Tonier and the amazing work that all of you are doing to make a difference in people’s lives!

Tickets may be purchased for $9 at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/102195

Or go to our website, www.mdlclaw.org under Latest News, in upper right corner, click on “Advance Screening of MDLC’s Healing Neen on March 22.”

Advance Purchase is Required! 

Please forward to anyone who is interested in issues related to trauma, child abuse, mental health, addictions and criminal justice.

Location
Location Name: 
The Charles Theater
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Sponsor: 
Maryland Disability Law Center

MACRO: What You Need to Know About Culture: Its Impact on Communication, Negotiation and Mediation

Date: 
Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Free Judiciary Program Focuses on Multi-Cultural Mediation

The Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) will host a free program about negotiating and resolving conflicts in today’s multi-cultural society. The program will be held Monday, March 22, 6:30-9 p.m., at the University of Baltimore Student Center and Performing Arts Theater, 5th floor, 21 West Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore.

The event, “What You Need to Know About Culture: Its Impact on Communication, Negotiation and Mediation,” is part of MACRO’s “An Evening With” series, featuring national leaders in mediation and conflict resolution. The speaker for the evening is Nina Meierding, M.S., J.D., who has been providing training and mediation services throughout the United States and abroad for more than 25 years. She has consulted and trained many groups, including court systems, corporations, medical centers, government agencies, small and large businesses, and individuals in the areas of conflict resolution, cross-cultural and gender issues, and negotiation skills.

The “An Evening With” series is geared toward alternative dispute resolution professionals, but is open to the public. MACRO is hosting the series with the Negotiations and Conflict Management Program at the University of Baltimore.

The program is free. No reservations are required. Discounted parking vouchers will be given to the first 55 participants who sign in at the event. For more information, visit www.mdcourts.gov/macro.

Location
Location Name: 
University of Baltimore Student Center and Performing Arts Theater
Address1: 
5th floor, 21 West Mount Royal Ave.
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Sponsor: 
Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office

2009 Cruz vs. Silva

Cruz v. Silva, 189 Md.App. 196, 984 A.2d 295 (2009)

 

This CSA case deals with a complaint for absolute divorce and alimony.  The Circuit Court didn’t grant the divorce because there was no corroborating evidence of the grounds (adultery and abandonment).  The Circuit Court granted alimony to Wife.  Husband appealed.  The CSA held that:  (1) though a spouse could be awarded alimony in Maryland when a divorce was not granted, a solid basis for divorce in favor of the alimony recipient nonetheless had to be proved;

(2) wife was not entitled to an award of alimony, when she did not prove that she would have been entitled to a divorce decree in her favor; and (3) vacation of alimony award necessitated vacation of child support award.  Vacated and remanded.

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Cruz v Silva.pdf93.72 KB

How to use Citrix GoToMeetings for Task Force Meetings and Trainings

In order to facilitate access to the various Task Force meetings of the Legal Aid Bureau, you can go to Links, and, if you are a member of a Task Force, you will find the link to that Task Force's GoToMeeting information.In addition, I recently added the link to each Task Force GoToMeeting page to the calendar item for each Task Force on the website.  Clicking on the name of the calendar item will take you to that calendar item page, show you the link to the GoToMeeting page for the Task Force, and there you will find the GoToMeeting link.  Click on thatlink and it will take you to the GoToMeeting website, where a small popup window will appear to ask you to download the GoToMeeting application. Say yes.  That will take a minute or two.  Then you will be asked for your name and email address - please let other folks know who you are and how to reach you.  If this does not work the first time you try it, click on the GoToMeeting link again.

Once you enter your name and email address, a panel (see picture at right)GoToMeeting panel and a GoToMeeting window appear on your desktop.  The panel will show the conference line number and access code that you will need to call, as well as the audio PIN requested, when you log onto the GoToMeeting online.  The window is where you will see what the Task Force is looking at on the computer used at the meeting, if they choose to use it.  

If you want folks online to see the materials discussed during the meeting, please email those materials to the chair before the meeting.  The Task Force may want to collaborate on making changes to brochures, pleadings and other documents during meetings, refer to or explore new online websites during the meeting, or show PowerPoint or video presentations during the meeting. This window is where you can see what the in-person attendees are seeing.

So remember, find the GoToMeeting link to connect to the online window, and call the conference number listed to participate in the discussion during the meeting.  

If anyone has any trouble connecting to the meeting, please call Katherine Jones at 443-604-4729 - that's my cell phone, and I don't use it to connect to the meeting conference line, so you can reach me there if there are problems. 

To schedule GoToMeeting, contact ITHelp@mdlab.org.  You need to give ITHelp a title for the meeting, and the date and time of the meeting. 

You will also need to ask for any equipment you need.  Sometimes the meeting is between people from different offices, and no one needs any special equipment, they all just join the link and the phone call.  But if you are having a meeting from a centralized place, you need to make sure you have access to a computer at that meeting place.  Every office has a laptop, laptops travel, so you can bring your office laptop to the meeting place.  If you do not want to bring a laptop to the meeting place, you will need to request that a laptop be provided.  You may need to request that from the office where the meeting will be held.  In Baltimore City, make your request to ITHelp. 

You may also need a projector, so people in your meeting can see what you are sharing with people online.  Request a projector from IThelp.  If your meeting is in Baltimore City, let ITHelp know where to set up the projector, and whether you will be using your office laptop, or the one you requested from ITHelp.  If your meeting is not in Baltimore City, you will need to make arrangements to go to Baltimore City to pick up the projector, and then to return it.  It helps to find out who is traveling to the meeting from Baltimore City to do this, but make sure you make that arrangement.  ITHelp will not be doing that part.  We do not know who may be attending the meeting, you do. 

If your meeting is not in Baltimore City, you will also need to set the projector and the laptop up yourself, and connect to the internet and to the Legal Aid network if you will be trying to use Practice Manager, to access your home drivce, or to access your email.  You may want to spend some time learning how to do that well in advance of the meeting, and then you may also want to get to your meeting early so you can get everything set up and ready to go for your participants. 

I can teach you how to start the GoToMeeting, and how to make it work during the meeting.  Reach me at ITHelp@mdlab.org.

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GoToMeeting_User_Guide.doc3.84 MB

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Listed below are answers to questions about us and our web site. If you have a question not answered below, please Contact Us.

Why can’t I log on?

I may not have approved your account yet.  I usually approve people very quickly, unless they have not sent the information requested in the email sent in response to the request for an account.  Please tell us your name, where you work, and why you are interested in joining.  Please tell us whether your practice has any potential for conflicts with legal services clients.

The most common reason people have trouble logging in is because they have forgotten that their user name is always their first and last names with a space between the two.  Example: Bob Jones.

The password I send is a one-time use password.  Once you use it, I believe you are taken to your account on the website.  If not, look for the Tools Box on the right side of the website, and click on My Account in there.  Under your name you will see several tabs.  Click on the Edit tab.  Scroll down to the Password and Confirm Password field.  Enter a new password you can remember, but please use a secure password.  Though a password strength advisor pops up as you enter a password, the website allows you to use any password you want.  Once you have entered a password, scroll down to the Signature Settings.  Enter your name, followed by the program or firm you work for, or some title that tells us something about your interest in the website, like lawyer, attorney, paralegal, legal assistant, etc.  Finally scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen to Save your changes.

If you have forgotten your password, click on the New Password link under the log in fields on the front page of the website.  The website will ask for your email address, use the one you use for the website.  You will be emailed a link to the website, not a new password.  The link takes you to a page with a login button.  The button takes you to your account, where you should click on the Edit tab to enter a new password, re-enter it in the field below the first password field, and then scroll to the bottom of your account page and Save the change you just made.  

If you are still having problems, send a request through Contact Us or Feedback.

How do I get emails when new content is posted?

Our Task Force Groups work like a list serve, for the convenience of the attorneys.  Whenever new content is posted to the website for a Task Force Group, each member can get an email showing that content.  When each member account is created, the account is set, by default, to receive notifications of new content immediately when the content is posted.  But each member can change notification settings. 

To make that change, go to the Tools box on the right side of the website.  Look for "My Account" there and click on it.  You will be taken to your account page.  Look for the "Notifications" tab.  Under the tab, there are three "buttons."  Click on the "Subscriptions" button.  You should see a list of the task forces from which you are receiving emails notifications about new content.  Click the check boxes next to the content type and task force that you would like to change.  Under "Update options," select what type of change you want to apply to the content you have marked.  Then be sure to click the "Update" button next to the change you are making.

If you are going to be on an extended vacation, first of all, have fun while you are gone!  But please, before you leave, also come into the website to change your subscriptions to deactivate them if you use an out-of-office or away message with your email application.  All those messages come to the webmaster and it is slightly annoying.

How do I post content on the website?

Go to this page for details: http://www.mdjustice.org/HowToUpload.  Also see instructions about Pasting from Word at http://mdjustice.org/node/3970.

Can I copy and paste news articles onto MDJustice?  What about training materials I collect?

Here are two places for some guidance: 

http://groundwire.org/resources/articles/fair-use

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

In order to avoid issues for the website and for the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, we request that you link to any news articles you would like to share, rather than just copying and pasting them into the text box of a forum post.  It is also nice to have a summary of why you think the article is worth sharing.  For other materials, make sure to obtain permission from the authors for any other types of materials shared on MDJustice from trainings you attend, and attribute them as appropriate given the permission you receive. 

Of course, if it is material you prepared post away, and thank you for sharing! 

I am getting way too many emails from this website; why is that, and how do I change it? 

Our Task Force Groups work like a list serve, for the convenience of the attorneys.  Whenever new content is posted to the website for a Task Force Group, each member can get an email showing that content.  When each member account is created, the account is set, by default, to receive notifications of new content immediately when the content is posted.  But each member can change notification settings. 

To make that change, go to the Tools box on the right side of the website.  Look for "My Account" there and click on it.  You will be taken to your account page.  Look for the "Notifications" tab.  Under the tab, there are three "buttons."  Click on the "Subscriptions" button.  You should see a list of the task forces from which you are receiving emails notifications about new content.  Click the check boxes next to the content type and task force that you would like to change.  Under "Update options," select what type of change you want to apply to the content you have marked.  Then be sure to click the "Update" button next to the change you are making.

If you are going to be on an extended vacation, first of all, have fun while you are gone!  But please, before you leave, also come into the website to change your subscriptions to deactivate them if you use an out-of-office or away message with your email application.  All those messages come to the webmaster and it is slightly annoying.

Who is MD Justice?

MDJustice is a statewide advocate website funded by the Legal Services Corporation, the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, and the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., to provide resources to attorneys who are assisting litigants in Maryland courts who cannot afford an attorney.  The website is managed by staff of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.  Our goal is to leverage the experience and knowledge of all of the attorneys in the state toward assisting low income litigants achieve their goals in Maryland Courts.

I am an attorney working for the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., but I cannot seem to access all of the content on the website, what do I do?

All staff of Legal Aid are automatically assigned to all Task Force Groups so that they have access to all of the Knowledge and experience of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., staff and resources.  If you cannot access something on the website, use the Contact Us link to alert the Webmaster about your problem.

But I don't really need all of the materials of every Task Force, do I?

Think expansively.  There may be pleadings or resources associated with a particular Task Force that may address a problem for your particular client.  We want you to have access to that information immediately, without having to wait for approval to be a member of the Task Force where the document or resource can be found.   

I am an attorney with a nonprofit law firm, or other nonprofit organization.  What do I do?

First, file your application at http://www.mdjustice.org/node/2001.  The application asks for your name, where you work, and why you are interested in joining.  Please tell us whether your practice has any potential for conflicts with legal services clients. 

Once your application has been approved, return to the website, log in with your new screen name and password, change the password you were given to one you can remember, and then click on the Groups tab in the menu bar.  The Groups are Task Force groups run by the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.  They are private Groups, not for the general public.  The moderator of the group you request to join will process your request as soon as possible.

I am a private attorney, but I would like to use your resources.  What do I do?

First, file your application at http://www.mdjustice.org/node/2001.  The application asks for your name, where you work, and why you are interested in joining.  Please tell us what pro bono work you have done recently and whether your practice has any potential for conflicts with legal services clients.  The moderator of the group you request to join will procees your request as soon as possible.

Once your application has been approved, return to the website, log in with your new screen name and password, change the password you were given to one you can remember, and then click on the Groups tab in the menu bar.  The Groups are Task Force groups run by the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.  They are private Groups, not for the general public.  The moderator of the group you request to join will process your request as soon as possible. 

What if my membership to a Task Force Group is not approved?

Attorneys and paralegals will always be approved to join the General Pro Bono Task Force, as well as the Maryland Advocacy Institute.  As a result, you will have access to all of the content on the website that would not put the advocates of nonprofit organizations at risk of divulging work product for their cases.  This will include a wide range of pleadings, and other resource materials.  If you are looking for something in particular, post a question on the General Pro Bono forum, and attorneys from across the state will help you with your request.

I would really like to see a Task Force about ...

Post your request via the Contact Us link you will find on most pages.  If you are willing to moderate the Group, we can create a group to suit your needs.  The Webmaster will be in touch with you.

What's RSS, and what is a Feed Aggregator? 

I got this from the HHS website.  I am sure you also can find more explanations by searching Google.  

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an easy way to keep up with your favorite news and information. An RSS feed contains headlines, summaries and links to full news stories. If you click an RSS link, you will see XML (or eXtensible Markup Language) code in your browser. This is to be expected, since you do not view RSS content through a browser. You view the headlines through an RSS news reader (also called an RSS aggregator).  

RSS news readers are software programs or web applications that aggregate RSS feeds and display the information. They allow you to scan headlines from hundreds of news sources in a central location.  While you can probably get your own RSS reader, and some are built into web browsers, the Feed Aggregator on this website is such a reader.  If there is a feed related to legal services issues you would like to see added to the Feed Aggregator, let me know and we'll probably add it.

I am no longer working with the nonprofit legal services program I was working at when I joined the website, what should I do?

We appreciate the contributions of all advocates willing to help us provide services to clients, where you work is not that important to us, and every contribution you make on this website should be counted toward your obligation to provide pro bono services as a Maryland Attorney.  So please stay, and please continue to share your advice and resources.  But you do, probably need to change your email so it does not bounce back and flood the webmaster's email.  You should also check your Notifications to change them in case you do not want to continue to receive those emails as often as you originally scheduled to receive them. 

To make these changes, go to My Account in the Tools Box on the right side of the website.  Under Edit on your My Account page change your email address from the one you were assigned by your former employer.  Then go to the Notifications Tab to make changes to the intervals in which you receive emails from your Task Force memberships.  Finally, go to the Tools box again to click on Groups.  That gets you to a page where you will find a My Groups tab where you can edit your membership for each Task Force. 

I cannot open a PowerPoint attachment

http://www.mdjustice.org/node/2284#comment-482

This may be because you have PowerPoint 2003 installed on your computer, and the document was created using a newer version of PowerPoint.  If the website makes you save the document, rather than just opening it, that's why.  Go ahead and save it somewhere on your computer that you can find it.  The file you download will be a compressed or zipped file.  That's fine, don't extract the files, and don't double click to try to open the files.  That's how MS PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 files look.  To open the PowerPoint, find the zipped file listed in an explorer window or on your desktop, or in your list in My Documents, wherever you put it when you saved it.  Right click on the zipped file, NOT on the files inside the zipped file.  Select Open With.  If PowerPoint is one of your options select that.  If PowerPoint is not one of your options, select Choose Program, and find PowerPoint in the list that appears. 

If that does not work, I can upload a 2003 version, just email kjones@mdlab.org with the page on which the PowerPoint is located.

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