February 2021 Volunteer of the Month – Victoria Eve Kelly

Victoria Eve Kelly is a tax and estate lawyer with 36 years of experience and offers services in Montgomery County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Frederick County and District of Columbia. Victoria handles tax issues including; audits, offers-in-compromise, installment agreements, lien removal, innocent spouse, filing back tax returns.  Her estate planning services include; wills, international wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health directives.

Read on to learn why Victoria volunteers:

  • Why do you choose to volunteer with MVLS?

So many people have urgent needs, and can’t afford legal representation. I think it’s important for all of us to help address the unmet need.

  • Do you have any stand out stories?

It was particularly gratifying to help an older man resolve a state tax issue at a time when he was also experiencing significant health issues. Along with Janice Shih, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, we reached out to the Comptroller’s office. Happily, the Comptroller expedited a resolution, and we were able to give this gentleman peace of mind.

All my MVLS cases are interesting, though I’m now focused particularly on innocent spouse matters. When successful, an innocent spouse petition enables a joint filer to sever legal liability for erroneous reporting by a (usually former) spouse. Some of these cases involve significant abuse, and the facts can be complicated. I’m working with Janice, and MVLS volunteers Cheri Wendt-Taczak, Heather Posey, Michael Goldberg, and Peter Haukebo, to develop a tool kit that makes it easier for attorneys to accept these cases.

  • What is your favorite part about volunteering with MVLS?

Janice is great to work with, and MVLS network of concerned, collegial attorneys make it a fun, rewarding experience.

  • Why should other attorneys do pro bono?

I believe it’s the right thing to do, and it’s personally gratifying to be of service to someone who couldn’t possibly afford it otherwise. Pro bono service is always encouraged by the bar.

  • Where do you see the impact of civil legal services in the next ten years?

Legal services have always been important. The pandemic, economic slowdown, and income inequality will inevitably accentuate the need.