Celebrate the ADA’s 20th

Today is the last day to register for an exciting event in Charleston on Thursday, September 23rd.

For attorneys, this is a great opportunity to attend a Continuing Legal Education Event to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its impact over the past 20 years.

The Agenda:

The ADA: Olmstead and Beyond – Elizabeth Priaulx, National Disability Rights Network

The ADA and State Budget Cuts: North Carolina’s Experience – John Rittelmeyer, Disability Rights North Carolina

The ADA and Medicaid Issues: Georgia’s Experience – Joshua Norris, Georgia Advocacy Office, Inc.

The ADA and State Delivery of Services – Panel Discussion

The ADA and the Fair Housing Act: Aging in the Community – Susan Ann Silverstein, AARP Foundation Litigation

The ADA as Civil Rights Litigation: Class Actions and Attorneys’ Fees Issues – Armand Derfner, Derfner Altman & Wilborn

How Do We Maintain the Momentum? – Panel Discussion

Details:

  • $50 non-profit attorneys
  • $100 government and private bar
  • Lunch is included in registration fee

For the public, this event offers a special evening of celebration and a chance to meet some passionate disability advocates with a presentation by Samuel Bagenstos. And the reception is free. Registration is required however.

Both these events offer a wonderful opportunity to celebrate 20 years of the ADA! Please join us in the celebration!

For more information, please visit http://www.pandasc.org/.

Hope to see you there!

-RFW

Why I do Pro Bono . . .

Why do I do pro bono? This is a question I’m frequently asked.

Here are some of my responses:

1. I like to do it. It makes me feel good. When I help someone with a legal issue/problem, I feel GREAT!

2. Often, it exposes me to new people. If there’s a pro bono project, chances are I’ll meet at least one new person.

3. It’s part of my responsibility as an attorney. See Rule 6.1.

4. I learn something new EACH TIME! Whether I learn a new area of the law, a tidbit about a particular part of the state, a new technology, a new organization that’s helping people, etc.

5. Often, I get to teach something to someone. Yup, that’s right. I get to be a teacher. And, that’s pretty cool. I always liked playing school as a child – especially when I got to play the teacher. So here’s my opportunity to re-enact one of my favorite childhood pastimes.

6. I can hone up on my “lawyering” skills. That’s right, it’s called a “law practice” for a reason, right? And I need to practice, right?

Why do you do pro bono?

-RFW

South Carolina Attorneys: Do you have malpractice for that 608 appointment?

. . .

Ok, every South Carolina attorney I know is tired of dredging up Rule 608. However, there continues to be a LOT of discussion around Rule 608, including the Attorney Volunteer Guardian ad Litem project.

Last November/December, the Supreme Court of South Carolina made several changes to Rule 608 appointments, some advocated by the SC Bar, some via recommendations submitted by the SC Access to Justice Commission. And just recently we learned that the funds to reimburse attorneys providing legal representation pursuant to a Rule 608 appointment are no longer available.

BUT I do have some news that may be of interest to the average South Carolina attorney!

If you (SC Attorney) follow appropriate protocol[1], you (SC Attorney) are eligible for malpractice coverage for your Rule 608 appointment.

Here’s what I have do:

  1. I receive my Rule 608 appointment, either by U.S. Mail or Fax or email.
  2. That day I complete my Pro Bono Program Direct Intake Form. Please follow the instructions to either fax the form to Attn: Rose Dean, (803) 799-5290 OR mail to Attn: Rose Dean, South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program, P.O. Box 608, Columbia, SC 29202.
  3. With 1 week, I receive a response from Ms. Rose Dean with a South Carolina Bar Program Closure Form.
  4. If I do NOT receive a response from Ms. Dean within one week, I resend the information.

Good luck fellow attorneys!

-RFW


[1] From the SC Bar’s website – http://www.scbar.org/member_resources/pro_bono_program/

Malpractice insurance
Pro Bono lawyers who take case referrals, serve as LAMP volunteers, participate in Ask-A-Lawyer and lead free legal clinics are automatically covered on every Pro Bono case accepted! Lawyers who do pro bono legal work on their own, or who are appointed pursuant to Rule 608, are also covered by malpractice insurance through the Pro Bono Program. To initiate this coverage, complete the Pro Bono Intake form (see link above) and fax it to Rose Dean at 803-799-5290. You must submit the form to Ms. Dean before commencing work on the client’s case. [emphasis added]

Want to go to a truncated law school?

Ok, so I LOVE the word TRUNCATED. Who doesn’t? It frolics on the tongue with its trill and Germanic K sounds.

Back to the law school. Most of us think of law school as loads of expensive, heavy tomes, Socratic method and long nights spent with drool covering our text-books and cheeks as we awaken with lines across our face trying to comprehend case-law written long ago. And debt. Don’t forget law school debt.

But this Law School is much shorter, less stressful and taught 3 hours in the evening (6:00 – 9:00 p.m.) over 7 weeks in your community. This Law School is called “Law School for Non-Lawyers” and is offered by the South Carolina Bar. And it’s a bargain – only $45.

So, if you want to head to law school for 7 weeks, check out the 2 offerings this September in North Charleston (Trident Tech) and Myrtle Beach (Horry-Georgetown Tech). For more info, click here or contact Debbie Morris at dmorris@scbar.org or 803-799-4015, ext. 158.

You can’t beat this experience!

-RFW

PS – This program is made possible by an IOLTA grant from the South Carolina Bar Foundation!

Friday Wrap: Pro Bono

Today is the final day to make a nomination for the SC Bar’s Pro Bono Award. And, if you’re one of my Twitter followers or Tweeps, then you’ve seen this touted for a while, with especial fervor this week.

And you may wonder, why the big deal? Good question.

Here’s why I think it’s a big deal:

  1. There are a LOT of attorneys out there (in and out of South Carolina) who are helping people for free every day, including weekends and holidays. Many of these attorneys receive no recognition for their work. And they deserve the recognition by the public and their peers.
  2. Often the general public vilifies attorneys and legal work. Many of us are called greedy and lawyer jokes are common. C’mon, we’ve all heard them. They’ve been around forever, even Shakespeare has a famous line about lawyers. But the truth is, while some – in any profession – go into law to make money, many more go into law to help people. And if they are working in the public sector – government or public interest, their salaries are not their main focus. And for many who enter the private sector, while their salaries are higher on average, they also contribute both money and time with pro bono efforts.
  3. And, last, but certainly not least – encouraging pro bono efforts within the legal community is one of the responsibilities (see Responsibility #6) detailed in the Administrative Order establishing the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. And the SC Bar Pro Bono Program Award Presentation at the annual SC Bar Foundation Gala offers a great opportunity for statewide recognition.

So, if you know an attorney, law firm or program that has provided good pro bono service within the past year, please complete and return the Nomination form. You may just make yourself and someone else feel better. And that’s a good thing, don’t ya think?

-RFW

PRO BONO Celebration: With a Proclamation!

Thanks to Virginia Howell, Pro Bono Coordinator at Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services, Inc.

Very pleased to share:

Charleston Pro Bono proclamation

Oyster Roast to Support Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services, Inc.

OYSTER ROAST

The Charleston County Bar Association Student Division cordially invites you to attend our 1st Annual Fund Raiser Event, supporting Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services.

O’MALLEYS GRILL

549 King Street

Saturday, October 24th

5 -7 P.M.

Oysters provided by O’Malleys Grille

Come And Support

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services while enjoying all the oysters you can eat and the best legal company in the Lowcountry!

TICKETS

Charleston County Bar Members & Student Division Members $10

Non-Members & Guests $15

*Tickets to be sold on the Charleston School of Law campus in the Barrister from 12:00 – 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm the week of October 12 – 16, 2009*

Please contact the following for ticket purchases:

-RFW

Thanks to Virginia Howell for sharing with me!