SDVLP Pro Bono Opportunities

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1 SDVLP Pro Bono Opportunities Dear SDVLP Pro Bono Attorneys, Thank you for your interest in providing pro bono legal assistance to San Diego s most vulnerable. Please find below our upcoming opportunities and case list. Interested in taking a case, but not able to take one of these? Let us know new cases come up daily. Thank you for your consideration of these cases and your generous support of SDVLP. Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities & Case List August 6, 2015 Restraining Order Clinic Volunteer Opportunity! SDVLP is seeking volunteer attorneys interested in assisting victims of violence, harassment and elder abuse in preparing their requests for civil restraining orders. Each year, hundreds of victims of violence, harassment and elder abuse are assisted at clinics operating from the Downtown, Vista and El Cajon branches of the San Diego Superior Court. Volunteer Attorneys assist clients in obtaining temporary restraining orders. In this capacity, they work closely with the clinic staff attorney to prepare forms and draft supporting

2 declarations. If you are interested in the downtown San Diego clinic, please contact staff attorney Bhavani Peesapati-Madero: If you are interested in the El Cajon clinic, please contact staff attorney Emily Kirohn: If you are interested in the Vista clinic, please contact staff attorney Laura Handler: (1) Represent a Low-Income Client at a Guardianship Trial ISSUE: Probate Guardianship ADVERSE PARTY: Will be disclosed to interested volunteer attorneys. SUMMARY: SDVLP is assisting a client who is contesting the permanent guardianship of her child. The paternal grandparents currently have temporary guardianship. A trial is set for August 26th for the permanent guardianship. SDVLP is seeking an attorney to represent the client at this trial. Trials are generally 3-4 hours. APPROPRIATE FOR: This case is appropriate for new or experienced attorneys. SDVLP can provide a guardianship manual, links to guardianship training, and mentorship. DESIRED ACTION: Represent client at contested guardianship trial. DEADLINE: Trial set for August 26, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. CONTACT: Christine Hall, (619) x 104.

3 (2) Help a Low Income Individual Get His Water Turned Back On ISSUE: Illegal Public Utility Shut-off ADVERSE PARTY: City of San Diego Public Utilities. SUMMARY: SDVLP is seeking a pro bono attorney to assist a low-income, disabled individual get his water utilities reinstated, and possibly obtaining reimbursement for costs incurred during the illegal water shut-off. APPROPRIATE FOR: This case is appropriate for new or experienced attorneys. SDVLP can provide mentorship, and any necessary support. DESIRED ACTION: Evaluate case and determine best course of action to reinstate water services. Negotiate with City and obtain reimbursement for client. (3) Help a Low Income Client Obtain Redress For Wrongful Disclosure of Health Information ISSUE: Privacy/Health Law ADVERSE PARTY: Will be shared with interested volunteer attorney. SUMMARY: Client wishes to pursue non-monetary remedies against two local organizations that wrongfully disseminated his private health information to 3 rd parties. Client seeks acknowledgement by the adverse parties that their actions violated his privacy, and an agreement that the agencies will change/improve their policies and training regarding client confidentiality.

4 APPROPRIATE FOR: This case is appropriate for new or experienced attorneys. SDVLP can provide mentorship, and any necessary support. Familiarity with mediation or dispute resolution principles helpful. DESIRED ACTION: Negotiate with the agencies to agree on a satisfactory resolution where the agencies acknowledge and redress breach of privacy and improve confidentiality policies and training for staff. (4) Protect a Low Income Client From an Abusive Family Member By Representing Client at a Restraining Order Hearing ISSUE: Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) in North County ADVERSE PARTY: Will be disclosed to interested volunteer attorneys. SUMMARY: SDVLP is assisting a client who is seeking a DVRO against his brother. The brother is self-medicating. During the most recent incident, the brother vandalized client s home and threatened client. Client would benefit greatly from having representation at the upcoming DVRO hearing. DESIRED ACTION: Represent client at DVRO hearing on August 19 at 9:00 am in North County. CONTACT: Kris Jacobs, (619) , ext. 111 or

5 (5) Advise a Low Income Client on His Rights Regarding the Family Medical Leave Act ISSUE: Employment Law/Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ADVERSE PARTY: Will be shared with interested volunteer attorney. SUMMARY: Low-income client with disabilities needs advice regarding his rights under the FMLA. Client requested a leave of absence to help care for a sick family member, but had no vacation leave days available. When client requested time off, client s employer threatened to fire client. APPROPRIATE FOR: This case is appropriate for attorneys with employment law/fmla experience. DESIRED ACTION: Review facts and advise client of rights under the law. (6) Help a Low-Income, Illiterate Tenant Recover an Unlawfully Withheld Security Deposit ISSUE: Landlord/Tenant ADVERSE PARTY: Will be disclosed to interested volunteer. SUMMARY: Client is entered into a lease agreement to rent a Section 8 apartment. The lease was written in English (client is monolingual Spanish speaking); the lease terms were not explained to client (client is illiterate); and the lease did not specify the actual apartment unit to be rented. When she signed the lease, client paid an $825 security deposit. Client ultimately was

6 forced to secure alternate housing because the apartment at issue was not delivered to client on her anticipated lease start date. Client wants her security deposit returned. APPROPRIATE FOR: This case is appropriate for new or experienced attorneys. SDVLP has already completed the research and draft demand letter. SDVLP can provide mentorship, sample letters and any necessary support. DESIRED ACTION: Assist client in getting her security deposit back by sending a letter to the landlord on her behalf. UPCOMING COURT DATE: None. (7) Assist a 64-year old Disabled Veteran with a Consumer Issue ISSUE: Consumer Law ADVERSE PARTY: Will be shared with interested volunteer attorney. SUMMARY: Client receives $1,450 a month in Social Security retirement benefits. Client purchased a used car. Client agreed to a payment plan, where he would pay a down payment and pay the rest according to a payment plan. A couple months into the payment plan, the dealership demanded a $500 Finance Charge not in the original agreement. Client wishes to keep the car, as he has already invested money in it for repairs, but wants to know whether he has recourse to get the $500 reimbursed. Client s disabilities render the client unable to effectively communicate with the used car dealer.

7 APPROPRIATE FOR: Attorneys with consumer law and/or contract experience. DESIRED ACTION: Assist veteran by reviewing contract, calculating damages and advocating on behalf of veteran before used car dealer. (8) Help a Very Low-Income Veteran with His Medical Debt ISSUE: Medical Debt ADVERSE PARTY: Will be disclosed to interested attorney. SUMMARY: Client receives $194 a month in income. Client has $900 in medical debt. The client is eligible for a medical debt waiver due to his lack of ability to pay. Client is unable to fill out the paperwork and gather the necessary evidence to perfect the request for waiver. APPROPRIATE FOR: Attorneys of all experience levels. SDVLP s staff attorneys are available to mentor, support and provide samples. DESIRED ACTION: Assist client with filling out financial assistance application, gather the necessary evidence and communicate with the hospital on behalf of the client. (9) Help a Very Low-Income, Disabled Trust Beneficiary Receive Income Owed Under a Trust

8 ISSUE: Enforcing Trustee Obligations ADVERSE PARTY: Will be disclosed to interested attorney. SUMMARY: Client receives only $170 a month in disability income from Social Security because client is the beneficiary of a trust which should provide client with additional income to purchase basic necessities of life. Client lives in a home owned by the trust. Client's home is adjacent to another home owned by the trust. Client's neighbor, the tenant in the other home owned by the trust, is threatening client. Client has asked the trustee to take action but the trustee has failed to do so. The trustee has also failed to provide client with his monthly allowances. As a result, client has been unable to purchase adequate groceries and other necessities of life. Client has been unsuccessful in requesting that the trustee abide by the trustee's obligations. The trustee is now trying to resign as trustee. APPROPRIATE FOR: Attorneys with trust experience. DESIRED ACTION: Assist client with requesting that the trustee abide by trustee's responsibilities and obligations. SDVLP's 2015 Summer Law Student Interns SDVLP would like to thank our outstanding 2015 summer law student interns! You braved heat waves, torrential rain, Comic Con crowds and complex legal issues to ensure access to justice to San Diegans in need.

9 Second Row L-R: Marisol Ornelas, Cal Western School of Law; Brittany Swett, USD School of Law; Fiona Campanano, Cal Western School of Law; Dominique Aljabi, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Blanca Ramirez, Cal Western School of Law. Not pictured: Samantha Mead, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Sandra Ayala, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Click here to read more. Register for AIDS Walk 2015! Saturday, September 26th, 2015 Walk or run in AIDS Walk 2015! You can win the Fastest Attorney in San Diego Award for the 10k! SDVLP will issue a female and a male award for three age groups: 30 and under, 31-40, and 41 and older. To compete, simply join Team SDVLP when you sign up for the 10K! Click here to register.

10 Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Esq. Pro Bono Coordinator San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. 707 Broadway, Suite 1400 / San Diego, CA T: (619) x 107 / F: (619) / Facebook Twitter Website Copyright 2015 San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc., All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 707 Broadway, Suite 1400, San Diego, CA unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences

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