Last Thursday, I attended and spoke at the Lexington County Bar’s Annual Conference. Among the presenters were The Honorable James O. Spence, Master-in-Equity; Desa Ballard, Private Attorney; The Honorable Richard C. Collins, Magistrate; The Honorable Daniel R. Eckstrom, Probate Court; and me.
This post covers the Honorable Daniel R. Eckstrom, Lexington County Probate Judge.
Judge Eckstrom began his presentation with an acknowledgment that the number of self-represented litigants is rising – in all levels of court. He noted that it is especially important for judges to be impartial in perception AND fact. He noted that as judges we should explain more about the process. As attorneys, when the other side is self-represented, we need to make sure that we are very clear about who we represent – especially when there are multiple parties involved.
If you want more information about this CLE, watch the SC Bar’s website. The presentation was filmed and will be available for distance learning at a later date!
Robin gave me some of the information she received at the recent Equal Justice Conference in Orlando. A handout from the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence immediately stood out to me. They are creating a National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Legal Service Provider Directory. This directory will increase the number of pro bono attorney’s working with victims of domestic violence. The directory will be available this summer on their website ProBono.Net. Through programs in the directory the Commission will use, train and mentor volunteer lawyers. The directory will make access to the legal process easier for victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is an enormous problem in South Carolina. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 35,894 people were victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence resulted in 28% of the murders in South Carolina in 2006. The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault reports that South Carolina ranks 2nd in the nation for the number of women killed by men.
If you are an attorney interested in helping victims of domestic violence visit www.abanet.org/domviol to see how you can help. You can also receive CLE credit by watching a Webinar series on Domestic violence. But hurry, the Webinar ends May 27th!
1.9 Kids and a Foreclosure: Subprime Mortgages, the Credit Crisis, and Restoring the American Dream will be held at the USC School of Law on October 24, 2008.
The symposium is free and open to the public. Attorneys may qualify for CLE credit for $75.00 in advance.
For information, see http://www.sclawreview.org/symposium/index.php.
The Richland County Bar Association, St. Lawrence Place, Midlands Interfaith Homeless Action Council, SC Cares and SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center are offering a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminar entitled “Legal Issues Affecting the Homeless in Support of the Columbia HELP Homeless Legal Clinic.” The CLE will be held Friday October 3, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Nelson Mullins Columbia location. (CLE credit is pending.) To register, contact Norah Rogers at email@example.com.
Project H.E.L.P. also known as Homeless Experience Legal Protection is an initiative started by Judge Jay Zainey, U.S. District Judge for the Easter District of Louisiana. Project H.E.L.P. started in New Orleans to assist homeless people with maintaining identification documents and providing their service providers with certified copies. Following Hurricane Katrina, the project grew dramatically and has expanded to other cities including New York, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, and Savannah, as well as Columbia.
In Columbia, the project will begin a once-monthly morning clinic offering pro bono legal services and providing basic information about access to government benefits, identification documentation, housing, child custody, and other common legal issues affecting the homeless.
-RFW with thanks to Coleman Chambliss