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Archdiocesan Legal Network

November 7, 2007


Dear Legal Network Volunteer:
Attached is the most recent list of the Legal Network's pro bono cases. I hope that you will be able to help one of these clients. If you are interested in a case, please contact me at 202-772-1201 or at James.Bishop@catholiccharitiesdc.org. You can also contactSharon Taylor Smith,staff attorney,at 202-772-4322. Her e-mail is Sharon.TaylorSmith@catholiccharitiesdc.org. Once you select a case(s), the Legal Network will forward the file to you. The Network will also notify the client that he or she may contact you to schedule an appointment.
For those of you who are new to the Legal Network, we welcome any questions or comments you may have with regard to our services. Our goal is to provide competent, pro bono legal services to indigent or low-income residents of the District of Columbia and Maryland. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality or any other protected status recognized under the law, and our network of volunteer attorneys is composed of a diverse group of individuals who share a personal and professional commitment to community service.
Thank you for donating your valuable time to help someone who otherwise would not have access to legal services. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely,
James D. Bishop
Senior Program Manager
Attachment
Please note that in order to protect our clients the names listed are fictitious. However, the cases are genuine and require the earliest possible consideration for legal assistance.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CASES

Government Entitlement: Social Security

07-619 Potential client (PC), 18 years old, seeks assistance in obtaining a waiver of overpayment from the Social Security Administration. PC's mother allegedly misused his SSI funds while PC spent the last several years in mental institutions and living with various friends and relatives. Now that PC is an adult, he receives a fraction of what he should receive in SSI payments as a result of his mother's misuse of his SSI funds when he was a minor. PC may also seek assistance with living arrangements from the D.C. Department of Mental Health.

07-616
Potential client (PC) desires assistance in appealing
his recently issued Notice of Disapproved Claim from
the Social Security Administration. PC states he is
unable to work because of chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease, asthma, high blood pressure, poor
vision in his right eye, and pain in his left knee and hip.
PC needs an attorney to help his file a Claim for
Reconsideration. PC states that he was discharged
from his job due to frequent absences related to his
medical problems.
07-646Potential Client suffers from diabetes, arthritis and
vision problems. She recently had surgery on her leg,
which resulted in her having difficulty walking and
standing. She had previously worked in janitorial
services, but now she is unable to work. PC applied
for SSDI benefits but was denied. She seeks
assistance in appealing her case.

FEMA & Hurricane Katrina

07-594 Potential client (PC) was a Katrina victim. He moved to D.C. shortly after the hurricane and received rental assistance from HUD from September 2005 to September 2006. Recently, HUD told PC's landlord (Edgewood Management) that it would not make rent payments on PC's behalf for the year September 2006 to September 2007 and thereafter. Edgewood Management is now seeking $10,000 in past rent and $815/month in current rent from P.C.

Banking

07-617 Potential client (PC) requested assistance regarding two problems.

Tax Issue: PC is involved in a dispute with the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue over the amount of taxes she owes. PC claims to have paid all taxes owed prior to 2004 but the Office of Tax claims to the contrary. Recently, the Office of Tax issued a Notice of Potential Enforcement Action against PC, warning that if she does not pay the taxes they claim are due, the Office of Tax will file a lien, seize property and/or turn he issue over to a collection agency.

Contract Dispute: PC is involved in a dispute with PNC Bank over a withdrawal PC claims she did not authorize. According to PC, she opened an account with PNC in December 2006. Around the same time, PC signed an equipment lease agreement, authorizing the lessor to deduct $29 per month from her PNC account. Later, after PC cancelled the equipment lease withdrawal agreement, PNC permitted the lessor to withdraw $700 from her account. PC wants PNC to restore the $700 to her account.

Consumer

07-635 Potential client (PC) is of limited mental capacity. PC purchased a car after allegedly being strong armed by the car dealer. The purchase invoice recorded that PC made a down payment, which she denies. Moreover, she states that the dealer said he would absorb the down payment, but he didn't. About 30 days after the car purchase, PC found out that she has glaucoma and can no longer drive. She thought she could take the care back and did so. In the meantime, HSBC Finance Company began sending PC notices for payment. Both PC and the car dealer where untruthful as to the amount of PC's income. PC needs help in resolving this matter.

Real Estate

07-638 Before becoming seriously ill, potential client (PC) ran his own business. Since his illness, he has been living with his sister and is receiving only food stamps. In 2004, PC entered into a business investment arrangement with KLJ Properties, LLC, wherein PC invested $45,000 in principal with KLJ but PC has yet to receive any return on his investment. He requested the return of his $45,000 in principle; however, KLJ only responds to him through emails, stating that they are in the process of returning the principal.


MARYLAND CASES

None at this time.

Give an hour of your time to the Legal Network!

The Legal Network sponsors Community Law-Related Education Seminarsfor low-income and indigent residents of the District of Columbia and surrounding Maryland counties. We are looking for attorneys with expertise in certain areas of civil law to speak to low-income and indigent DC and Maryland residents at community centers, libraries, parishes or shelters regarding their legal rights. Past seminars have included topics such as "What Every Parent Should Know About Special Education Law," "Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefits," "Wills/Estate Planning," "How to Buy a Used Car" and "Dynamics of Domestic Violence." Some of the civil law areas where we need assistance include:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Debt
  • Domestic Relations (Custody, Child Support, Domestic Violence)
  • Employment Law (wrongful termination/discrimination, unemployment, wage/hour disputes)
  • Government Entitlements (Social Security Disability Benefits, etc.)
  • Guardianships/Conservatorships
  • Tenants' Rights
  • Wills/Estate Planning/Probate
  • Other topics: feel free to call the ALN to brainstorm other ideas.

The seminars are held for approximately one hour with a portion of that hour devoted to a question and answer period.

If you have knowledge of one of these areas of the law or if you have other ideas for a potential seminar, please contactme at (202) 772-1201 orJames.Bishop@catholiccharitiesdc.org. This is a great way to help DC and Maryland low-income residents know more about their legal rights!



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National Practice Areas

Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net

Geographic Host:

D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program