Law Library Hires New Public Services Attorney (from the press release):
“.… The Public Law Library of King County is pleased to announce that Marc Lampson has joined the Public Law Library to serve as the library’s first Public Services Attorney. The newly created position is an innovative response to the ever growing phenomenon of people representing themselves in legal proceedings. Recent statistics from the King County Superior Court show that in 63% of general civil cases at least one party was not represented by a lawyer. In domestic or family law cases, the percentage climbed to 80%. In 91% of the landlord/tenant or eviction cases, only the landlord was represented by a lawyer. In 50% of family law cases, neither side was represented. This trend is typical throughout the United States, and law librarians have found that these unrepresented litigants frequently come to the law library for help.
As a result, a few law libraries in other states have developed self-help centers to provide their patrons with not only research assistance, but legal assistance as well…. [Mark’s] work will eventually entail establishing a self-help center in the library to provide direct legal assistance for patrons and to coordinate further legal assistance through referrals, clinics, workshops, and innovative online methods for the delivery of legal services.
Marc has long been involved in Washington’s access to justice community. He served as the director of the Unemployment Law Project for the past eight years and during that time served on many committees of the Access to Justice Board. He has previously worked as an attorney for the Washington Appellate Defender Association and the Institutions Project at Evergreen Legal Services. He received his Master of Library and Information Science degree, with a specialization in law librarianship, from the University of Washington’s Information School in 1999 and his law degree from Antioch School of Law in 1984.” [Read entire press release.]
Oregonians Rejoice: EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center has arrived. (Yes, thank the State of Oregon Law Librarian!)
This database contains NOLO Legal information books and much more.
This database is available to all Oregonians. (Other states, public libraries, and law libraries have their own access protocols.)
‘Jim Greiner Asks “What is Access to Justice For?”’
Direct links to Greiner posts:
Part 1: “What’s access to justice for? Let’s get more philosophical. In a hurry,” by D. James Greiner, 3/23/15, Harvard Law & Policy Review blog.
“…. [T]he first thing I have to do is to ask, “What is this thing for?”. Without deciding first what the purpose of a thing is, there’s no way to know what I should measure to see if that thing is working.
Take legal services to low-income folks. Some lawyers and law students feel a strong desire to provide legal services to the poor. I’m all for it. But unless the only reason we’re providing the services is to make ourselves feel better, we ought to care about whether we’re accomplishing anything by providing the services. And we ought to care about whether there might be a better or more efficient way to accomplish whatever it is that we’re trying to do. That might mean less money for lawyers. But unless the point of legal services to the poor is full(er) employment for lawyers, that shouldn’t bother us too much….
If the purpose of providing litigation defense to debt collection defendants is to keep the defendant from having to pay the debt, there’s a far, far, far cheaper way to do that: just buy the debt the plaintiff is suing on. Buy the debt on the open market, and then forgive it by telling the alleged debtor that she’ll never have to pay. You can probably do that for, say, five cents on the dollar….” [Link to full posts from Access to Justice Blog post.]
Part 2: “What’s access to justice for? Let’s get more philosophical. In a hurry. Part II,“ by D. James Greiner, 3/27/15, HL&PR.
Many more intriguing A2J posts and links from Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog.
Every working stiff needs a laugh and a boost on Friday-Eve morning (better known as Thursday morning) and we are no exception to that truth. So, we often turn to the Legal Research is Easy blogger who never fails to tickle our funny bones – and he’s willing to spill the beans about his patrons. What more could you want?! We all have these public law library patrons, but who can tell their stories with such humor and exasperation – and with excellent legal research tips!
(Public libraries everywhere have these patrons. If you don’t believe me, read Unshelved and the “Black Belt Librarian” author who thought he knew everything about libraries and security until he actually started working in one.)
The latest Legal Research is Easy posts (and previous ones for that matter) are hilarious AND interesting AND smart AND the facts described would elicit a my, my, my from our favorite Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell). (The rest of us fall about laughing. Auntie Mame was nothing if not a classy dame.)
Start with these if you dare or catch up with all the LRiE posts.
Mirror, Mirror: watch out for smooth talking losers when the police show up
I did not know that: can your landlord hold your stuff for ransom?
Visit Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites for a news update on limited license legal technicians, including a link to the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors report:
“Three Notable Updates on Non-Lawyers Providing Legal Assistance,” by Robert Ambrogi, 3/2/15.
Link directly to the Oregon State Bar Task Force report on limited license legal technicians:
LEGAL TECHNICIANS TASK FORCE, FINAL REPORT TO THE [Oregon State Bar] BOARD OF GOVERNORS, February 13, 2015
For lawyer assistance in Oregon, here’s our OREGON LEGAL ASSISTANCE RESOURCE GUIDE, which we plan to update this Spring.
Please do not be penny wise, pound foolish. Please! Public law librarians see these 2 things every day, day after day, week after week, month after ….:
1) Unrepresented litigants who have an expensive legal mess to clean up (IF it can be cleaned up) because they thought legal self-representation, without ever consulting a lawyer at all, was a good idea.
2) Lawyers who are, at great expense, representing people who thought the law was “all online” or DIY. It’s not, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.
Don’t risk losing you money, your credit rating, your home, your inheritance, or anything else you value.
Read this from a lawyer’s point of view:
“The ONLY advice I give away: If you get served with a demand from a lawyer or a summons from a court, CALL A REAL LAWYER”
The Oregon State Bar Information and Referral Service has a toll free number to call to get names of attorneys in your area; call their referral service at 503-684-3763 or 1-800-452-7636. More information about their services is available at their website.
Read this interesting blog post and discussion (in the Comments).
“Future Fridays: Hey, ABA – Why Do Solos and Smalls Bear the Burden of Access to Justice?“ By Carolyn Elefant, at MyShingle, November 7, 2014.
And this one:
“Lawyer Can’t Work on The Cheap Even If He Wants To,” by Carolyn Elefant, February 13, 2015.
Oregon State Sheriffs’ 2014 Civil Process Manual:
You can sometimes find this in your county law library.
“Any attorney seeking to expand his or her knowledge working on matters involving civil process will benefit from this informative seventeen chapter civil process manual.
The Oregon State Sheriffs’ 2014 Civil Process Manual features topics of interest, including service and enforcement of various types of process, whether it be notice or enforcement process, effective service of orders, enforcement of pre-judgment and post-judgment remedies
- Execution: The manual discusses the most current methods of executing on personal and real property based on a monetary judgment or a judgment of foreclosure.
- Garnishment: Garnishment of financial institutions, individual companies, multiple debtors, and other issues
- Process: Issuance of process, including writs of execution and writs of garnishment in justice courts or municipal courts – Registering judgments entered in lower courts
- County Clerk Lien Record: The role of the Clerk County Lien Record on the enforcement of judgments and support orders
- Writs/Orders of Assistance: Enforcement of writs of assistance and orders of assistance for the recovery of children
- Enforcement of abuse restraining orders and stalking orders
- Landlord/Tenant Actions
- Concealed Handgun License chapter“
“Could Volvo’s No Death Goal Show The Way for Access to Justice Innovation,” February 1, 2015 by Richard Zorza
‘I recently discovered that Volvo Cars has set a zero death goal for its new cars by 2020.
“Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020,” the chief of governmental affairs is reported to have sad. Whether or not they actually achieve the specifics of that goal is less important than the fact that by setting such a goal, and doing so publicly, they change their whole system from thinking day to day, or year to year, to where they really want to be. (More on the vision here.) Interestingly, it turns out that a bit less than 20 years ago Sweden set as a goal that “Nobody should be killed or seriously injured within the road transport system” so this is also an example of corporate culture following governmental policy.
So the obvious question is this: What similar realistic, but challenging goals could we set for access to justice — goals that would require long term strategic thinking, and that recognize that system problems require systemic solutions. Different organizations should set such component goals for themselves….’ [Link to full blog post.]
Related, and equally interesting, blog post from Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites, January 19, 2015:
“Debating The Pros and Cons of Non-lawyers Practicing Law,”
Visit the IRS Affordable Care Act website for publications and other information about the Affordable Care Act tax provisions.
IRS Publication 5187 provides information for taxpayers who:
a. Had health insurance coverage for the entire year
b. Did not have health coverage for each month of the year
c. Purchased health insurance from the Marketplace
d. Might be eligible for an exemption from the coverage requirement
e. Had advance payments of the premium tax credit sent to their insurance provider
f. Is claiming the premium tax credit on their tax return.