Welcome to my Blogroll, Just Wisconsin

Welcome to my Blogroll, Just Wisconsin

Some of you may remember that I have some personal connections with Wisconsin: I attended college there, I worked there for 1 year after college and my parents currently live there. Just in case you’re still skeptical – here’s photographic proof (December 2008):


From Wisconsin

And yes, that’s SNOW!





From Looking at the snow from inside the cozy and warm house

I am pleased as punch to welcome Just Wisconsin to my blogroll.

And just in case you missed information about the NEW Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, first reported during the Equal Justice Conference, check out the Wisconsin Law Journal coverage here.


Day 1: Equal Justice Conference

Jeff from Wisconsin
Jeff from Wisconsin

See Jeff‘s Big Smile? It’s due to the announcement of the establishment of the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission – TODAY!

2009EJC 002

Just a few more minutes before Sue Talia’s session starts. Lots of networking going on.

2009EJC 004Cheryl Zalenski just about to sit down as Sue Talia starts the discussion about Limited Scope Representation aka Unbundled Legal Representation.

2009EJC 005The Unbundled Discussion continues!

2009EJC 006And more . . .

2009EJC 009Everybody’s listening and is happy!

2009EJC 011Introducing Sharon Browning and the National Celebration of Pro Bono – October 25-31, 2009. The website is relatively new and has TONS of useful info. Check it out here. And while you’re there, sign up for the updates.

2009EJC 016Steve Scudder provides more details about the Celebrate Pro Bono event.

I can’t wait for Day 2.


SRLs Rise as Economy Declines

No Surprise!

SRLs Rise as Economy Declines

This probably isn’t a surprise to many. But it is interesting that there are more articles about the phenomena.

For example, the New York Times recently featured a story about the rising number of Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) entitled In a Downtown, More Act as Their Own Lawyers.”  The article noted the phenomena in multiple jurisdictions including  California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas. The NYTimes also notes that the phenomena is not limited to a specific court.

On Saturday, April 18, 2009, the Star-Telegram out of Texas, featured a story about the rise in SRLs specifically in Family Court in its article “For better or worse, fewer using divorce lawyers.”  ABC Channel 2 out of Wisconsin featured its own story, “Economy Affecting Divorces in Court.”

But the phenomena isn’t limited to state courts. Law.com featured its own article entitled “Federal Courts React to Tide of Pro Se Litigants.

Missing from the list of articles is SRLs in Bankruptcy Court. While there are no numbers, percentages, or stories, not to worry, the U.S. Courts website has a site dedicated to “Filing without an Attorney.” In South Carolina, click here. Both sites offer a video explanation as well.

It may not be a surprise but while there may be many people who want to proceed on their own, they are still advised to speak with an attorney, if possible. 


People with Modest Means – Wisconsin Bar offers HELP!

South Carolina is my home, but I also have ties to Wisconsin. My mother and brother were born there. I attended college there and many of my classmates still live there. And a few years ago, my parents moved there. So when I’m perusing the access to justice news, I’m especially pleased to see Wisconsin making inroads in this area.

The title of the piece introducing resources to people with modest means threw me a litte – A Modest Proposal. For Jonathan Swift fans, you understand, right? BUT then I read through the piece and heartily endorse Wisconsin’s initiative in reaching out to help people with modest means through their MODEST MEANS PANEL. Kudos for WI Bar ED George C. Brown for his support of this project.

The Wisconsin Bar offers the benefits to attorneys participating in the program:

The State Bar assists attorneys who serve on the modest means panel. Client representation through the modest means panel qualifies as pro bono legal services within the meaning of SCR 20:6.1, and attorneys are eligible for State Bar pro bono benefits, including first-dollar malpractice insurance through the State Bar for these cases. Participating attorneys are not charged a fee to join the modest means panel, and referrals made through the panel are exempt from LRIS referral fees.


Presidents’ Day 2009

How to celebrate? Hmmm, well, I’m at the office, so I’ll share some of my favorite recent blog posts:

  1. From http://lawyeradvicenet.com/ – Seeking Free Legal Help for Domestic Violence – I like this one for its straight-forward no-nonsense get-to-biz style. Excerpt – Did you know that many people suffer from domestic violence? Survivors of domestic violence often complain about essential hypertension, migraines, insomnia, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, excessive fatigue, and many others. If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you need to seek legal help at once.
  2. From http://johnb98.wordpress.com/ – 25 in 5 Network releases Blueprint for poverty reduction in Ontario – I like this one for its broad impact idea and the commitment to involving those who need the help most of all. Excerpt – “Poor people want to be part of the solution,” said Capponi. “This represents our greatest opportunity in decades to contribute our talents, efforts and our ambitions to a full recovery. Once implemented it would allow many to find secure footing, enabling them to provide for their families and themselves, through employment, education and retraining.”
  3. From http://atjwisconsin.blogspot.com/ – Online Pro Bono Opportunities Guide Available – I like this one for its practicality – there’s a problem, here’s the solution! Excerpt – One of the roadblocks that I sometimes hear about is just lack of awareness about what pro bono projects are out there. That’s the need this new directory is designed to fill. On the State Bar pro bono page, lawyers will now find a searchable directory.
  4. From http://techno.la/ – Recent Hack Points Out Bad Passwords – I like this one for its universality. EVERYBODY uses passwords, every day. No Excerpt necessary. Just go there!
  5. From http://blog.justiceserved.com/ – The world is run by those who show up – I like this one because it isn’t law related or is it? Excerpt – Do you ever notice when someone gets an award, you often learn that they are also coaching their children’s Little League team, serving on the local food bank board of directors, and chair of a committee in their professional organization? Do you ever notice that there are a limited number of people you reliably can turn to when you need something done? Is it a surprise that these same people are usually in both categories?

So, go ahead, celebrate Presidents’ Day. Read a few blog posts. You’ll be glad you did.