And Another Thing . . . I-CAN!® E-File 2008 Reports

Thanks to Kate Bladow at and for this additional info!

I-CAN!® E-File 2008 has REPORTS that allow us to see how many filings are completed out of each state. As of this writing 36 South Carolinians had completed their returns using I-CAN!® E-File 2008 for refunds totalling $54,492 and Earned Income Credits (EIC) totalling $18,219.

If you are unfamiliar with the term EIC, you can learn more here. In order to qualify for EIC, taxpayers MUST file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return.


A Model Project that’s no Project Runway

Last month, the Pennsylvania Law Weekly posted an article about the Philadelphia Project, a project forestall mortgage foreclosures before they happen. According to the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, this project is now touted as a model foreclosure diversion program.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Annette M. Rizzo, who presides over the foreclosure cases diverted into Philadelphia’s program, said one of the greatest challenges is finding resources to get distressed homeowners to avail themselves of the program’s opportunities.

“Getting people into the chute involves outreach that I’ve compared to hand-to-hand combat,” she said.

One component of the Project is the toll-free HOTLINE. Details of the hotline and other services are available on the city and county sheriff’s website,

For states that want to review the Project details, the regulations are found online at


PS Thanks to Claudia Johnson, Kate Bladow, and Matthew Burnett of  and for pointing me toward the Pennsylvania Law Weekly article!

see previous scaccesstojustice blogs re: foreclosure at

Out of Africa: Access to Justice Rwandan-style

The African Press Agency reports that Kigali is the host site for an Access to Justice and Legal Aid Conference hosted by the Danish Institute for Human Rights from December 1-4, 2008.

The conference will include 3 key presentations:
• The Obligation of the State in the provision of legal aid: Experiences and Challenges

• Realising Human and Constitutional Rights: the Use of Strategic Litigation

• Civil Society Initiatives – Roles, Challenges and Impact; and

3 thematic discussions:
I. Paralegalism: Opportunities & Challenges
II. Informal Justice Systems and the Nexus with the Formal System
III. Delivery Models and the use of Litigation


PS Thanks to Kate Bladow for pointing us to the site via Twitter.

SCATJ’s 8 Reasons to Give Thanks in ’08

8. Public Hearings are Complete.

And the response was really good. South Carolina Judges, Attorneys and members of the public spoke about barriers to civil justice that they had witnessed or encountered.

7. SCETV’s The Big Picture and staff.

On December 11, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. The Big Picture will feature speakers from the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission’s public hearings. The topic will be self-represented litigants. The next morning, Friday, December 12, 2008, the radio program will continue discussion of this topic.

6. Support of National Access to Justice community.

Shout-outs to Bob Echols, Richard Zorza, Deborah L. Rhode, Jim Sokolove, Judy Meadows, Kate Bladow and all the many others who have contributed this past year to show me that access to justice is larger than South Carolina. There are many pieces within access to justice, all of which are important. The list is too numerous to mention here and I hope you all know who you are.

5. Support of the South Carolina Bar.

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission works out of the South Carolina Bar building and without the assistance of the many Bar employees, the Commission would not have been able to accomplish as much as it has. Additionally, the support of all the Bar members has been overwhelming. Attorneys who are already working hard within the legal services community are familiar with access to justice and working toward this goal every day. Additionally without the care and support of the private bar, access to justice would remain an unrealized concept.

4. Support from the South Carolina Bar Foundation.

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission is currently fully funded by IOLTA funds from the South Carolina Bar Foundation. Thanks for making everything possible.

3. Active Participation of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The final hearing was the ultimate in Supreme Court participation. All of the five justices actively joined in the somewhat lively discussion. They prepared meticulous questions and settled only for thorough answers. And their questions often indicated their interest in identifying solutions to the broad problems facing disenfranchised South Carolinians.

2. Wonderful South Carolina Access to Justice Commission Members.

There are 27 members of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. Each one of these members has contributed to the success of the past year.

1. Supportive Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal and Steering Committee.

Special thanks to the support of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission Chair, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, and Vice Chair, Stuart Andrews. Additionally, many thanks to Stephanie A. Nye, counsel to the Chief Justice, and George Cauthen, ex-officio. Without each of them individually and collectively, the Commission would not exist. Many thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!


For More on Court Solutions Conference on Court Leadership and Self-Represented Litigants

In previous posts, I gave some highlights from this conference. Here are a few more photos from the conference.

South Carolina Delegation at the Court Solutions Conference in Baltimore (Sept. 2008)
South Carolina Delegation at the Court Solutions Conference in Baltimore (Sept. 2008)
Judge Michael Baxley and Robin Wheeler at the Court Solutions Conference
Judge Michael Baxley and Robin Wheeler at the Court Solutions
Stephanie Nye and Judge Jefferson at the Conference
Stephanie Nye and Judge Jefferson at the ConferenceBaltimore Harbor
Desiree and Robyn from Alabama
Desiree and Robyn from Alabama
Germano himself with the SC Delegation at his restaurant in Little Italy
Germano himself with the SC Delegation at his restaurant in Little Italy

For a different perspective, see Kate Bladow’s blog.

Kate Bladow
Kate Bladow