2 ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY ANNUAL REPORT 2014 OUR OFFICES MAIN OFFICE 54 Ellis Street NE Atlanta, Georgia DECATUR OFFICE 246 Sycamore Street Suite 120 Decatur, Georgia LEGAL AID OF COBB COUNTY 30 South Park Square Suite 101 Marietta, Georgia ext. 232 GWINNETT LEGAL AID 324 West Pike Street Suite 200 Lawrenceville, GA GEORGIA RELAY (Deaf and hearing impaired) Dial 711 A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The highlight of 2014 had to be beginning the renovation of 54 Ellis Street as our new headquarters. Our new building will provide more space for staff to better serve clients--not just in Atlanta, but in the entire metropolitan area. It will let us consolidate our work with seniors, and expand our work to other especially vulnerable populations, like veterans. It also has a history of service and a dignity which befits our program and our clients. And having 54 Ellis as our headquarters further institutionalizes us as an anchor non-profit in Atlanta. But construction at 54 Ellis was only part of what we did in We continued our cutting edge work. We are at the center of the national challenge to mortgage practices which leave widows out in the cold (both literally and figuratively) on reverse mortgages when their spouses die. We are challenging Georgia s garnishment statutes because it allows for no speedy way to recover exempt property. Even with our help, our client had to wait months to get his benefits released--much of that time without critical cancer drugs. We continue to enforce our groundbreaking Olmstead case and have been recognized nationally for our work, most recently at LSC s 40th anniversary in Washington. We also maintain our passion and commitment for our everyday cases. Last year we got almost $2 million in consumer recoveries and over $2 million in family law benefits. That commitment was captured at our 90th Anniversary celebration when four of our advocates spoke about their work. Dozens of people who attended have remarked that they were taken by the passion of our staff and the breadth of our work. So while 2014 was not only singular for our acquisition of a wonderful new building, it was also marked our 90th year of providing high quality representation for our clients ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY SOUTHSIDE OFFICE 1514 East Cleveland Avenue Suite 100 Atlanta, Georgia SPANISH HOTLINE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM GEORGIA SENIOR LEGAL HOTLINE Since 1924 Atlanta Legal Aid Society has provided civil legal services without cost to people with very low incomes who cannot afford to hire counsel. We serve Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties. STEVE GOTTLIEB OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2014 Executive Committee Catherine Salinas Acree, President William Stanhope, Vice-President Chad Allan Shultz, Treasurer Lillian Caudle, Secretary Dawn M. Jones, Immediate Past President Michael W. Rafter Ryan K. Walsh Matthew J. Calvert Advisory Committee Yendelela Neely Anderson Neera Bahl Gaylen Kemp Baxter Mary T. Benton Hon. Joyce Bihary Mark E. Budnitz Tamara Caldas Tamara L. Caldwell R. Scott Campbell Vickie S. Carlton-Sadler A. Craig Cleland Taylor T. Daly Reggie Dunbar II Robert N. Dokson Michael T. Nations Robert J. Taylor, IV Harold Anderson Jamala Sumaiya McFadden William P. Barnette Elisa Smith Kodish Leslie Kali Eason Kevin Erwin James L. Ewing IV Jonathan M. Fee Jay P. Ferguson, Jr. Jonathon Fligg Megan Haley Robin M. Hensley Rick Horder Andrew D. Horowitz Randall L. Hughes James D. Humphries IV Jennifer Ide Board of Directors Khadijah Abdur-Rahman Jane Arnold Jacqueline Boatwright Cload Buku Thad Ellis John Fleming Ashby Kent Fox Carole Frame Philip E. Holladay, Jr. William R. Jenkins Sean Patrick Jessee Elizabeth Finn Johnson Kenneth A. Klatt Luke A. Lantta Myron Kramer Ross Mansbach Sandra Matthews Teri Plummer McClure Aasia Mustakeem Robert G. Pennington Rachel Platt Judge Patsy Y. Porter Betty Jefferson Bethany Lewis Christine Martin-Arrington Evan H. Pontz Maria Pujols Richard M. Rufolo Laurice Rutledge Laura Thatcher Alfredia Webb Howard Rothbloom Rita A. Sheffey Melinda E. Simon Victoria C. Smith Trishanda L. Treadwell Mark S. VanderBroek Davené D. Walker Mary L. Webb Michelle West Cristiane R. Wolfe Jessica Jay Wood
3 ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY attorneys, paralegals and caseworkers opened 24,974 cases in 2014 CASES BY LOCATION TOTAL: 24,974 GEORGIA FAMILY: 7,959 HOUSING: 4,896 OMBUDSMAN: 4,000 COBB: 3,179 DOWNTOWN: Over 3,910 CONSUMER: 2,955 SOUTHSIDE 2,309 DECATUR: 5,223 TYPE OF CASE INCOME MAINTENANCE: 1,927 HEALTH: 1,107 GWINNETT: 2,856 MISCELLANEOUS: 1,194 EMPLOYMENT: 329 INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS: 272 EDUCATION: 216 OMBUDSMAN 4,000 GEORGIA SENIOR LEGAL HOTLINE 3,168 HEALTH LAW PARTNERSHIP 427 JUVENILE: BY THE NUMBERS LEGAL AID HELPS CHILDREN AND FAMILIES $1.34 million in child support ordered 796 adults and children protected from violence 1,112 people provided stability through adoption, visitation, custody, guardianship or legitimation $238,090 in special education services secured. LEGAL AID SAVES HOMES Saved 57 homes from foreclosure, preserving over $712,000 in equity and eliminating almost $1 million in mortgage debt $ LEGAL AID PROTECTS CONSUMERS $2,321,114 in consumer and medical debt eliminated LEGAL AID ACCESSES HEALTHCARE Over $2.5 million in ongoing health benefits and $2.9 million in skilled care and personal care secured or retained for disabled and elderly clients. LEGAL AID HELPS THE WORKING POOR Helped low-income workers access nearly $326,000 in unemployment benefits. Secured $621,633 in Food Stamps. Preserved $1.5 million in ongoing housing benefits ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 3
4 Atlanta Legal Aid Society began as the dream of a young lawyer named E. Smythe Gambrell, who had the idea that he could found an organization that would help returning World War I veterans victimized by salary buying/ payday lending scams and desperate women with family issues. Ninety years later, Atlanta Legal Aid continues to provide vigorous and innovative advocacy that changes laws and empowers clients in Fulton, Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Cobb counties. The support of the legal community for Atlanta Legal Aid has been constant throughout its history. Lawyers built and sustained Legal Aid, and make it possible to serve nearly 25,000 clients each year ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY The Georgia Aquarium s beautiful Oceans Ballroom was filled to the gills as hundreds of Atlanta Legal Aid staff, alumni and friends met to celebrate 90 years of service to our community. We saw old friends; we were serenaded by Tri Cities High School Concert Chorale; we enjoyed a luncheon prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering. We took many many pictures at the Smilebooth! We took some time to appreciate and reflect on our work and our participation in Atlanta Legal Aid s storied history.
5 Thank you, Sponsors ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 90TH ANNIVERSARY GREATEST GENERATION LEVEL GROOVY SIXTIES LEVEL TOTALLY AWESOME EIGHTIES LEVEL IN-KIND: CWC In Honor of Justice Robert Benham ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 5
6 15 YEARS The Atlanta Legal Aid Society celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Olmstead decision in The celebrations culminated in June with an anniversary event at The Carter Center and the launch of a new national website: OlmsteadRights.org. Olmstead is the most important U.S. Supreme Court decision for people with disabilities. It was litigated by the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. At the beginning of 2014, we launched the I am Olmstead social media campaign to collect and share stories of people whose lives have been transformed due to the decision. Since then, we have been regularly tweeting and posting stories, images, and resources. We have built a following throughout the country. We then gathered the lawyers who originally brought the lawsuit to be filmed by filmmaker Peter Grosz. The film about the Olmstead case was well received and can now be seen at OlmsteadRights.org. Next, we brought StoryCorps to the capitol for Disability Day. We recorded I am Olmstead stories, including the story of Keith McGarrity as told by his father Alvin. Keith spent over 40 years in state institutions before returning to the community as a result of Georgia s 2010 Olmstead Settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. Atlanta Legal Aid represented Keith when his county tried to close his personal care home. In June, we celebrated the 15th anniversary at the Carter Center featuring eight I am Olmstead stories, the lead Olmstead lawyer from the U.S. Justice Department, and Georgia Commissioner Frank Berry of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. In addition to debuting our Olmstead movie, we heard about the extraordinary impact Olmstead is having throughout the country. Finally, through a Technology Initiative Grant from the Legal Service Corporation, we launched OlmsteadRights.org. The website serves three purposes: 1) to tell the larger community about the impact Olmstead is having through I am Olmstead stories: (2) to provide people with disabilities self-advocacy tools so that they can enforce their rights; and (3) to provide comprehensive pleadings and resources to lawyers who are litigating Olmstead cases ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY
7 General Law Practice The core of Atlanta Legal Aid Society s representation comes through the General Law practice. General Law offers advice and representation in employment cases, landlord-tenant disputes and public benefits. General Law also helps with a wide variety of consumer and public education issues. Each office has a General Law practice, which covers the most basic needs of our clients, yet can also offer advice and assistance in complex issues. General Law clients are typically the lowest income individuals who seek help from Atlanta Legal Aid, and therefore, often the most vulnerable. Mrs. Simms was a victim of domestic violence. She had gotten a restraining order against her abuser. She thought she had moved to where her abuser could not find her. Yet, her abuser showed up at her job. He followed her home and discovered where she lived. She moved to a shelter for DV victims, but she knew he would be able to find her there, too, if he followed her from work again. Mrs. Simms worked in a retail store. After several weeks, she decided she was not safe there and quit her job. Mrs. Simms applied for unemployment benefits. Her application was denied by the Georgia Department of Labor. A Legal Aid attorney assisted Mrs. Simms at the hearing. She presented expert testimony regarding DV in the work-place and how it affected not just the victim but all the employees, and in this case, customers. The DOL upheld the denial, stating that Mrs. Simms did not have good work-connected cause to leave her job; that the DV was not as a result of any action taken by the employer. The Legal Aid lawyer filed an appeal to Superior Court and it, too, upheld the denial. HOUSING & CONSUMER Two Legal Aid lawyers petitioned the Georgia Court of Appeals to grant an appeal as this was a case of first impression in Georgia. After thoroughly briefing the matter, oral argument was granted. The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a victim of DV has good work-connected cause to quit her job if she is being stalked at the work place. Mrs. Simms was awarded unemployment benefits. The Home Defense Program (HDP) provides advice, referrals, and legal representation to homeowners who are facing the loss of their homes, have been targeted for predatory mortgage lending or servicing practices, and/or have been wrongfully denied loan modifications or HomeSafe Georgia assistance. Most clients are longtime homeowners, elderly and/or disabled living on a modest retirement or disability income, or families experiencing layoffs or substantially reduced wages. During 2014, dual tracking continued to be a common problem: mortgage companies scheduled foreclosure sales, even though homeowners had applied and were eligible for loan modifications. Another common issue involved surviving spouses and other heirs who were turned down for loan modifications when the modification would financially benefit both the homeowner and the mortgage holder. HDP also continued to see problems with the implementation of HomeSafe Georgia, including the failure to approve applications based on improper application of eligibility criteria. HDP saved clients homes in 2014 by stopping or rescinding foreclosure sales, cancelling mortgage loans, restructuring mortgage loans with lower balances, interest rates, and monthly payments, and securing mortgage assistance from HomeSafe Georgia. Finally, HDP s extensive advocacy with the state agency that runs HomeSafe led to a program expansion with broad impact for Georgia homeowners. In 2014, the state implemented most of HDP s recommendations for program expansion, making HomeSafe assistance available to more Georgia homeowners. Ms. Jackson called HDP when she faced foreclosure, after being laid off from her job and turned down for assistance from HomeSafe. HDP determined that Ms. Jackson qualified for HomeSafe, a mortgage assistance program, and persuaded the state agency to reopen her application. In the meantime, the mortgage servicing company claimed not to have the payment history required to complete her HomeSafe application. After the servicer refused to stop the scheduled foreclosure sale, HDP obtained a stay by filing an emergency bankruptcy petition for Ms. Jackson. HDP also filed a complaint against the servicer with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Based on HDP s advocacy, the state agreed to accept alternative documentation of Ms. Jackson s payment history and approved her HomeSafe application. However, the servicer refused to accept the HomeSafe funds because, by that time, the amount available to reinstate her loan would not bring her loan fully current. Having seen multiple clients experience problems with the same mortgage servicer, HDP contacted general counsel for the company, demanding action for Ms. Jackson and other HDP clients. When the state expanded the HomeSafe program, additional funds became available to assist Ms. Jackson. Further negotiations with the mortgage servicer led to its agreement to accept HomeSafe assistance for Ms. Jackson and not foreclose while she was participating in the HomeSafe program. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Jackson found a full-time job, was again able to afford her mortgage payments, and exited the HomeSafe program. Ms. Jackson is no longer at risk of losing her home. ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 7
8 FAMILIES & CHILDREN Family Law Year after year, well over a third of all the cases in which Legal Aid lawyers give advice or representation concern family law problems. This should come as no surprise, since just under half of all the cases filed in the metro-atlanta superior courts are family law matters. In addition to advising and representing thousands of clients with family law problems, Legal Aid lawyers continue to serve on various task forces and committees addressing systemic family law issues. One of our lawyers serves on the State Bar Family Law Section s Executive Board. Another served as a trainer on the Violence Against Women Act. Others served on task forces or committees of the Georgia Child Support Commission, one working on updating and improving the electronic calculator used to figure out child support awards and another reviewing possible child support legislation. Another Legal Aid lawyer serves on the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. Most of Legal Aid s family law work involves advising or representing individual low-income people in family law matters such as divorce, legitimation, family violence, custody, visitation, and child support. We usually represent parents or other relatives caring for minor children. But, sometimes, we represent the children more directly, as one of our lawyers did last fall in a family violence case filed on behalf of four children being beaten by their mother s boyfriend. Ms. Gooden filed an action on behalf of her minor children seeking a Temporary Protective Order ( TPO ) against her live-in boyfriend, Mr. Russell. Three of her children were from her prior marriage, and Mr. Russell was the father of the youngest child. Ms. Gooden filed for the TPO after an incident in which Mr. Russell beat the youngest child with a belt, leaving a big welt mark all the way across the boy s back and onto his upper arm. It was not an isolated incident, and it was the last straw. Mr. Russell had beaten all of the children with his belt and his fists, including punching them in the head. Sometimes, Mr. Russell told Ms. Gooden to keep the children home from school because they had bruises. This time, even though Ms. Gooden and the children depended on Mr. Russell financially, and she was afraid of him herself, she decided that she had to try to make him stop. Ms. Gooden filed her petition, and was referred to Legal Aid for help with the court hearing. At the hearing, the judge reviewed DFCS records in chambers and interviewed two of the children. The lawyers questioned the witnesses and argued the law. The court found that Mr. Russell s actions went beyond reasonable discipline and were acts of family violence. The Court entered a TPO to protect the children from further harm. Then, Mr. Russell s counsel filed an application for discretionary appeal. Ms. Gooden s Legal Aid lawyer promptly filed a response opposing the application, pointing out the trial court s broad discretion in these matters, illustrating the ample evidence presented to support the trial court s decision, and pointing out the case law drawing a distinction between reasonable acts of discipline and unreasonable discipline that could give rise to a protective order. The Court of Appeals denied the application for discretionary appeal, and the TPO is still in place protecting these children ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY LEGAL AID HELPS CHILDREN AND FAMILIES $1.34 million in child support ordered 796 adults and children protected from violence in ,112 people provided stability through adoption, visitation, custody, guardianship or legitimation $238,090 in special education services secured.
9 The Grandparent/Relative Caregiver Project The Grandparent/Relative Caregiver Project provides legal advice to relatives who are raising children in the place of absent or deceased parents. Relative caregivers, often elderly, can struggle to care and provide for the new members of the household. The Project s focus is stabilizing the legal relationship between the relative and the child through an adoption or custody proceeding. The Project also works to ensure that the caregivers are maximizing all of the resources available to the children in their care. In addition to direct representation, the Project s attorney recruits, trains, and serves as back up to private attorneys who volunteer to complete adoptions for the Project s clients. Kilpatrick Townsend has made the Project one of its signature pro bono projects, taking roughly half of the adoptions handled by volunteers. Since the Project s inception fifteen years ago, 768 children have been adopted from 436 families. Betty and Donald got their twin grandchildren out of foster care when they were about six months old. The children were born weighing only two pounds each and the hospital had concerns that the mother would be able to adequately care for the children. Consequently, their mother abandoned them at the hospital (they were originally triplets but one died at about six months old) causing them to be taken into foster care. A few years later, another grandchild came to live with them at birth, as he was not allowed to go home with his mother. She had eight children in a nine-year period and three of them are deceased - the triplet already mentioned, one was still born, and another sibling died at 3 months old of SIDS. When the 3 month old died, they could not even reach the mother to tell her! A volunteer attorney finalized the adoption, finally creating the stability the family had been missing. The Hispanic Outreach Law Project (HOLP) provides guidance, referral services and legal assistance to Spanishspeaking residents in our service area. Our clients rely on us for the legal guidance for themselves and their families. Many of our clients speak little if any English. Yet beyond language, many of our clients face distinct cultural challenges to accessing legal services. Some tolerate domestic violence instead of seeking help because they fear law enforcement and the judicial system. We have dedicated staff familiar with the distinctive cultural issues of our clients as they are with their legal rights. Our staff s background and training make them uniquely suited to assist and represent them. To facilitate we work with community based organizations, social service agencies, health centers, shelters, and concerned citizens. Together, we protect the legal rights of our clients, and empower them. José and Selena are married and the parents of two minor children. They came to our office after repeatedly complaining, through an interpreter, to the landlord about an infestation of rats in their apartment. Despite numerous requests for repairs, the landlord ignored them for months, even after the city cited the landlord for the infestation. When José and Selena came to our office they could no longer cook in their apartment because the rats overran thekitchen, the dining room and living room areas. Out of frustration they had withheld the rent, and the landlord filed an eviction action against them. We filed an answer with a counterclaim and represented them at the trial, where they were awarded several thousand dollars in damages and allowed to move. Maria is a mother of three children. She speaks little English. For years, she suffered domestic violence at the hands of her husband. The final straw for her came last year when her husband severely assaulted her, breaking her finger in two places. A social agency referred her to our office to assist her in obtaining a family violence protective order. We obtained it for her and her children. He violated the order twice. Both times we went to court and helped her obtain contempt orders. Maria is safe and secure now because he no longer contacts her and she has a child support order. ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 9
10 HEALTH LAW Disability Integration Project In 2014, the Disability Integration Project celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Supreme Court s Olmstead decision. Olmstead is Atlanta Legal Aid Society s 1999 United States Supreme Court victory, which gives individuals with disabilities the right to live in the community rather than in institutions. We continued to work with the U.S. Justice Department, the Independent Reviewer, and stakeholders to ensure the success of Georgia s 2010 Olmstead settlement with the Justice Department. The settlement is enabling all people with developmental disabilities to leave state run institutions and return to the community as well as providing community supports for up to 9,000 people with mental illness. We have robust successful projects working with people with mental illness in forensic hospitals and who are coming out of jails to ensure they get the supports they need. We represented people with developmental disabilities and physical disabilities to obtain Medicaid Waivers so that they can live successful meaningful lives in the community. For the first time, our office established a partnership with the Quaker Voluntary Service, and we have a year-long fellow working with us. One of the clients we represented was Roger, who had been at Georgia Regional Hospital for many years solely as a person with a mental illness when in fact he also had a developmental disability. We advocated for him to receive a Medicaid waiver with an exceptional rate so that he could live in the community with appropriate supports, have meaningful day activities and never have to return to the institution where he had spent so many years. After successfully obtaining the waiver, Roger was discharged to a home where he is doing very well. One of our most successful clients, Harold Anderson, who is now on the board of Atlanta Legal Aid, was nominated for and received two awards this year from the Legal Services Corporation as well as the National Legal Aid Defence Association. Harold traveled to Washington DC and to speak about his time spent in nursing homes and how life has improved since he has returned to the community. Health Law Partnership (HeLP) The Health Law Partnership is an interdisciplinary community collaboration among Atlanta Legal Aid, Children s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia State University College of Law. The social and economic conditions in which children live can seriously affect their health. Attorneys intervene to address issues, such as poor housing conditions, lack of protection from domestic violence and failure to protect the legal rights of disabled children, with the goal of improving the physical, social or economic environments in which many children live. HeLP has on-site legal offices at Children s at Scottish Rite, Children s at Egleston, and Children s at Hughes Spalding Hospitals. In addition, HeLP has a legal clinic located at the Georgia State University College of Law, in which law students work with clients to address legal issues. HeLP receives calls concerning disability benefits, special education, Medicaid, all aspects of family law, problems related to housing conditions, and other issues that affect low income individuals, whether they have sick children or not. The attorneys have also assisted with problems related to food stamps, utilities, employment and health insurance ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY Early in 2014, HeLP staff began working with a client who lived in DeKalb County. She had contacted HeLP for assistance with her landlord. Her heating and air conditioning systems ran simultaneously, resulting in very high electricity bills. Her landlord had not been responsive to her requests to have this problem remedied. As a result of the high electric bills, the client fell behind on her rent, and ultimately received a demand notice tacked to her door. Staff contacted the landlord in an attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement. Despite multiple attempts, the landlord did not respond. However, he did contact the client, forgiving her arrearages, and allowed her to leave the apartment, which were major points that the students had hoped to reach in negotiations. The client was able to relocate with her daughter, without an outstanding debt to the landlord, and without such debt on her credit report.
11 Health Law Unit: AIDS Legal Project/Cancer & ALS Initiative/Breast Cancer Legal Project The Health Law Unit provides comprehensive and compassionate legal services to low-income individuals living with serious health conditions such as cancer and HIV. The Unit assists clients across metro Atlanta with a wide range of illness-related legal issues that are barriers to care and affect the clients ability to focus on treatment and wellness. The Health Law Unit focuses on the most essential of legal issues, such as access to health care, safe and affordable housing, preservation of benefits and income, protection of rights under the ADA and HIV confidentiality rules, end of life planning and other legal assistance that helps our clients focus on their health and well-being. The Health Law Unit started 25 years ago as the AIDS Legal Project, addressing the legal needs of those impacted by the then still relatively new AIDS epidemic. The AIDS Legal Project, now part of the Health Law Unit, has enjoyed such longevity largely thanks to the support of long-time AIDS grants from Ryan White Care Act and HUD, and expansion into serving cancer patients through our signature breast cancer grant from Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta. The AIDS Legal Project had been a successful program for more than a decade when The Breast Cancer Legal Project began its relationship with Komen. While the Health Law Unit service low-income adults impacted by all sorts of cancers, its targeted work with women living with breast cancer has set Atlanta Legal Aid apart. As one of the pioneer projects nationwide serving women with cancer, the Breast Cancer Legal Project continues to work closely with hospitals, cancer centers, and community health organizations to provide civil legal services for breast cancer patients and survivors. In addition to partnering with community cancer leaders, the Breast Cancer Legal Project has enjoyed a long relationship with the Women in the Profession Section of the Atlanta Bar, providing pro bono legal services to our clients. Such relationships not only help the clients served through those partnerships, but also free up staff attorney time to provide more comprehensive to our clients living with long-term and serious illnesses. Noora is a 30-year-old single mother of three who was recently diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer. Noora came to this country as a refugee, and then was given expedited permanent resident status. When Noora was denied Women s Health Medicaid, which would cover the cost of her breast cancer treatments, she contacted her social worker at the hospital, and that social worker referred her to Atlanta Legal Aid. Lisa Liang, staff attorney and leader of the Breast Cancer Legal Project, helped the client file an appeal of her Medicaid denial. Lisa successfully negotiated with the senior leaders at the state Medicaid office, convincing them that the agency was misreading their own policies on Medicaid eligibility for refugees who have obtained permanent resident status. Because of the Breast Cancer Legal Project, Noora was able to begin her treatment and have a chance at beating cancer. LEGAL AID ACCESSES HEALTHCARE Over $2.5 million in ongoing health benefits and $2.9 million in skilled care and personal care secured or retained for disabled and elderly clients. ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 11
12 SENIOR CITIZENS Georgia Senior Legal Hotline is a statewide service that provides advice, brief services, and referrals to economically and/or socially disadvantaged Georgians over sixty and to relative caregivers of any age. If the Hotline cannot resolve the caller s legal problem through advice and brief services, it refers the caller to free legal services, if available, or the private bar. The Hotline works closely with the Georgia Legal Services Program and the State Division of Aging Services. In 2014, the Hotline opened over 3,000 cases and fielded over 8,500 calls from across the state of Georgia. The Hotline has a flourishing volunteer attorney program and has been a favorite volunteer program for retired attorneys who want to use their legal skills but who do not want to litigate. Georgia s seniors continue to benefit from volunteer projects with attorneys from Alston & Bird and Troutman Sanders as well as the Elder Law Section of the Atlanta Bar. The Hotline announced a new volunteer partnership with Coca-Cola in Coca-Cola joined Alston & Bird to provide pro bono administrative support to the Hotline by pulling calls from the Hotline s voic and posting them to the Legal Server system. Alston & Bird staff has been performing this integral task five days a week for the Hotline for the last five years. In 2014, Atlanta Legal Aid Society was the recipient of two different grants designated to expand the Hotline s Outcomes Project. The Outcomes Project was born from a 2011 Outcomes Study conducted as part of a federal Model Approaches grant. The study s purpose was to determine the effectiveness of the Hotline s advice and brief services provided to seniors. The study provided invaluable data that helped Hotline staff improve office protocols to assist seniors more effectively. The Hotline integrated the study into regular practices by transitioning the study into an official Hotline outcomes project that has since continued to provide insight into the Hotline s best practices. Data from the Project has already inspired a number of changes in procedures at the Hotline that have improved legal services to seniors across Georgia. The UPS Foundation provided a $30,000 grant to expand the Project and the Legal Services Corporation announced in September that the Atlanta Legal Aid Society would receive a twenty-four month grant of $212,837 to expand the Hotline s outcomes project to other units and offices. The grant was awarded from the $2.5 million dollar Pro Bono Innovation Fund which invests in projects focused on improving legal services for low-income clients through pro bono services. Seventy-eight year old William was homebound and had a malfunctioning power wheel chair. For over three months, he tried to get Medicare and the Medicare contractor to make repairs with no success while he suffered in great pain. William called the Hotline for help. After repeated calls and constant pressure from the Hotline attorney, the contractor finally sent a repairman out to determine the problem, ordered the parts, and sent the repairman back out to William s home to make the repairs. William wept over the phone when he happily reported the news to the Hotline Attorney. He can now sit in his chair and move around his apartment without pain. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program continued its mission of advocating for the welfare of the frail elderly and the developmentally disabled adults who live in long-term care facilities in our ten-county area. Ombudsmen made 4,104 unannounced visits to approximately 1,200 nursing homes and personal care homes and satisfactorily resolved 71% of the 513 complaints registered by the residents and their families. The program employs 11 staff and 25 volunteers and receives legal support and advice from the Senior Citizens Law Project. Ombudsman staff participated in an emergency relocation team effort of 12 residents of an unlicensed personal care home in July. The home had no air conditioning, very little food on site and the owner was nowhere to be found. Two family members of the owner said they were in charge. With other agencies, the ombudsmen helped interview the residents and secure placement for 11 of the residents. One of the residents was transported to a nearby hospital because of dehydration. During the incident the owner appeared. She was questioned and arrested by the Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Ombudsmen followed up with visits to each of the residents, in the following weeks, to make sure their needs were being met ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY The Senior Citizens Law Project (SCLP) provides legal representation to clients 60 and older. Although the Project accepts clients regardless of income, it gives highest priority to legal problems affecting low-income and homebound seniors. These problems often involve income and healthcare benefits, such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and Medicare. SCLP also represents those who live in nursing homes and personal care homes, regardless of their age, on issues involving admission and discharge rights, as well as conditions of care in those facilities. Cases involving abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of seniors are also given high priority as well as home defense cases. SCLP represented a nursing home resident seeking Medicaid coverage for his nursing home expenses to avoid discharge from the facility for nonpayment. The Medicaid application was previously denied. Pursuant to our representation, Medicaid was approved for all but five months of the time for which benefits were sought. Medicaid law also requires that beneficiaries may deduct from future patient liability unpaid medical expenses which are incurred prior to the Medicaid application and that those expenses be deducted at the Medicaid reimbursement rate. We filed an appeal with the Office of State Administrative Hearings challenging DFCS s failure to allow these deductions at the Medicaid reimbursement rate. An order was entered requiring that the unpaid bills be deducted as we requested so that the client received Medicaid coverage of all allowable nursing home expenses and avoided discharge from the facility. This ruling should serve as a directive for DFCS to properly calculate incurred medical expense deductions for other nursing home residents in the future.
13 Randall L. Hughes Lifetime Commitment to Legal Services Award J.D. HUMPHRIES Stites & Harbison Stites & Harbison partner J.D. Humphries III has worked with Atlanta Legal Aid for almost 30 years, beginning as a board member in the 1980s and as president of the board of directors in Humphries was Legal Aid s annual campaign chairman from 2003 to 2006 and in 2006 he led the campaign to raise more than $1.5 million for the program s ongoing operating needs. Even after his formal involvement ended, he has been available for special duty, according to Steve Gottlieb, ALAS executive director. Since 2008, Humphries has been chairman of Legal Aid s Building Committee, culminating in the purchase and renovation of 54 Ellis St. as the new headquarters for Legal Aid. Volunteer of the Year Award DOROTHY DODIE ROSENBERGER SACHS O Kelley & Sorohan Dorothy Dodie Rosenberger Sachs, a litigation associate at Duluth s O Kelley & Sorohan, has since 2010 been an active volunteer with the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project, a joint venture between the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and the Gwinnett County Bar Association, taking several cases each year. She does not shy away from difficult cases and handles cases in all areas of family law, including divorces, child custody and support and adoptions, said Rachel Lazurus, GPBP exective director. Lazurus called Rosenburger a zealous advocate known for the respect and care with which she treats clients and their families. Rosenberger also supports the project s mission as membership chairwoman of the Gwinnett County Bar Association, encouraging new and experienced attorneys to volunteer with the project. She regularly participates in the project s TPO and relative caregiver trainings and CLEs SERVICE AWARDS Reprinted courtesy of the Daily Report Atlanta Legal Aid staff and programs received recognition from many sources in 2014 Lisa Liang Rita Sheffey Public Interest Award Public Interest Section of the Atlanta Bar Association Brianne Erwin Jill Radwin Award State Bar of Georgia C. Talley Wells Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service State Bar of Georgia Michelle Jordan Families First Award Family Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association Jessica Casey Jones Day Southside Catherine Vandenberg Dan Bradley Award State Bar of Georgia FELLOWS Class of 2014 ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 13
14 ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY COBB JUSTICE FOUNDATION In 1991, Legal Aid of Cobb County partnered with the Cobb Bar Association and, along with the local judiciary and leaders within the community, created a strategic initiative to increase volunteer and financial support for Legal Aid. The Cobb Justice Foundation (CJF) was born through that collaboration. Today, as a vital project of Legal Aid of Cobb County, CJF recruits over 200 active volunteers who take cases for over 400 Legal Aid of Cobb County clients and raises a little over $11,000 annually. This special project provides not only opportunities for pro bono attorneys to be involved with Legal Aid of Cobb County, it also provides legal education opportunities to both potential clients and pro bono attorneys COBB JUSTICE FOUNDATION ADVISORY BOARD The Honorable Stephen Schuster, Chief Judge, Superior Court of Cobb County The Honorable Mary Staley, Superior Court of Cobb County The Honorable David Darden, Chief Judge, State Court of Cobb County The Honorable Joanne Elsey, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Court of Cobb County The Honorable Kelli Wolk, Presiding Judge, Probate Court of Cobb County Dawn Levine, President Elect, Cobb County Bar Association Wayne Morrison, President, Family Law Section, Cobb County Bar Association Mary Stearns-Montgomery, Member-at-Large Darrell Sutton, Cobb Bar Liason Catherine Vandenberg, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid of Cobb County Amanda Moulthrop, Coordinator, Cobb Justice Foundation TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER PROJECT Georgia s Family Violence Act, OCGA et seq., created a civil cause of action by a victim of family violence against the victim s abuser. The possible remedies include a 12 month restraining order (prohibiting respondent from having any contact at all with petitioner and ordering respondent to stay up to 500 yards away from petitioner), custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, possession of property (residence), exchange of personal property, Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP), prohibition on respondent from having a firearm, attorney s fees, and other remedies as appropriate. Victims of stalking may also file a petition for stalking protective order. Unlike the family violence protective order, this cause of action does not require a relationship between the parties.in Cobb County Superior Court. This is the hearing at which victims need attorneys as the 12 month hearing is often contested and is a full evidentiary Superior Court hearing subject to the rules of evidence. In Cobb County, a victim applies for a temporary protective order (TPO) at the TPO Office in the old Cobb County Superior Court. The TPO Office is staffed by advocates from the YWCA of Northwest Georgia (Cobb s domestic violence shelter and resource center). The advocates assist petitioners in preparing and filing the petition and accompany them before the Judge for an Ex Parte Protective Order. The respondent is then quickly served with the Petition for TPO and Ex Parte Order, ordering them to appear for a hearing within about a week to two weeks. We refer to this contested hearing as the 12 month hearing (because the petitioner can ask for a 12 month protective order) and the hearings occur every Friday at 9:00 am in Cobb County Superior Court. This is the hearing at which victims need attorneys as the 12 month hearing is often contested and is a full evidentiary Superior Court hearing subject to the rules of evidence. Legal Aid of Cobb County and the Cobb Justice Foundation (CJF), the pro bono arm of Legal Aid of Cobb County, have a partnership with the YWCA. When filing a petition for protective order, victims are also given the opportunity to complete a simple, one page referral form to apply for legal assistance with CJF and Legal Aid. Once we receive the referral form, we contact the victim by telephone as soon as possible to interview him or her and see if he or she qualifies for assistance with our office. If the case meets our priorities (income eligible and intimate partner violence), we refer the client to an attorney through our pro bono project or an in house staff attorney. When referring the case, we the pro bono attorney the electronic file of the client s Petition, Ex Parte Order and proposed 12 Month Family Violence Protective Order, as well as our intake information and notes. Each year we offer two Family Violence Protective Order Trainings and CLE (approved for 3 credits). The training and CLE credits are free for CJF members. We also provide substantive back up to our pro bono attorneys as requested by answering questions and strategizing about the case. BY THE NUMBERS 327 Pro bono cases reported completed 1,815 Attorney hours spent 270 Number of Adults and Children Protected from Violence 242 Number of Children Receiving a More Stable Living Condition $294,378 Annual Amount of Monthly and One-Time Financial Support in Family Law Cases $719,680 Consumer Savings (including debt discharged in bankruptcies) $36,000 Amount Protected in Probate Cases $939,361 Total Annual Financial Gain for Cobb Justice clients $435,820 Estimated value of legal services performed
15 Law Firm Projects FAMILY VIOLENCE PROJECT Baker Donelson Ballard Spahr LLP Bryan Cave LLP Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP YKK Corporation of America, Legal Division GSU TPO Project CONTRIBUTORS Platinum ($1000 +) Tom Cauthorn Fred Hanna Darrell Sutton Barnes Law Group, LLC Joel Rosenblatt Kris Skaar Sharon Smith-Knox* Regina Stamps Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor* Cathy Waddell Key Wynn * Gold ($500+) Diane Cherry Dupree & Kimbrough, LLP Dawn Levine LM Aero Club Thomas Mimms J. Lynn Rainey Frank Slover Silver ($ ) James Ausenbaugh Fred Bentley, Jr. Kerry Bryan Danielle C. Cefalu Kim Childs Austin Gillis Deborah Harris Robert Ingram J. Scott Jacobson Jane Manning Justin O Dell Debbie Pelerose Ryan Prescott Al Separk Lynn Stevens Nancy Wiggins-Lester Judicial and Government Giving Members The Hon. Melodie Clayton The Hon. Frank Cox The Hon. Robert Flournoy, Jr. The Hon. Adele Grubbs The Hon. Conley Ingram The Hon. Lark Ingram Emily Keener The Hon. George Kreeger Brendan Murphy The Hon. Greg Poole The Hon. Stephen Schuster The Hon. Michael Stoddard VOLUNTEERS Kyra Abernathy* Randal Akers* Laura Anderson* Brian Annino* James Ausenbaugh* Neera Bahl Laura Benesh Michael Berelc Browning & Smith, LLC Austin Buerlein Marcia Bull Stadeker Lawrence Burke* Danielle C. Cefalu David Canale* Stephanie Carman* Michael Carvalho J. Wickliffe Cauthorn* Darl Champion, Jr. Ophelia Chan* Diane Cherry* Chuck Chesbro Nick Chester Clark & Washington, LLC Valeria Cometto* Pamela Corvelli* Kevin Crayon Ken Crosson* Brandy Daswani Olivia Davis* In-Kind Support Ann Noel Dettmering Bull Darity Hopson & Worley, LLC Donovan Reporting, PC Consumer Clinic Ian Falcone Rod Martin Will T. Davis Jeffrey Daxe* Giovanni Diaz Mary Ann Donnelly Robert Donovan Saraliene Durrett C. Dawn Edwards Joy Edwards Shelly Elder Ian Falcone Rob Firester Kathleen Flynn Spencer Freeman GSU Bankruptcy Clinic Zachary De Gaeta Vivek Ganti Sonyja George Megan Giordano Sylvia Goldman* Fatima Goodman Maria Griffin John Gunn Lori Ann Hale* Scott Halperin John Hammond Alea Harmon David Hartin Jeffrey Haskin Sam Hicks Esquire Deposition Solutions, LLC Linda Gettle Probate Clinic Stephanie Carman Ophelia Chan Dawn Levine Doug Hill James Hogan, Jr. April Holloway Soo Hong* Schuyler Hoynes Elizabeth Jabaley Daniele Johnson Jennifer Johnson* Alton Josey, Jr. Bryan Kaplan Nick Kasatkin Priti Khanna Jason Khano Dina Khismatulina Daryl Kidd* Tracie Klinke Alan Levine Dawn Levine Eriza Lee* Jack Lyle* Michael Manely Manning & Hughes, LLP* Rod Martin Amanda Mathis Terence McGinn Janné McKamey* Brannon McKay Sharon Melcher *= Lifetime Member Amanda Mathis Robert Meyring Laura Rashidi-Yazd* C. Lawrence Meyer Jody Miller Lorette Mitchell* Kevin Moore* Dennis O Brien Justin O Dell* Leslie O Neal Tiffany Ojeda Susan Onyewuchi Jonathan Page Neena Panjwani-Saxena* Shalamar Parham Cleve Payne* Debbie Pelerose Joyce Pelphrey Rachel Platt Matthew Queen Laura Rashidi-Yazd* Elizabeth Raskin James Reed* Ted Reed* Natasha Reymond John Richard Cheryl Richardson* Tara Riddle* Joel Rosenblatt* Donell Samuels Tim Schwarz Keith Puckett Investigative Services Pat Salem, CPA, IAG Forensics Steven Scott Al Separk Kris Skaar John Skelton, Jr. Gina Smalley Loretta Smith* Tracey Smith Sharon Smith-Knox* Linda Spievack* Regina Stamps Stephanie Steele* Lynn Stevens Ryan Swift Nancy Syrop Laureen Tobias Angelica Tovar-Hastings Cathy Waddell* Kelly Webb* Matt Webb Amy Webber Joseph Weinberg* Sherri Wilcox Ronna Woodruff* Diane Woods Aaron Wright Justin Wyatt Key Wynn* Shirley Zambrano Jim Sneed, CPA The UPS Store at Woodlawn Cheryl Richardson Tara Riddle Cathy Waddell* ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 15
16 Lawyers (and a Judge) Rock at Justice Jam to Benefit Cobb Legal Aid by Katheryn Hayes Tucker, Daily Report Bands of lawyers played rock music to raise money for Legal Aid of Cobb County and the Cobb Justice Foundation last Thursday at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the square in Marietta. The inaugural event, called the Justice Jam, raised about $10,000 from sales of sponsorships, tickets and T-shirts to support civil legal services for low-income residents, according to Angie Tacker, who handles development for Atlanta Legal Aid and led sponsorship sales. The event sold more than 200 tickets to the Cobb bar, according to organizer Amanda Moulthrop, a staff attorney with Legal Aid of Cobb County and coordinator of its pro bono project, the Cobb Justice Foundation. I can t tell you how generous the Cobb bar is with their time and resources, she said. Out here, we never suffer for lack of volunteers. Moulthrop said she was also impressed with the talent and professionalism of the lawyer bands. I m so glad I wasn t a judge because they were all amazing, she said. Four bands Specific Deviations, Bellwether Station, Escape Vehicle and NDA competed for $1-a-pop votes from the audience and the attention of three celebrity judges equipped with microphones who commented in a kinder version of American Idol. They were Superior Court Judge J. Stephen Schuster, State Court Judge Irma Glover and District Attorney Vic Reynolds. The judges praised all the bands, but the winner was Specific Deviations, an impressive victory given that a scheduling conflict forced the need for a substitute lead singer, Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell. Wearing jeans, boots and an untucked shirt, he opened with Lynyrd Skynyrd s Sweet Home Alabama. Next, he moved to the Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Woman. Kell seemed to have the audience in the palm of his hand when he suddenly left the stage. He appeared again a moment later, kneeling in front of Glover. Judge Glover, do you like Elvis? he asked. Yes, she answered. Then this one s for you, he said. Then Kell started singing: Wise men say, only fools rush in. But I can t help falling in love with you. Glover played along by slipping into Kell s arms and pretending to swoon a bit. During the instrumental portion of the song he danced with her and twirled her a time or two. Then he wound up with the last stanza of I can t help falling in love with you ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY Kell was a clear crowd-pleaser, but the surprise hit of the night was the judge s 13-year-old son, Carlton Kell, who took over for the last number singing solo and playing the keyboard. Carlton Kell brought the audience to its feet with Don t Stop Believing.
17 2ND ANNUAL BEER TASTING & CELEBRITY BBQ BATTLE The 2nd Annual Beer Tasting & Celebrity BBQ Battle was a collaborative effort of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and Atlanta Legal Aid Society to raise funds and awareness to support critical programs administered by each organization in the Atlanta area. This event attracted over 600 and included entries from Kevin Rathbun, Kevin Gillespie, Sweet Auburn BBQ and Farmburger. Kevin Rathbun took home the top prize with a barbecued salmon. Beer was provided by United. Alston & Bird and State Bank were the lead sponsors. Each organization took home $15,000. ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 17
18 VOLUNTEERS Each year Atlanta Legal Aid Society works closely with many volunteer attorneys who handle cases for low-income clients. With only one Legal Aid attorney for every 8,500 income-eligible clients in the five-county service area, these volunteers provide free legal services to many clients who would otherwise be turned away. Legal Aid has developed formal ties with the bar in each of the five counties we serve. LITIGATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS Cobb Family Violence Project Legal Aid of Cobb County The project trains volunteer attorneys to represent victims of family violence in Temporary Protective Order hearings in Cobb County Superior Court. Eviction Defense Project The Fulton County Eviction Defense Project matches trained volunteer attorneys with low-income individuals and families facing eviction and homelessness. Social Security Overpayment Waiver Project The project, housed in our Health Law Unit with our Cancer Legal Initiative and AIDS Legal Project, trains private attorneys to represent disabled adults in addressing Social Security Disability Benefits terminations and overpayments through administrative law appeals. Unemployment Benefits Project This project pairs with law firms to train associates and summer associates to represent low-income clients in unemployment benefit denial cases across the metro Atlanta area. Volunteers need not be licensed attorneys. WILLS, END-OF-LIFE PLANNING, AND GUARDIANSHIPS FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED ADULTS AIDS Legal Project/Wills Project Georgia Senior Legal Hotline Members of the private bar prepare wills and advance directives for low-income individuals living with HIV. Breast Cancer Legal Project/Cancer Legal Initiative Cancer Patient Wills Project Private attorneys assist cancer patients with the drafting of wills and advance directives. Breast Cancer Legal Project/WIP Outreach Project Members of the private bar, primarily volunteers from the Atlanta Bar Women in the Profession Section (WIP) meet with cancer patients and conduct client interviews and applications for legal assistance at our frequent outreach at Dekalb Medical Center Comprehensive Breast Center. In 2015, the Breast Cancer Legal Project will launch a new initiative with WIP to provide wills for cancer patients. The Hotline provides free legal advice and brief legal service to seniors throughout Georgia. The Hotline uses volunteer attorneys to contact client telephone interviews and prepare Wills and Advance Directives. The Hotline also partners with private attorneys to assist the families of senior citizens with adult guardianships. Adult Guardianship Project The Adult Guardianship Project pairs law firm and in-house attorneys with families who are caregivers of profoundly disabled adults and helps the families obtain guardianship so that the disabled adults can receive he care they need. Alston + Bird and UPS work in partnership to make this project possible. VA Medical Center Palliative Care Clinic In our newest project, Atlanta Legal Aid is partnering with Troutman Sanders to provide a free legal clinic and wills to veterans receiving palliative care treatment at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Thank you, Volunteers! Atlanta Legal Aid Society s projects and programs would like to thank the following volunteers for dedicating themselves to pro bono service, allowing us to expand our capacity to serve more clients and provide them with high-quality legal services and representation ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY Clayton County Pro Bono Emmitt J. Arnold, IV Joseph Chad Brannen Hugh C. Cooper Constance Manigo Daise Robert Mack, Jr Arlene Labrew-Sanders Shonterria R. Martin Pandora E. Palmer Shalamar J. Parham Darrell B. Reynolds, Sr. Jewel C. Scott Tammy Stanley Keisha A. Steed William H. Turner Fred A. Zimmerman Disability Integration Project (Decatur) Gary Leshaw Claire Moynihan Family Law (Atlanta) Anita Lynn Dawn Smith Downtown General Law Unit (Atlanta) Anna Altizer Sada Baby Jeremy Berry Dylan Bess Hunter Carpenter Simon Chung Andrea Clark Muna Claxton Josh Curry Eviction Defense Project (Atlanta) Olushola Ayanbule Brett Budlong Trey Chancellor Alex Drummond Heather Havette Andrew Masak Jordan Edwards David Forbes David Gordon Matthew James Petrina McDaniel Wes Pickard Tara Stuart Jeff Zachman Darrick McDuffie Logan Millians Jeff Sand Joshua Toll James Walker Grandparent/ Relative Caregiver Project Michael Berelc Michael Bertelson Lila Bradley Christina Campbell Stephanie Carman Kelly Christian Kimberlynn Davis Lynn Goldman Brenda Holmes Russell Korn Michelle LeGault Keith Lichtman Marie Sara Meltzer Melinda Pillow Brandilyn Price Judy Sartain Irene Serlis Jaclyn Shanks Lauren Sturisky James Trigg Kathryn Wade Renae Wainwright Georgia Senior Legal Hotline Randy Hughes Mary Jo Peed
19 FAMILIES AND CHILDREN Grandparent/Relative Caregiver Adoption Project The project trains volunteer attorneys to represent grandparents and other relative caregivers in adoption cases in the metro Atlanta area. Health Law Partnership (HeLP) HeLP is a partnership between Atlanta Legal Aid, Children s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia State College of Law. HeLP provides free legal assistance to patients of Children s and their families. FLEXIBLE AND REMOTE LOCATION-BASED PROJECTS Volunteer Screening & Intake Project Attorneys and paralegals at several large law firms volunteer to conduct initial client interviews and applications for legal assistance over the phone remotely from the volunteer s office. These opportunities are available currently in our downtown and Cobb offices. PRO BONO IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD OFFICES: Our suburban offices offer a wide variety of opportunities based on your interest and expertise. Clayton Pro Bono Project Atlanta Legal Aid s Southside Office works with private attorneys practicing in Clayton County to providelegal services to Clayton County s low-income residents. Cobb Justice Foundation The Pro Bono Project of Legal Aid of Cobb County Volunteer attorneys represent clients in Cobb County in landlord-tenant disputes, family law, wills and advance directives, small claims, Bankruptcy, and general civil litigation. Gwinnett Pro Bono Project Volunteer attorneys represent clients in Gwinnett County in landlord-tenant disputes, family law, wills and advance directives, small claims, Bankruptcy, family violence protective orders, and general civil litigation. Saturday Attorney Every Saturday morning, Atlanta Legal Aid attorneys, in partnership with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF), arrive at Legal Aid s downtown office to supervise volunteers through the Saturday Attorney program. AVLF coordinates and trains attorneys from firms across the city, setting up appointments each Saturday for volunteers to provide vulnerable low-income individuals with an in-depth interview and opportunity to obtain representation. Legal Aid staff attorneys provide additional support for the volunteers as needed. AVLF, an independent nonprofit, provides legal services to low-income clients who do not qualify for Atlanta Legal Aid s services but cannot afford a private attorney. DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation DVLF is also an independent agency, serving low-income clients in DeKalb County. DVLF accepts referrals of clients with domestic relations cases, as well as a variety of other civil law problems. Health Law Unit Jake Amsbary Katie Balthrop Hailey Barnett Jakeema Bascoe Mary Benton Karissa Fleming Blyth Joe Bolling Constance Brewster Tammy Caldwell Kathleen Campbell Ben Carlsen Jeff Cavender Ben Cheesbro Chris Davis Andrew Doherty Kate Ensor Kristen Fox Chris Glass Erin Graham Mel Gworek Parker Hancock Erica Harrison Dena Hong Donald Houser Nicholas Howell Michael Johnson MacKenzie Kahnke Jake Kaplan Kip Kirkpatrick Andrew Liebler Jessica MacAllister Kim Marchner Sarah Hess McKenzie Mark Newman Jeff Nix Rick Rufolo Rich Seeger Bowen Shoemaker Brooks Suttle Jill Termini Jeff Upshaw Beth Vaughan Kate Warihay Karlie Webb Alison Will Justin Wong Lindsey Yeargin Andrea Young Jenny Zupec Gwinnett Pro Bono Ethel D. Andersen Lisa Howell Baggett Cha Ron A. Ballard-Gayle Wallace M. Berry, Jr. Scott A. Boykin Clarissa Farrier Burnett Louis Thomas Cain, Jr. Tiffany A. Carter Emory L. Clark Laura S. Coates Glenn E. Cooper Charles V. Crowe Norman H. Cuadra Jerry A. Daniels Douglas R. Daum Regina I. Edwards Marion E. Ellington, Jr. Lawrence R. Endres, Jr. Jody Everette Douglas N. Fox Laura J. Friedman Tiana Garner Casey R. Gibson Kedra M. Gotel Lance W. Gowens David B. Groff B. Thassanee Gutter-Parker Charlie Mark Hamby Kerry E. Hand Bruce R. Hawkins, Jr. Justin Y. Hester Cari E. Hipp Harold D. Holcombe Theresa A. Hood Natalie K. Howard Charles David Joyner N. Wallace Kelleman Vanessa I. Kosky-Narea Christopher Lee Jung Wook Lee Doug Lewis Claire Debra Lim David S. Lipscomb H. Durance Lowendick Sierra M. Luckey Karla A. Manners Patricia Annaleece McKenzie Tyler Moore Andy W. Morgan Elaine Nietmann Albert F. Nasuti Patricia O Kelley Douglas Okorocha LaSheka T. Payne Watson Pierre, Jr. Mary A. Prebula Steven M. Reilly Jodie E. Rosser Sumner E. Riddick, II S. Carlton Rouse Dorothy R. Sachs Stephanie I. Salb Steven P. Shewmaker Michele Y. Sims Udai V. Singh Gloria Smith-Grimes Robert J. Solomon Lisa J. Sowers Laura J. Stewart John E. Tomlinson Nelson H. Turner Brandi N. Wade Megan E. Wallin Mark L. Wells David M. Wittenberg Thomas L. Williams Lysander A. Woods Joseph A. Zdrilich Anthony M. Zezima ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 2014 ANNUAL REPORT 19
20 2014 FINANCIAL DATA Income Total: $9,541,000 Administrative Office of the Courts $514,000 Atlanta Regional Commission $564,000 City of Atlanta & Counties $592,000 Endowment $393,000 Filing Fees $326,000 Foundations & Other Support $742,000 IOLTA $122,000 LSC $3,690,000 Other Federal Sources $150,000 Private Bar/Annual Campaign $1,315,000 State of Georgia $451,000 United Way $606,000 VOCA $76,000 Expense Total: $9,541,000 Personnel $8,050,000 Consulting $417,000 Travel $46,000 Space $410,000 Supplies $237,000 Equipment $ 68,000 Insurance $35,000 Training $24,000 Other (telephone, litigation, etc.) $254,000 Contracts Legal Aid works with community partners to deliver our legal services as a part of their objectives. These partnerships are a growing and mutually beneficial source of funding for our work. DeKalb County: Family Law Information Center Latin American Association National Consumer Law Center Project Healthy Grandparents United Way of Greater Atlanta: Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program West Tennessee Legal Services Foundation and Government Grants Legal Aid receives its grant funding from a wide range of sources. These donors, who make our work possible, illustrate the broad base of support that we enjoy: ANNUAL REPORT ATLANTA LEGAL AID SOCIETY 1998 Society Fund of the Children s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation Administrative Office of the Courts American College of Bankruptcy Atlanta Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service Atlanta Bar Foundation Atlanta Regional Commission Charles and Mary D. Grant Foundation City of Atlanta: Community Development (HUD) City of Atlanta: Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HUD) Clayton County Cobb County Cobb Law Library Combined Federal Campaign Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (VOCA) DeKalb County Community Development Department (HUD) DeKalb County Human Development Department Equal Justice America Equal Justice Works Fulton County Health and Human Services Department Fulton County Housing and Community Development Department (HUD) Fulton County: Ryan White Care Act Georgia Bar Foundation (IOLTA) The Goizueta Foundation Gwinnett Law Library Ida A. Ryan Charitable Trust Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Osiason Educational Foundation Sara Giles Moore Foundation State of Georgia Department of Human Services Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Thalia and Michael C. Carlos Foundation United Way of Greater Atlanta UPS Foundation
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Yelena Cristine Duterte earned her B.A. at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2007 and her J.D. at The John Marshall law School in 2012. She currently practices at The John Marshall Law School Veterans