Posts Categorized: Lawyer for the Day

Gearing Up for Pro Bono Month with Housing Court GAL Training

Joe Ann Smith (Boston Housing Court), Hon. Jeffrey Winik (Boston Housing Court), and Catherine Downing (Law Office of Catherine F. Downing and Associates) walked attendees through everything they need to know to become a GAL in the Boston Housing Court.

Joe Ann Smith (Boston Housing Court), Hon. Jeffrey Winik (Boston Housing Court), and Catherine Downing (Law Office of Catherine F. Downing and Associates) walked attendees through everything they need to know to become a GAL in the Boston Housing Court.

You’re probably familiar with the BBA’s work with the Boston Housing Court (see this post and this post), but we hosted a new training on Monday evening on what you need to know to become a Guardian-ad-Litem (GAL) in the Housing Court. If you’re wondering what a GAL does, we have you covered. As a certified GAL for the Housing Court, judges appoint you to assist clients who have cognitive or mental health issues that make it difficult for them to navigate the court system.

Beyond the Billable checked in with one of the panelists, Catherine Downing (Law Office of Catherine F. Downing and Associates), to learn more about the training. Here’s what she had to say:

What do you hope attendees learned at the training

“The real human perspective of the value of serving in this role, including the fact that you have the awesome power and responsibility of making decisions that will impact another’s life, including the decision whether they can remain in their homes.  I hoped that I encouraged prospective Guardians to try to think creatively in order to help persons in desperate straits, helping them to locate resources and reconnect with their formal and informal support network, including family members and friends who may have become estranged.  By suggesting best practices for them, I wanted to give them a structure in which to do this good work. “

Why should attorneys volunteer as GALs in the Housing Court? 

When I am asked why I take appointments as a GAL, I always return to what I was taught when I was younger: for those to whom much has been given, much is expected to be returned.  Serving as a Guardian ad Litem allows attorneys to take the skills that we would normally use to litigate and allows us to use them to benefit those most in need: the people with mental challenges that are easily overwhelmed by the court system.  Knowing that I have helped some of these people reconnect with their estranged families, helped them to obtain resources to address their sometimes multi-layered issues so that they can either stay in their current home or they can find better alternative housing.  At the end of the day, having done this work, those attorneys who serve in this role will learn, from the heart, that they have served justice, and that they have served it well.”

Making Sense of the New NY Bar Pro Bono Requirement

The BBA Judicial Internship provides law students with an opportunity to work directly with a judge and hone legal skills, while working towards the 50 hours pro bono requirement for the New York Bar.

The BBA Judicial Internship provides law students with an opportunity to work directly with a judge and hone legal skills, while working towards the 50 hours pro bono requirement for the New York Bar.

If you’re a law student or recent law school graduate who is looking to practice in New York, you’ve probably  heard of the new pro bono requirement for bar applicants. If you haven’t, here’s the deal: the new requirement mandates that attorneys admitted to the New York Bar after January 1, 2015 must complete 50 hours of law-related pro bono work before filing their application (this includes those of you who took the July 2014 bar exam). Worried? Don’t be, the BBA is here to help. We’ve got two programs that could help you get closer to the 50 hour requirement.

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court: If you’re 3:03 certified, you can volunteer to provide legal assistance to landlords and tenants on Thursday mornings at the Boston Housing Court. If you’re looking to get involved soon, you’re in luck! We have a training scheduled for Tuesday, October 28th at the BBA. Click here for more information.

Judicial Internship Program: Law students looking to work directly with a judge, observe courtroom proceedings and enhance their legal research and writing skills should check out the BBA’s Judicial Internship Program. The program runs year-round and the next round of applications for Spring 2015 are due on December 13th. Click here for more information about this opportunity.

Are you looking for additional opportunities? Stop by the Suffolk Pro Bono Fair on October 20th to learn about pro bono opportunities in Massachusetts for law students and new lawyers. Click here for more information.

If you have questions about what is eligible, be sure to contact the New York State Court of Appeals at [email protected].

If you have any questions about BBA programs, you can contact Katie D’Angelo @ [email protected].

VLP Announces Honor Roll for July and August

The BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program relies on dedicated volunteers who donate their time to assistant landlords and tenants.

The BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program relies on dedicated volunteers who donate their time to assistant landlords and tenants.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program in July and August:

Lawyer for the Day Volunteers

 Rachelle Abrahami
Sam Ames
Chloe Coravos
Milton D’Andres
Brent Davis, Roger Williams School of Law
Jessamyn Edra, Goodwin Procter LLP
Dahlia Fetouh, Goodwin Procter LLP
Paul Formella, Goodwin Procter LLP
Robert Friedman, Burns & Levinson LLP
Joseph Horne, Goodwin Procter LLP
Sharon Jones
Martsyl Joseph, Committee for Public Counsel Services – Roxbury
Jennifer Kent, Goodwin Procter LLP
Mike Leusaul, Goodwin Procter LLP
Michael MacDonald
Emily Nelson, Burns & Levinson LLP
Allison Orpilla, Goodwin Procter LLP
Christopher Pavlow, McCarter & English, LLP
Nicolas Planty, Goodwin Procter LLP
Michael Rispin
Jordana Roubicek Greenman
George Schneider, Goodwin Procter LLP
Leann Walsh, Goodwin Procter LLP
Lawrence Wind

NY Times Says Eviction Rates Are On the Rise – Here’s How You Can Help

On Wednesday and Thursday mornings at the Housing Court, volunteers offer legal assistance to pro se landlords and tenants.

On Wednesday and Thursday mornings at the Housing Court, volunteers offer legal assistance to a packed hallway of pro se landlords and tenants.

We hope our readers saw this New York Times article featured in last week’s issue of BBA Week. While we appreciate the shout out to a 2012 study by the Boston Bar Association (thanks, NYT!), the article included some sobering statistics that shed light on the impact of a booming real estate market on tenants.

Here are some highlights from the article:

  • Massachusetts experienced an 11 percent increase in evictions between 2010 and 2013.
  • The majority of people facing evictions are people of color, people with disabilities, people who have suffered extreme health crises or a long-term chronic illness.

So, what can be done? Is there any way we can help reverse this startling trend? Well, we wouldn’t be Beyond the Billable if we didn’t offer our readers some way help solve the problem. The BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program allows lawyers to give back and directly affect rising eviction rates by assisting unrepresented tenants and landlords directly on site at the Boston Housing Court on eviction day. Consider the following when reading the statistics below – the BBA’s 2012 study on Civil Right to Counsel found that renters with lawyers were two times as likely to avoid eviction than those without. So, what type of difference are we making? Since the program’s inception in 1999, volunteers have assisted more than 15,500 landlords and tenants. This year alone, volunteers assisted over 1,000 individuals.

Impressive numbers aside, there’s always more to do — and we need your help. If you are interested in helping tenants who are facing eviction, and landlords dealing with housing issues, click here to learn more or contact BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Katie D’Angelo at [email protected].

VLP Announces Honor Roll for May and June

Volunteer attorneys are the backbone of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Volunteer attorneys are the backbone of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in May and June:

Lawyer for the Day Volunteers

 Sam Ames
Caryn Appelbaum
Marea Beeman
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Rose Billeci
Jennifer Brown, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Alison Burr, Ropes & Gray LLP
Esther Cho
Andrew Cohn, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Chloe Coravos
James Creed
Milton D’Andrea
Brent Davis, Roger Williams School of Law
Sally Davis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Matthew Ellison
Emily Gauthier
Jennifer Gorman, Ropes & Gray LLP
Michael Grem
Laura Hadley
Sarah Hymes
Sharon Jones
Esther Laine, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Patrick Long
Casey Lyons
Justin Murphy, Law Office of Justin M. Murphy
Christopher Pavlow, McCarter & English, LLP
James Plotkin
Stuart Schrier
Daniel Sieck, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Stephen Thompson, Ropes & Gray LLP
Irina Vaglica
Heather Ward, Law Office of Heather M. Ward
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Lawrence Wind

 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program

David Baker, Law Office of David G. Baker
Eric Blythe, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Peter Fellman
Scott Hubbell, Hubbell Law
Marques Lipton, Law Office of Timothy Mauser
H. Luke Mitcheson, Mitcheson Viana LLP
Joanna Morris
Kristofer Munroe, Lallier Munroe P.C.
Nina Parker, Parker & Associates
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Kevin Walsh, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Neil Warrenbrand, Law Office of Neil Warrenbrand
Benjamin Zalman

 

 

VLP Announces Honor Roll for March and April

Volunteer attorneys are the backbone of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Volunteer attorneys are the backbone of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in March and April:

Lawyer for the Day
Sam Ames
Caryn Appelbaum
Birchfield Aymer
Nathan Band
David Bean
Marea Beeman
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Rose Billeci
Chloe Coravos
Justin DeAngelis
Christine Dieter, Goodwin Procter LLP
Jessamyn Edra, Goodwin Procter LLP
Dahlia Fetouh, Goodwin Procter LLP
Eric Fox , Goodwin Procter LLP
Emily Gauthier
Laura Hadley
Julia Harmatz, McAneny
Timothy Holahan, Goodwin Procter LLP
Joseph Horne, Goodwin Procter LLP
Sarah Hymes
Jessica Jeffrey
Sharon Jones
Jennifer Kent, Goodwin Procter LLP
Holly Laliberte
David Linhart, Goulston & Storrs PC
Justin Murphy
Stephanie Neely, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Allison Orpilla, Goodwin Procter LLP
Bridget O’Sullivan, Ropes & Gray LLP
Nicholas Planty, Goodwin Procter LLP
Larry Sodano
Sarah Soloman, Goodwin Procter LLP
Irina Vaglica
Leann Walsh, Goodwin Procter LLP
Lawrence Wind

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program
Mark Archer
Thomas Beauvais
Elaine Benkoski
Angelina Bruce-Flounory
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass
William Hickey
Philip Howe
Scott Hubbell
Gazion Kotoni
Donald Lassman
Amy Lipman-White
Shabnam Mashmasarmi
Steven Mooney
Nina Parker
William Parks
Dennis Rooney
Adam Ruttenberg Looney & Grossman
Christopher Shannon
Douglas Snook
Robert Thomas
Neil Warrenbrand

Continuing Wiley Vaughan’s Legacy Through the Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program

Wiley Vaughan (center) with Sandy Moskowitz of Davis Malm & D'Agostine (left) and Christopher Pitt of Robinson & Cole (right).

Wiley Vaughan (center) with Sandy Moskowitz of Davis Malm & D’Agostine (left) and Christopher Pitt of Robinson & Cole (right).

We know that our readers are familiar with the Boston Bar Association’s Vaughan Fund, which supports the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program. However, as we look forward to celebrating the 15th year of the program on April 10th, Beyond the Billable wanted to give our readers a firsthand look at the man who inspired the fund.

In 1999, Herbert “Wiley” Vaughan helped launch the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program. Wiley enjoyed a lengthy 47-year career as a highly respected real estate lawyer at WilmerHale LLP before retiring from the firm in 1995. After his retirement, Wiley continued to work with organizations and causes he believed in, including the Boston Bar Association and representation for pro se litigants. When the Pro Bono Committee of the BBA’s Real Estate Section was attempting to create a program to assist individuals and families facing the loss of their homes as well as landlords in need of a better understanding of their rights, Wiley jumped at the chance to lead their efforts. Through his tireless work, he was able to secure not only a tenant’s advisory table at Housing Court, but also a landlord’s table for landlords who qualified under income standards.

But don’t take it from us. Hear from those who know Wiley best:

“Wiley was a giant not only for his real estate expertise but for his commitment to access to justice. The Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer for a Day in the Housing Court Program would not exist but for Wiley Vaughan.” – Hon. Robert B. Foster, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Land Court

“Wiley Vaughan was — to use a phrase he spoke of when referring to others — “a person of quality” who had a clarity of purpose, an integrity, and an openness to ideas that endeared him to his friends and his colleagues, and enriched every institution with which he was involved.” – Andy Cohn, WilmerHale LLP

Thanks to his dedication and support, Wiley was once nicknamed the “Father” of the Lawyer for the Day Program. Since the Program’s inception 15 years ago, more than 12,000 volunteers from law firms, solo practices and in-house corporate legal departments have provided legal assistance and advice to more than 15,500 unrepresented tenants and landlords. Join us in celebrating Wiley, the program, and others, at 5:00 p.m. on April 10th at 16 Beacon Street.

The Boston Bar Foundation’s Vaughan Fund was established in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the BBA Lawyer for the Day Program and Wiley Vaughan’s stellar leadership. The Fund helps support the pro bono and public service projects of the Real Estate Section. This year, the BBF has raised over $5,000 for the Fund, allowing for the purchase of essential materials needed to run the program. Click here to learn more.

VLP Announces Honor Roll for January and February

 Volunteer attorneys provide necessary help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.


Volunteer attorneys provide critical help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in January and February:

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program

Samuel Ames
Caryn Appelbaum
Birchfield Aymer
Nathan Band
David Bean
Marea Beeman
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz Levin
Rose Billeci
Chloe Coravos
James Creed
Justin DeAngelis
Christine Dieter, Goodwin Procter LLP
Dahlia Fetouh, Goodwin Procter
Julia Harmatz
Sarah Hymes
Sharon Jones
Martsyl Joseph, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Jennifer Kent, Goodwin Procter
Brian Kydd
Esther Laine
James Lavelle
Corrine Lusic, Goodwin Procter
Asbel Nunez
Jennifer O’Callaghan
Kenneth Parker, Parker Keough LLP
Reid Robinson
Jason Savageau
Sarah Solomon, Goodwin Procter
Irina Vaglica
Leann Walsh, Goodwin Procter
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin
Lawrence Wind
James Xu, Goodwin Procter

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program

Richard Baldwin, Foley Hoag
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody
Peter Bilowz, Goulston Storrs
Jeremy Coffey, Brown Rudnick
Josef Culik
Michael Franzoi
Scott Hubbell
Gazion Kotoni
Peter Konstantilakis
Jason Matalas
Steven Mooney
Michael O’Neil
Kenneth Parker, Parker Keough LLP
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick
Michael Riley
Kiersten Taylor, Brown Rudnick

BBA Housing Court Program Reaches Over 15,000 in 15 Year History

Lawyer for the Day 4

Busy scene at the Boston Housing Court, where  BBA volunteers have been providing legal assistance to landlords and tenants for 15 years.

Did you know that approximately 90 percent of tenants and 50 percent of landlords in the Boston Housing Court don’t have legal representation? Since 1999, the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program has acted as a lifeline for pro se landlords and tenants, with volunteers providing more than 15,000 pro se litigants with legal assistance.

Attorneys at the Boston Housing Court assisting tenants

Attorneys at the Boston Housing Court on a Thursday morning assisting tenants as part of the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day Program.

This year, the Program has been able provide representation to over 450 tenants and 100 landlords. Last Wednesday, the Program also launched a monthly initiative with Burns & Levinson LLP that will assist Section 8 clients facing eviction. As our members know, a lawyer can make all the difference for families who are facing the loss of their homes and landlords who need to better understand their rights.

At Boston Housing Court, Lawyer for the Day Program volunteers Joanna Allison of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and BBA Real Estate Public Service Committee and Chris Saccardi of The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi.

At Boston Housing Court, Lawyer for the Day Program volunteers Joanna Allison of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and BBA Real Estate Public Service Committee and Chris Saccardi of The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi.

Beyond the Billable checked in with Joanna Allison (Volunteer Lawyers Project) to learn more about the Program. Here’s what she had to say:

“The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program gives a voice to so many in need. This Program is a model not only for legal professionals and law firms, but for the nation as a whole. I am proud to be a part of a program that prioritizes increased access to justice and look forward to watching the program grow and expand its reach.”

The Boston Bar Foundation Vaughan Fund covers essential materials needed to run the program, such as updated signage and nametags to allow for volunteer attorneys to be easily identified. This year the BBF has already raised over $5,000 for the Vaughan Fund. Are you interested in supporting this Program? Learn more about making a contribution or how you can volunteer.

Join us in celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, on April 10th at 5:00 p.m. It will be an evening of food and drinks while we acknowledge the hard work of volunteers, Housing Court staff and the many others who make the program possible. R.S.V.P. online here.

VLP Announces Honor Roll for November and December

Volunteer attorneys provide critical help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer attorneys provide critical help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in November and December:

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program

Stefanie Abhar, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Sam Ames
Stephanie Angel, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Caryn Appelbaum
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Rose Billeci, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Cynthia Caramana
Eric Cronin, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Francis Curren IV
Alexia De Vincentis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Francesse Denis
Marissa Eisenberg, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Julia Harmatz McAneny
Barbara Horan
Rebecca Izzo, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Sharon Jones
Brian Kydd
Esther Laine
Holly Laliberte
Mary Lee
Yvonne Lee, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Chloe Major
Stephanie Marzouk, Glickman Turley LLP
James McGinnis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Michael Morales
Justin Murphy
Ken Parker
Wendy Recine
Widmine Remy
Reid Robinson
Gretchen Roin, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Jason Savageau
Brandon Scruggs, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Allison Stoddart, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Keerthi Sugumaran, Goulston & Storrs, PC
Irina Vaglica
Mark Vaughn, Ropes & Gray LLP
Michael Vito, Ropes & Gray LLP
Damon Wallace
Lawrence Wind
Michael Zalosh, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program

Neil Berman
Roger Bertling, Harvard Legal Services Center
Angelina Bruce-Flounory
Tia Chatterjee, Brown Rudnick
Christopher Floyd, Brown Rudnick
Steven Hoort, Ropes & Gray
Marques Lipton
Jonathan Marshall, Brown Rudnick
Melissa O’Berg
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick
Ethan Rittershaus
Dennis Rooney
Douglas Rosner
Judith Vassilovski
Neil Warrenbrand