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CLIENTS

VOLUNTEERS

Recent AVLF News

-AVLF volunteer attorney Kerry Nicholson successfully settled her AVLF case, securing $3,000 – cash in hand – and negotiating an agreed-upon move-out date for her client who worked as a handyman at the apartment complex where he lived, but was not paid for much of his work and was facing a questionable eviction.

-Deputy Director, Tamara Serwer Caldas, testified at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Monday, Feb. 27th, concerning proposed legislation to protect the interests of tenants living in property sold at foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure.

-Congrats to AVLF's Michael Lucas for being honored with the ADL's "Stuart Eizenstat Young Lawyer Award" during the 15th Annual ADL Jurisprudence Luncheon on Monday, February 27th. Michael, we are all very proud of you!

- AVLF Staff Attorney Lindsey Siegel represented a client whose boyfriend had burned and severely vandalized her house. The client was able to secure a 12-month Temporary Protective Order by default, as well as a judgment for $7,328 to cover some of the damage

-After a hearing today, AVLF volunteers Stacey Lewis and Sara LeClerc from AVLF volunteers Stacey Lewis and Sara LeClerc from Seyfarth Shaw won their TPO case against a respondent who had threatened his wife several times with a gun. Thanks to both volunteers for their time and dedication to keeping the client safewon their TPO case against a respondent who had threatened his wife several times with a gun. Thanks to both volunteers for their time and dedication to keeping the client safe.

-David Frist and Matthew Howell, volunteers from Alston and Bird received a default Protective Order for their domestic violence client in court today, which included a child support award of $583 per month. Congratulations to you both!

-AVLF volunteer attorney Adam Hoipkemier, of Carlton Fields, secured $3,017.68 in unpaid wages for his AVLF client who was not paid for his work with children with special education needs.

-AVLF volunteer Jeremy Berry, of McKenna Long and Aldridge, won a verdict after a 4 hour magistrate court hearing on behalf of his six AVLF clients, all low-wage workers whose employer refused to pay them wages that were due.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Patrick Norris, of Yates & Norris, had successes on both of his most recent

-AVLF cases, securing the wrongfully withheld portion of a security deposit for one of his AVLF clients, and stopping a wrongful garnishment of a bank account for another.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Katie Merrell, of Alston and Bird, was able to secure $1,000 in unpaid wages for her AVLF client, a truck driver who was taken advantage of by a unscrupulous employer.

-Emory 3L Sarah Austin negotiated her first Consent Protective Order against an abuser who forced the client to prostitute herself, and beat her brutally if she failed to do so.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Uche Egemonye, of the U.S. Department of Labor, skillfully completed the drafting of a new Will for her grateful AVLF client.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Matt Pearce, of Bryan Cave, successfully negotiated a mutual rescission of a two-year lease that his AVLF client desperately wanted out of due to disputes with the landlord, along with the immediate return of her security deposit.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Matt Pearce, of Bryan Cave, successfully negotiated a mutual rescission of a two-year lease that his AVLF client desperately wanted out of due to disputes with the landlord, along with the immediate return of her security deposit.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Uche Egemonye, of the U.S. Department of Labor, skillfully completed the drafting of a new Will for her grateful AVLF client.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Katie Merrell, of Alston and Bird, was able to secure $1,000 in unpaid wages for her AVLF client, a truck driver who was taken advantage of by a unscrupulous employer.

-Cheers to Natalya Bodrick for negotiating a Consent Protective Order with a man in jail for the crimes committed against her client.

-Franklin Trapp of DLA Piper showed off his Spanish language skills in TPO court this morning, negotiating a 12-month Consent Order. He couldn't have done it without the support of paralegal extraordinaire Kimberly Middleton, another superstar volunteer.

-DLA Piper went above and beyond ( yet again) in their support of a pro bono client this week. The petition had repeatedly tried to obtain protection from her abuser, but he successfully eluded service and detection over and over again. Not only did DLA PIper take the case, but the firm payed for a process server track the guy down. Another client can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

-Emory 3L Sarah Austin negotiated her first Consent Protective Order against an abuser who forced the client to prostitute herself, and beat her brutally if she failed to do so.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Michael L. Van Cise, of Arnall Golden Gregory reached a settlement giving his AVLF client $5,000 for illegally withheld wages that caused serious financial strain on his client.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Amber Johnson successfully negotiated and recovered $7,414.27 for her AVLF client whose personal property was damaged due to the negligence of her landlord, who also agreed to help Amber’s client with moving expenses!

-AVLF wins $10,000 grant from UPS Foundation after one of their Legal Department Attorneys, Joey Henslee, who is also an AVLF volunteer, was randomly selected by the Foundation to receive a grant for his pro bono work. Thanks to UPS and Joey Henslee!!

-AVLF volunteer James Clifton, of the Clifton Law Firm, successfully appealed a debt-buyer’s baseless suit against his AVLF client for over $2,000 that wasn’t owed.

-AVLF volunteer Lee Peifer, of Sutherland, successfully settled the unpaid wage claim of his AVLF client, securing $600 in unpaid wages without litigation.

-AVLF volunteer Brendalyn Lumpkins, of Seyfarth Shaw, secured an impressive settlement – which included the forgiveness of over $3,000 in unpaid rent and $1,000 in cash – on behalf of her AVLF client who, as the victim of an illegal eviction, lost most of his belongings.

-AVLF volunteer Christopher M. Golden, of Rogers & Hardin LLP, secured an impressive settlement – with the landlord giving up a claim for $4,800 in past due rent, late charges, damages, etc. and paying the tenant $2,000 cash on top of that, for a total value to the client of $6,800 – on behalf of his AVLF client who was the victim of an illegal eviction at the hands of an unscrupulous landlord.

-AVLF Director of Housing and Consumer Programs, Michael Lucas, secured the dismissal of a suit by a debt-buyer/collector against a AVLF client suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and living on a limited income.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Michaela Kendall, of McKenna Long & Aldridge, secured a $3,000 settlement for her AVLF client who suffered for months – and lost personal property – at the hands of his landlord that refused to make necessary repairs.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Matt Parrish, of Dow Lohnes, fully collected on a $2,197 judgment he obtained for his AVLF client who was the victim of deplorable conditions and an illegally withheld security deposit by her former landlord.

-AVLF Volunteer Robert J. Curylo, of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, secured a $600 settlement for his AVLF client whose landlord illegally withheld her security deposit after her let her apartment fall into such disrepair that she was unable to remain there.

-AVLF Volunteer Jason Grier, of Ballard Spahr LLP, secured a release of his client and her daughter from all liability for an approximately $3,000 wrongful debt sought by a former landlord, and got the collection agency to contact all the credit bureaus to have the debt removed from their credit reports; in another matter, Jason secured a mutual rescission of his AVLF client’s lease and negotiated the forgiveness of $ 1,161.88 in unpaid rent and fees.

-AVLF volunteer attorney John E. Seay secured a $1,600 settlement for his AVLF client whose security deposit was wrongfully withheld.

-On December 8th, AVLF Deputy Director, Tamara Caldas, and AVLF Director of Housing and Consumer Programs, Michael Lucas, in partnership with Troutman Sanders, LLP, conducted a training of new volunteers for AVLF’s Eviction Defenses Program.

-AVLF's Liz Whipple was interviewed on Legally Speaking, a half hour news show produced by You and the Law, Inc. You and the Law is a non-profit organization committed to providing citizens with valuable, easy to understand information that highlights their individual rights and responsibilities within the legal system

The Safe Families Office moved from Courtroom 6G to Courtroom 2P. Still in a bit of disarray, but luckily we managed to keep our doors open, and clients served, throughout the entirely of the shift. Stop in and check out the new space!

-Debbie Segal of Kilpatrick Townsend won a 12-Month Protective Order for a client whose long-time abuser had most recently set her hair on fire.

-AVLF super-volunteers, Katie Merrell, David Wender, Patrick Coyle and Nadjia Bailey, all of Alston + Bird, and Sheandra Clark from Delta, were able to secure the full approximately $1,000 in unpaid wages for a hard-working AVLF client whose trucking company-employer wrongfully withheld wages and threatened counterclaims for damages that were not the client’s responsibility. The employer also agreed to give up all claims.

-GSU 3L Jeanette Van der Linden had her first full-blown (and tear-filled) hearing representing a mother of 6. Her 18-year old son testified that they could all move on with their lives if their mother was finally safe from her abuse. Hopefully, now she is.

-AVLF volunteer Matthew Simmons, of Berman Fink Van Horn P.C., quickly convinced a debt collector to drop all pursuit against his elderly client of a $24,000 judgment stemming from her ex-husband’s large credit card debt from several years ago.

-AVLF volunteer, John Seay, secured a cash settlement of $1,600 for his client who was the victim of an illegal eviction at the hands of her landlord.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Franklin Trapp, of DLA Piper – in fluent Spanish for his Spanish-speaking client – quickly secured a mutual rescission of the his client’s lease – allowing her to safely move her children to safer, more livable housing – the waiver of unpaid rent, and an immediate return of her security deposit, which allowed her to land on her feet.

-Looking for something to do after the Winetasting? Do not miss the AVLF Junior Board’s first ever After Party at Tap immediately following the Winetasting. Join us in the upstairs area of Tap to continue the celebration and fundraising. Tap has generously agreed to donate 10% of the bar sales from the upstairs area to AVLF. Stop by for a drink or bite to eat before heading home. Hope to see you there!

-Emory 3L Matthew Pechous obtained a 12-Month Protective Order (his first!) for his elderly client against an abusive, mentally-ill grandson.

-Along with guest trainer and AVLF volunteer Tim Phillips, Senior Counsel at the American Cancer Society, AVLF’s Wills on Wheels program held a training for members of the UPS legal department on Wills, Advance Health Care Directives, and Powers of Attorney on Sept. 27th.

-AVLF volunteer attorney Anna Fretwell of Huff, Powell & Bailey, LLC, quickly obtained all the unpaid wages due to an AVLF client without litigation.

-High praise from one volunteer to another. Ingrid Hogan, a paralegal at Delta who interpreted divorce documents for Stephen C. Andrews of Bodker, Ramsy, Andrews, Winograd, Wilderstein. Mr. Andrews was very impressed with Ingrid and said she was “fantastic”. She was always available and did a great job. She deserves special recognition and praise.

-Sarah Zampell accompanied her 13 year old client to mediation in the Juvenile Court, and the parties were able to reach an agreement that allows the child to move to a new permanent home with her grandparents while still maintaining meaningful contact with her mother. Sarah’s advocacy for her child client has helped to give the child the first truly stable home that she has ever had!

-The D.V. Project thanks attorney Scott Lange and paralegal Betty Richards for keeping their client's children remained safe from a predator by getting a12-Month Protective Order by Consent against a convicted sex offender.

-Thanks to Safe Families Office volunteer Gloria Dworet for her unflagging enthusiasm and boundless energy - our office is a brighter place to be because she is working each week.

-AVLF volunteer Michelle LeGault, of LeGault Legal, LLC, obtained a settlement of $13,500 money in hand! for a for a low-income mother of two whose children were exposed to a severe bed-bug infestation.

-Thank you Jennifer Blackburn, Troutman Sanders for volunteering as a Guardian ad Litem. The case was dismissed but Jennifer put in 10 hours volunteering. Thanks Jen!

-Thank you Heather C. Wright, The Wright Firm, LLC for your contribution after 30 volunteer hours helped the parties to settle.

-Thank you Carol Geiger, Kazmarek Geiger & Laseter LLP, volunteer GAL for going the extra mile this week filing a motion to address some special needs for her clients.

-Thank you Stacy Seidel, Seacrest Karesh Tate & Bicknese LLP for volunteering with the One Child One Lawyer program. Stacey will be volunteering for a juvenile court case

-AVLF Deputy Director presented at the Texas Pro Bono Coordinators Retreat in Austin on September 7 regarding the use of pro bono lawyers in assisting self-represented litigants.

Disabled man's case gritty, ongoing

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It's time for March Madness...pro bono style.

It’s a slam-dunk for pro bono and your opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

Click here to learn more!

By: John Seay, Founding Partner, The Seay Firm

For the second time this week, Mr. Franklin is trapped outside in the rain. Like last time, his clothes are soaked and his wheelchair is pooling water in places water should not be pooled. Several hours have passed, and during that time Mr. Franklin (not his real name) has urinated on himself. What separates Mr. Franklin from the warm confines of his apartment is a roughly 16-inch-tall slab of concrete encircling the building. Therefore, unless another tenant from the complex sees him and offers to physically lift him up, Mr. Franklin is subjected to the elements. Thankfully it’s been a mild winter.

I first met Mr. Franklin at the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer Foundation’s Saturday Lawyers Program. The Saturday Lawyer Program pairs pro bono attorneys with low-income clients who require assistance in the areas of consumer debt, landlord-tenant disputes, and unpaid wage claims. While my own practice focuses primarily on intellectual property and entertainment law, the Saturday Lawyers Program is where I perform my pro bono work.

Read this article in its entirety here

AVLF to participate in Fulton County's "Lawyer in the Library Series"

AVLF has been invited to take the lead in developing the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library's "Lawyer in the Library" Series this spring. The seminars will take place at the main library downtown, where staff attorneys and volunteers will conduct client intake on-site at the Library following the presentations. We are excited about this partnership and expect that it will help forge a more productive relationship between the public library, the county's law library and the community's providers of free and low-cost legal services.

Below are the programs listed in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Access newsletter and on the website.

Consumer debt - Lawyer in the Library, Wednesday, March 21. 1:00 pm Wills and Health Care Advanced Directives - Lawyer in the Library, Wednesday, April 11. 1:00 pm Landlord-tenant disputes and Eviction - Lawyer in the Library, Wednesday, April 25. 1:00 pm Unpaid wages - Lawyer in the Library, Wednesday, May 9. 1:00 pm Domestic Violence - Lawyer in the Library, Wednesday, May 23. 1:00 pm

Click here for a PDF document which fully describes each one of the programs listed in the above series.

Celebrating more than 30 years of Pro Bono In Action!

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation -Suite 1750 North Tower · 235 Peachtree Street N.E. · Atlanta, Georgia 30303 * Ph: (404)521.0790 Fax: (404)521.3434

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