Maryland Public Television (MPT) featured Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic Attorney Janice Shih on Your Money And Business. Janice spoke with host Jeff Salkin on how MVLS helps low-income Marylanders with tax assistance and tax related questions. We invite you to view Janice’s segment below.
After the Young Lawyers Section of the Maryland State Bar Association funded the purchase of a 360-degree camera, MVLS IT Director Matthew Stubenberg jumped at the chance to use it. With William Buschur, Stubenberg created virtual-reality training videos that simulate a hearing, enabling attorneys to get a taste of what it’s like inside a courtroom, as well as all of the procedural matters. (more…)
In November 2016, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service received Tech Impact’s Technology Innovation Award in the Skills to Succeed & Workforce Development Category, sponsored by Accenture. MVLS received $7,500 in funding to expand our Client Legal Utility Engine (CLUE), a web platform that “scrapes” data from a public judiciary database and matches it against MVLS’ clients’ criminal records to identify any expungable charges. (more…)
This free training will provide a foundation for the legal options available to victims of human trafficking including expungement, shielding and vacatur. The training will assist attorneys in understanding the nuances in the definition of human trafficking, how survivors are commonly criminalized, and best practice tips for working with survivors.
The training will be provided by Jessica Emerson, University of Baltimore Human Trafficking Prevention Project Clinic Professor and Laurie Culkin, MVLS HTPP Project Coordinator.
Human Trafficking Prevention Training for Attorneys
University of Baltimore Law School
1401 N. Charles Street, Room 102 | Baltimore, MD 21201
9:30 am – 12 pm
In exchange for the free training, volunteer attorneys will agree to accept one HTPP case from MVLS that may involve expungement, shielding or vacatur depending on the client’s options. To attend the training, please click here to register.
MVLS pro bono attorneys are working hard to help Baltimore City residents avoid tax sale because of delinquent water bills. MVLS Deputy Director Susan Francis spoke with WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore about this issue and how it impacted one of our clients James McCallister. Watch and learn more below.
MVLS’s Managing Attorney for Housing and Consumer Law Amy Hennen represented Project PLASE, a nonprofit that administers subsidized rent for people transitioning from shelters. A landlord took PLASE to court over two water bill disputes involving subsidized tenants. He initially filed the cases in rent court, but because of a recent Maryland ruling that addressed which court tenant water bills issues are heard in, they were moved to civil court for contract disputes.
PLASE was initially unaware that they needed an attorney for civil court. At rent court, they were able to go to court without a lawyer, but now they needed to have one. Without the room in their budget to pay for a private attorney, PLASE contacted MVLS’s Community Development Project, which connects non-profits with pro bono attorneys. With just a few days’ notice before the hearing, Ms Hennen successfully advocated on behalf of PLASE.
Ultimately, the case was dismissed because of a technicality – the landlord had formed an LLC for his rental business, but had taken the clients to court under his own name. But while she was representing Project PLASE, Ms. Hennen threw in some helpful legal advice. The landlord had been under the impression that PLASE was entirely responsible for unpaid water bills, even if they were due to a leak. Ms. Hennen advised PLASE to clarify their lease language regarding water bills and leaks so landlords would not look to courts to explain it.
Mary Slicher, Project PLASE’s Executive Director, appreciated the last-minute help. She wrote the following note to Ms. Hennen:
“You are a gem! Thank you so very, very much for your excellent help on these two cases! We could not have done it without you… [we] are impressed and grateful. So glad you were on our side.”
To volunteer with the Community Development Project to provide legal help to nonprofits that serve low-income Marylanders, please contact Michelle Swift, Pro Bono Program Manager, at email@example.com or (443) 451-4068.