Tune In TONIGHT and Tomorrow Morning

The Big Picture is once again featuring a topic of interest to South Carolinians in the civil justice community. This week’s topic is The Working Poor.

For the program, Mark Quinn, the host of The Big Picture, interviewed prestigious guests such as Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Sue Berkowitz of SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Dr. Adolphus Belk of Winthrop University.

TV Air Date: TONIGHT: Thursday – August 06, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Every Friday morning “The Big Picture on the Radio” airs on ETV Radio. Discussion focuses the television topic of the week amongst other timely subjects. Be sure to check ‘The Big Picture’ homepage each Friday afternoon to tune in live starting at 1:00 p.m.

TV repeats of Thursdays broadcast will air each Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

-RFW

This American Life Features SRLs

Just posted this on Twitter, then realized, why not add to the Blog?

On this site, you’ve read about Self-Represented Litigants or SRLs numerous times. And, last December, SCETV’s The Big Picture featured Access to Justice with a focus on SRLs. This week, NPR’s This American Life features SRLs in their episode #385 entitled “Pro Se.”

Should be interesting. I’ll be tuning in!

-RFW

Father’s Day Focus: South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families

For the last few weeks, in my daily newspaper, I’ve seen ads reminding me that Father’s Day is coming and I should purchase that special gift for my father.

Happy Fathers Day: Here's a nice tie!
Happy Fathers Day: Here's a nice tie!

Well, my dad isn’t much for material gifts – goods or services. His repeated message to me is to be a happy, healthy, responsible and well-adjusted adult. And he’s offered me the gift of a stable role model, a provider for my family and someone who is available to talk to when things aren’t going so well or when something brings me joy. I’m lucky to have him in my life.

And that got me thinking, thinking about families where fathers aren’t always around.

Last spring the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission held public hearings around the state. And several fathers, participants in programs with the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, spoke up about the legal gaps they encounter.

  • Father #1 currently has a wife and four children at home, but also two children from a previous relationship. He pays his monthly child support. He does not have any visitation rights. He asked for help to be able to see his children.
  • Father #2 was incarcerated for being in arrears for his child support payments. As a result he was placed into the program and has been diligently working with the program.
  • Father #3 meets the federal poverty guidelines even though he is working. He has been diligently paying his child support for 3 years and still does not have any visitation.
  • Father #4 paid child support for years without any visitation. He came to the program for assistance with visitation. Communication with his child’s mother was at a stand-still. He was unable to make any headway until he came to the Fatherhood program and learned skills to communicate with his child’s mother. As a result of his new skills, he was finally able to obtain visitation.

Another father participated in the SCETV special program on The Big Picture which focused on the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission and Self-Represented Litigants.

The Center performs a needed service – uniting children with their fathers.  And that’s something good to remember this Father’s Day.

-RFW

For more information about the Center for Fathers and Families, you may want to review the history of the center. The Center was developed from “Reducing Poverty through Father Engagement,” which was launched in 1997.

MUST SHARE

Last week I participated in the USC School of Law Career Week. I was a panelist for the non-traditional legal careers lunch session on Wednesday, January 28th, then on Thursday evening I attended the reception and met with students.

Now, it was during the lunch hour and free pizza was offered, but I was delighted to see the number of students who actually STAYED throughout the session and listened to not only me, but Ken Driggers, Cheryl McMurray and JoBeth Stephens Hite.

And I have to say, all of the other panelists were great. They offered fantastic insight into what they’re doing and it was obvious that they enjoyed what they’re doing. If you know me at all, whether you’ve heard me speak, read the blog, watched The Big Picture or otherwise, you KNOW how much I LOVE MY JOB! This position was created for me – or at least that’s how I feel. Well, speaking with others, whether attorneys or other careers, I realized how rare this is.

OUR MESSAGES WERE GENERALLY

ENJOY YOUR JOB,

DON’T BOX YOURSELF INTO THE EXPECTED, AND

YOU ARE LIMITED SOLELY BY YOUR INABILITY TO TRY.

 

So you can imagine how shocked, surprised, stunned and staggered I was when I heard the other panelists. Each of us had an interesting story about how we got where we are and how happy we are. Our messages were more philosophical than structured, but our messages were generally ENJOY YOUR JOB, DON’T BOX YOURSELF INTO THE EXPECTED, AND YOU ARE LIMITED SOLELY BY YOUR INABILITY TO TRY.

Afterwards some of the students gathered around for additional information and all had really neat ideas to share. One student, a 1L, asked me whether the Commission was interested in the issue that people living in poverty are much more likely to live on “polluted” or “poisonous” sites. I had another 1L ask me about volunteer opportunities. I referred her to the law school’s Pro Bono office and told her that Pam Robinson would be able to work with her.

Thursday evening was just as good. Students (1-3Ls) were interested and inquiring. The experience comforted and inspired me. If these students indicate the caliber of new attorneys, then we are going to see some fine attorneys.

-RFW

Online coverage of The Big Picture

Just last week, SCETV’s The Big Picture produced a program about the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission’s public hearings and self-represented litigants. If you missed the earlier coverage, no problem, both the television and radio shows are available online.

Simply click here and go to the tab labeled WATCH/LISTEN. Then decide whether to watch the 30 minute television show or listen to the hour radio show.

Again, thanks to Mark Quinn and everyone who helped with The Big Picture South Carolina Access to Justice program.

-RFW

On the Radio

This morning The Big Picture continued its coverage of the SC Access to Justice Commission with its radio program from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

And, if you missed this morning’s session, PLEASE don’t despair!

SCETV offers the program on their website at http://www.scetv.org/index.php/the_big_picture/show/access_to_justice/.

Simply click LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S RADIO SHOW and start to listen.

-RFW

Shameless Plug 2.1 – The Final Countdown

Watch out! I’ve learned how to embed video into the post. Boooooowaaaahaaaaahaaaaa (evil laugh)

At any rate, by now you’ve heard about the upcoming SCETV special on South Carolina Access to Justice and self-represented litigants, right?

Tune in this Thursday night (7:30 p.m.) on your local SCETV station to The Big Picture with Mark Quinn. Or, if you must, check out the special two more times, once on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and once on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

On Friday, tune in to hear the discussion continue on your South Carolina public radio news channel from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

And, in case you missed my earlier previews of the special, check them out –

Stay tuned for more . . .

-RFW