PRO BONO GROUP

Director of Advocacy for Training and Pro Bono: Amy Petkovsek
Moderator: Bobbie Steyer

Pro Bono Group

Tax Controversy Training for Attorneys

Date: 
Fri, 06/05/2015 - 9:00am - 1:00pm

The course will be taught by experienced tax attorneys, Gerald Kelly and Cheri Wendt-Taczak; IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate, James Leith; and Assistant Manager-Hearings and Appeals, Comptroller of Maryland, Jay Maschas. While the training will cover handling tax cases generally, the focus of this session will be on the mechanics of advocating for the taxpayer who is battling with tax collection issues.

 

There is no fee to attend but each participant will be asked to accept one tax controversy case over the next year. See www.mvlslaw.org/litcfy15 to register online.

Location
Location Name: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
Address1: 
201 N Charles Street
Address2: 
Suite 1400
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Cheri Wendt-Taczak
Phone: 
443-451-4061
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
AttachmentSize
Registration form - Tax Controversy Training 20150605.pdf175.25 KB

Celebrate Pro Bono

Date: 
Tue, 10/20/2015 - 6:00pm

Volunteer Awards Ceremony jointly sponsored by MVLS and Leadership in Public Service, University of Maryland Carey School of Law and Maryland Public Interest Law Project

Location
Location Name: 
Westminster Hall
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Stephanie Austin
Phone: 
443-451-4065
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and UMD Carey School of Law

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 04-14

Here’s the latest on legislation related to family law (as of 6:43 PM on 4/14/15).  A lot has happened:

Child support

Child support – adjusted actual income – multifamily adjustment (HB 163).  Provides an adjustment for child support payors who have children living in their homes.  Passed the House, awaiting action by the Senate.

Divorce

Family law – grounds for limited divorce (HB 165).  Changes grounds for limited divorce FL 7-102(a)(4) to remove the word “voluntary.”  Passed the House and the Senate, returned passed.

FL – application for divorce – residency requirement (HB 1185).  Changes the residency requirement from 1 year to 6 months.  Passed House and Senate, returned passed.

FL – grounds for divorce – mutual consent (SB 472).  Adds to FL 7-103(a) an 8th ground for absolute divorce – mutual consent, if the parties have no children, have a written separation agreement that resolves alimony and property, and if both parties show up for the uncontested hearing.  Passed Senate, passed House with amendments, Senate concurred, passed enrolled.

DV

DV – 2-year protective order (HB 224/SB 315).  Authorizes a judge to extend a protective order for a 2nd year if the respondent consents.  Passed House and Senate, returned passed.

DV – additional relief (HB 225/SB 269).  Authorizes a judge to award “any other relief necessary” in a final protective order.  Passed House, passed Senate with amendments, House accepted amendments, passed enrolled.

FL – DV – definition of abuse (HB 227). Would have added harassment, trespass, or malicious destruction of property, as defined by the criminal code, to the acts that are defined as abuse.  Unfavorable report in House.

DV – Permanent protective orders – conspiracy or solicitation to murder (HB 263).  Passed house, favorable report in Senate.

Protective order and peace order petitions – Maryland residents (HB 390/SB 270).  Provides that a petitioner has grounds for peace or protective order if the act occurred in MD or if the petitioner is a resident of MD, also adds a lot of language about full faith and credit afforded to POs granted by other states.  Passed House, passed Senate with amendments, House concurred with Senate amendments, passed enrolled.

DV – persons eligible for relief (HB 606/SB 477).  Adds as person eligible for relief a person who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent within 1 year prior to the filing of the petition.  Passed Senate, passed House with amendments, Senate concurred, passed enrolled.

FL – protective orders – additional relief (HB 807/SB 277).  In a final protective order, authorizes a judge to order the respondent to stay “a specified distance” from residence, job, or school.  Passed House, no action in Senate.

Custody and Visitation

Child custody and visitation – deployed parents (HB 350). Protects deployed parents from any negative inference in custody case, allows them to testify by electronic means, allows the court to order custody or visitation to a 3rd party on behalf of a deployed parent.  No action.

FL – grandparent visitation (HB 474).  Unfavorable report in House.

Rape survivor family protection act (HB 503/SB 78). No action.

FL – de facto parent (HB 577/SB 402).  Unfavorable reports in House and Senate.

FL – rebuttable presumption of joint custody (HB 888/SB 650).  No action.

Child custody – legal decision making and parenting time (HB 1083/SB 550). No action.

AttachmentSize
2015 04-14 FL Legislative Update.docx55.3 KB

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 04-10

The attached document is the latest in family law and family law related bills before the General Assembly.

I have added 5 bills dealing with abortion, for those of you interested.

  • HB 492:  Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
  • HB 961 (SB 511): Women's Late-Term Pregnancy Health Act
  • SB 158: Health - Medical Procedures - Ultrasound Options
  • SB 511 (HB0961): Women's Late-Term Pregnancy Health Act
  • SB 900:  Public Health - Abortions - Physician Requirements
AttachmentSize
2015 04-10 FL Legislative Update.docx54.32 KB

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 04-02

Here is the latest from the MD legislature.

I have attached the text of some of the bills.  Where the House bill and the Senate bill are substantially the same, I have attached the House bill.


I apologize for the multiple posting; some of the attachments didn't work.  This is the final post.

AttachmentSize
2015 04-02 FL Legislative Update.docx49.81 KB
Child Custody - Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time - HB 1083.pdf150.59 KB
Child Custody & Visitation - Deployed Parents - HB 350.pdf80.26 KB
Child Support - Adjusted Actual Income - Multifamily Adjustment - HB 163.pdf97.01 KB
Civil Right to Counsel - Implementation - HB 348.pdf95.6 KB
Court Personnel - Altering References from Master to Magistrate - HB 346.pdf106.63 KB
DV - 2 Year Protective Order - HB 224.pdf80.22 KB
DV - Additional Relief - HB 225.pdf98.32 KB
DV - Additional Relief - HB 225.pdf98.32 KB
DV - Confidentiality Program - Name of Victim - HB 1186.pdf102.39 KB
DV - Persons Eligible for Relief - HB 606.pdf73.28 KB
FL - Child Support - Custody & Visitation Determinations - HB 1192.pdf70.12 KB
FL - De Facto Parent - HB 577.pdf77.75 KB
FL - DV - Definition of Abuse - HB 227.pdf77.98 KB
FL - Grandparent Visitation - HB 474.pdf71.43 KB
FL - Grounds for Divorce - Mutual Consent - SB 472.pdf78.29 KB
FL - Grounds for Limited Divorce - HB 165.pdf77.72 KB
FL - Protective Orders - Additional Relief - HB 807.pdf81.83 KB
FL - Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Custody - HB 888.pdf73.63 KB
Protective Order & Peace Order Petitions - MD Residents - HB 390.pdf78.76 KB
Rape Survivor Family Protection Act - HB 503.pdf108.6 KB

Pro Bono Training for the MSBA Leadership Academy's Pro Bono Small Business Boot Camp

Date: 
Mon, 04/20/2015 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm

The Maryland State Bar Association’s Leadership Academy Needs YOU!

On SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2015 the Leadership Academy will be hosting a
PRO BONO SMALL BUSINESS BOOT CAMP at
WAVERLY ELEMENTARY MIDDLE SCHOOL
3400 Elerslie Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218 from 8:30am – 5:00pm.

The Leadership Academy is looking for practicing attorneys licensed in Maryland to assist with a three (3) hour pro bono legal clinic at the event. Training will be provided to attorneys practicing 2 years or less.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE BOOT CAMP AND/OR THE TRAINING

Training Flyer

If you already have at least 2 years experience in business and transaction law, you can volunteer for the Boot Camp without taking the training. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE BOOT CAMP AND/OR THE TRAINING

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOT CAMP EVENT

Location
Location Name: 
Saul Ewing LLP
Address1: 
500 E. Pratt Street
Address2: 
Suite 900
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21202
Contact
Name: 
Kiah Pierre
Phone: 
443-703-3046
Sponsor: 
MSBA Leadership Academy, Saul Ewing LLP, and Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Nonprofit Law

Date: 
Wed, 04/08/2015 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINENonprofit Law

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

Location
Location Name: 
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Address1: 
100 International Drive
Address2: 
Suite 2000
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21202
Contact
Name: 
Kiah Pierre
Phone: 
443-703-3046
Sponsor: 
Community Law Center, Hogan Lovells US LLP, and Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Representing Unaccompanied Children: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Date: 
Tue, 05/05/2015 - 9:00am - 12:30pm

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

LICENSE REQUIREMENT: This training is intended for Maryland-barred attorneys who can represent children in Family Court as well as other volunteers who may be able to provide interpretation services. Non-Maryland barred attorneys, who want to represent unaccompanied children in Immigration Court, should go to the UAC Project Page, http://probonomd.org/about-us/about-unaccompanied-children/ and fill out the volunteer registration form.

Representing Unaccompanied Children: SIJS

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

Location
Location Name: 
WEBINAR - Details for logging in will be sent 1 week before the event
Contact
Name: 
Catherine Hulme
Phone: 
443-465-4627
Sponsor: 
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Tax Controversy Training for Attorneys

Date: 
Fri, 03/20/2015 - 9:00am - 1:00pm

Free training session on handling IRS and Maryland tax controversy cases for low-income taxpayers.  While the training will cover handling tax cases generally, the focus of this session will be on the mechanics of advocating for the taxpayer who is battling with tax collection issues. There is no fee to attend but each participant will be asked to accept one tax controversy case over the next year.  

Register online or contact Cheri Wendt-Taczak at (443) 451-4061 or cheri@mvlslaw.org for details.

Location
Location Name: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
Address1: 
201 N Charles Street
Address2: 
Suite 1400
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
Maryland
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Cheri Wendt-Taczak
Phone: 
4434514061
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 03-07

Here is the latest.  Some of the things that have changed:

  • HB 163, which provides that for purposes of child support calculations there should be an adjustment to annual income when the payor has other children living with her, has received a favorable report in Judiciary.
  • HB 165, which provides that there no longer be a requirement that a separation be voluntary and without a reasonable expectation of reconciliation in grounds for limited divorce, has passed the House and is now in the Senate.
  • HB 1185 has been introduced; it reduces the required residency for a party to file for divorce from 1 year to 6 months.
  • HB 1192 has been introduced; it requires a court making a decision on child support also to make a decision on custody and visitation, and requires the CSEA to refer all child support cases to the court for custody and visitation decisions.
  • SB 315, which provides for a 2 year protective order if the parties consent, received a favorable report by Judicial Proceedings.

More to come.

AttachmentSize
2015 03-07 FL Legislative Update.docx48.97 KB

You are invited - Celebrate Pro Bono 2015

Date: 
Tue, 10/20/2015 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

MVLS and University of Maryland Carey School of Law Celebrate Pro Bono Awards Reception 

Location
Location Name: 
Westminster Hall
Address1: 
519 West Fayette Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Kim Lennon
Phone: 
443-451-4065
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, University of Maryland Carey School of Law Public Interest Law Project

7th Annual Veterans' Legal Assistance Conference & Training

Date: 
Fri, 06/05/2015 - 8:00am - 4:30pm

Veterans' Legal Assistance Conference Flyer

Location
Location Name: 
University of Baltimore School of Law
Address1: 
John & Frances Angelos Law Center
Address2: 
1401 N. Charles Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Kiah Pierre
Phone: 
443-703-3046
Sponsor: 
Homeless Persons Representation Project, Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, University of Baltimore School of Law, The Bob Parsons Veterans Advocacy Clinic at the University of Baltimore, the Veterans’ Affairs and Military Law Section and Elder Law & Disability Rights Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, Saul Ewing LLP and the Veterans and Military Law Section of the Federal Bar Association

LGBTQ Legal Issues: Family Law & Discrimination

Date: 
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:15am - 12:00pm

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

LGBTQ Legal Issues Flyer

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

Location
Location Name: 
Pessin Katz Law, P.A.
Address1: 
901 Dulaney Valley Road
Address2: 
Suite 400
City: 
Towson
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21204
Contact
Name: 
Kiah Pierre
Phone: 
443-703-3046
Sponsor: 
Pessin Katz Law, P.A., FreeState Legal Project & Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Legally Serving Those Who Served Us: Help for Veterans Beyond Benefits

Date: 
Wed, 03/25/2015 - 9:00am - 4:00pm

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

Legally Serving Those Who Served Us Flyer

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

Location
Location Name: 
Ecker Business Training Center
Address1: 
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
City: 
Columbia
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21046
Contact
Name: 
Kiah Pierre
Phone: 
443-703-3046
Sponsor: 
Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant -- Maryland Legal Aid Bureau & Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Legal Writing in Plain English: A Lunch & Learn and Pro Bono Opportunity

Date: 
Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Legal Writing in Plain English Flyer

Location
Location Name: 
Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.
Address1: 
100 Light Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21202
Contact
Name: 
Dina Billian
Phone: 
dbillian@milesstockbridge.com
Sponsor: 
Maryland People's Law Library, Miles & Stockbridge, and Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 02-13

Here's the latest updated list of the status of family law bills pending before the Maryland legislature.

The bill recommended by the Commission on Child Custody Decision Making has made an appearance in both houses.  It is cross-filed as SB 550/HB 1083:  Child Custody - Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time.  It, essentially, codifies all of child custody decision making.  Some of the highlights:

"Legal decision making" means legal custody and "parenting time" means physical or residential custody, visitation, or access. 

There is no presumption of joint legal or joint physical custody.

The new § 9-201, et seq., is "Legal Decision Making and Parental Responsibility -- Judicial Determinations."  It codifies the Sanders and Taylor factors, changing some, deleting some, adding some, and dividing them into what the judge shall consider and what she may consider.

Also in the new § 9-201, et seq., there is a list of factors the court may not consider unless the court finds a risk of harm to the child, including things like a parent's mental or physical disability, relative economic status, race, religion, etc., and extramarital sexual conduct.  Included in that list is a parent's sexual orientation or gender identity.

There are two new categories of third party rights, the rights of "de facto parents" and of people with an "ongoing personal relationship" with the child.  The third party provisions are contained in the new § 9-106.  This section contains a substantial change in Maryland law regarding the rights of third parties - for good or ill, it is a huge change.

Anyone practicing family law should read the bill carefully.  I have attached it.

AttachmentSize
2015 02-13 FL Legislative Update.docx44.39 KB
Child Custody - Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time - SB 550.pdf146.9 KB

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 02-10

Here's the latest.

The text of SB 650, "Family Law - Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Custody," still is not available on the legislature's website.

I have attached a copy of HB 474, "Family Law - Grandparent Visitation."

AttachmentSize
2015 02-10 FL Legislative Update.docx41.91 KB
Family Law - Grandparent Visitation - HB 474.pdf71.43 KB

New Child Custody Bills 2015 - 02-10

There are two new custody bills today:

  1. HB 474 is entitled "Family Law - Grandparent Visitation."  The text of the bill is not yet posted.  The synopsis:  "Altering the circumstances under which an equity court may grant visitation rights to the grandparent of a child."
  2. SB 650 is entitled "Family Law - Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Custody."  The text of the bill is not yet posted.  The synopsis:  "Creating a rebuttable presumption in certain court proceedings that specified custodial arrangements are in the best interests of the child; and authorizing the court to grant sole custody under specified circumstances."

I'll post more information when the texts of the bills are posted, probably sometime today.

Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 02-06

Here's the latest.  There are a lot of family law bills, but still nothing about the proposed codification of child custody decision making.

I've attached a couple of bills y'all might find interesting:

  • SB 402 is entitled "Family Law – De Facto Parent."  The title speaks for itself.  It drastically changes the way Maryland courts will look at third party custody.  Read it.
  • HB 350 is entitled "Custody & Visitation – Deployed Parents."

There are several DV bills, some of which I have already brought to our attention:

  • HB 224/SB 315 is "Domestic Violence – 2-Year Protective Order," which provides that a judge can grant a 2-year protective order with the respondent's consent.
  • HB 225/SB 269 is "Domestic Violence – Additional Relief," which provides judges the discretion to fashion relief not otherwise enumerated in the DV code.
  • HB 227 is "Family Law – Domestic Violence – Definition of Abuse," which expands the definition of abuse under the DV code to include harassment, trespass, and malicious destruction of property "... if the person eligible for relief has not resided with the respondent for at least 7 days before the filing of the petition."
  • HB 263 is "Domestic Violence – Permanent Protective Orders – Conspiracy or Solicitation to Commit Murder," also pretty self-explanatory.
  • HB 390/SB 270 is "Protective Order and Peace Order Petitions – Maryland Residents."  This expands jurisdiction so that a court can grant a petition for protection if the abuse happened in Maryland or if the petitioner is a resident of the state of Maryland.
  • SB 277 is “Family Law - Protective Orders - Additional Relief,” which authorizes a judge to order a respondent to remain a specified distance away from a residence, place of employment, school, or temporary residence.  (It doesn’t say what that distance is, but I imagine the law doesn’t contemplate a judge telling a respondent he can’t come within 50 miles of the petitioner.)

Another interesting bill recently introduced:

  • HB 348 is "Civil Right to Counsel – Implementation."  It requires the governor to provide in the budget bill an appropriation to provide legal representation to income-eligible parties in protective order proceedings and an appropriation for a pilot Judicare program to provide legal representation to income-eligible parties in contested custody and visitation proceedings.

I have already drawn our attention to (and we are still watching):

  • HB 163 is "Child Support – Adjusted Actual Income – Multifamily Adjustment."
  • HB 165 is "Family Law – Grounds for Limited Divorce."
  • SB 78 is "Rape Survivor Family Protection Act."

More to come ...

AttachmentSize
2015 02-06 FL Legislative Update.docx40.06 KB
Family Law - De Facto Parent.pdf77.75 KB
Custody & Visitation - Deployed Parents.pdf80.26 KB
Syndicate content

Feedback

We welcome your comments and suggestions