December 2, 2016 

Clients receive much more than counsel and advice at BBVLP Help Desks

Volunteer attorneys at BBVLP Help Desks often go out of their way to assist clients on the spot, appearing with them in court and making phone calls on their behalf immediately while the client is at the Help Desk.
That's what Sarah Yates, Bressler Amery & Ross, did recently when she talked to the client pictured at left who was worried she was going to lose her house.
The client's husband died unexpectedly and she was having trouble making mortgage payments due to what turned out to be miscommunication regarding her name on the lease.
Sarah immediately made some phone calls on the client's behalf while she was at the Civil Help Desk. Then she drafted a letter for the client to use to get the situation resolved and emailed it to the attorney on the other side of the issue.
In less than a week, the mortgage problem was solved, the client could make payments, and was thrilled that she could remain in her home without issue.
"I was happy to help," Sarah said. "Oftentimes a little work by an attorney at a Help Desk can make a big difference for a client."
Free CLE's to Start the New Year!

BANKRUPTCY 101 CLE: Decoding Chapter 7
Friday, January 6th, 2017
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Learn how to screen clients for possible Chapter 7 Bankruptcies in preparation for the BBVLP's new 2017 monthly Pro Bono Bankruptcy Clinic for low-income clients beginning in February on the first Friday of every month at the Federal Bankruptcy Court.
Register by emailing  Katrina Brown.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
2 to 5 p.m.
Learn how to provide legal assistance to veterans and their families in preparation for the BBVLP's new Veterans Help Desk on the fourth Wednesday of every month at the Birmingham VA Medical Center.
Register by emailing Katrina Brown.

BBVLP and Cumberland School of Law conduct Wills for Seniors Clinics as part of Pro Bono Month

BBVLP volunteer attorneys and law students from Cumberland partnered to complete 63 wills for seniors as part of Pro Bono Month, which is celebrated every October. The clinics were held at the Oxmoor Community Center and at the Bessemer Courthouse.

Cassandra Adams, Assistant Dean for the Public Interest Program at the Cumberland School of Law, has been leading the Wills Clinics during Pro Bono Month for 7 years. "As an attorney, it's always been important to me to give back to the community through pro bono service," Cassandra said. "Helping organize and run these pro bono wills clinics is a way for attorneys and law students to provide needed legal documents to members of the community who might never obtain wills."

Benjamin Cohn, Williams Elliott & Cohn, LLC, has also been instrumental in leading the Wills Clinics. "I have been a member of the Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Task Force and I think it is important for attorneys to donate their time so everyone can have access to justice regardless of their income," said Benjamin, who is also on the BBVLP Advisory Board. "Providing pro bono services is the most rewarding part of my practice."

Attorneys who volunteered at the two Wills Clinics were:

Cassandra Adams
Cumberland Law School
Hilaire Armstrong
Cumberland Law School 

Scott Allums Benjamin Cohn
Williams Elliott & Cohn
Blake Cole Victoria Ebrahimi-Charles
The Frankowski Firm

April Deluca
Magic City Law
Alyssa DiRusso
Cumberland Law School

Ashleigh Dunham
Magic City Law

Burton Dunn
Moses Moses
Elise Fuller Teresa Hester
Ben Larkin
Preston Martin
Bressler Amery 
& Ross

Betty Middlebrooks
Middlebrooks Law Firm

Belinda Mobley
Kathleen Smith
Cadence Bank
William Sproule Ida Tyree-Hyche
Tyree Hyche Dixon

1. Please help a domestic violence victim obtain a divorce from her husband who has allegedly committed fraud against her

This client needs help divorcing her abusive husband, whom she left four years ago.  Her husband allegedly stole her credit card and has racked up over $6,000 in charges, none of which he has paid back. There are no minor children together.  There is a jointly owned marital residence, but our client has no interest in keeping the home and just wants her portion of what it is worth. (15-0004084)

2. Please help this client fight a unlawful eviction

Client stated that her landlord refuses to accept her rent payment. After two months of attempting to pay the landlord, the client received a small claims complaint in the mail stating that the client owed $1,680 in back rent, lates, and court costs. The next day the client received a final eviction notice. The notice stated the client needed to vacate the property in 10 days. No unlawful detainer was filed in this case.  Client has her rent money and is prepared to pay. Client needs help fighting the unlawful eviction. (16-0007092)

3.  Please help this mother of two file an exemption for wages

Client was hospitalized in 2015 due to an unexpected illness. Client was unable to work and because of this she was unable to pay her rent. Prior to being sick client paid her rent timely. Client was evicted and was later sued for unpaid rent. Client recently started working and is trying to take care of her family. Client stated that because she is being garnished she is unable take care of the medical needs of her daughter who was recently diagnosed with Lupus. (16-0007337)

*This is the second time in eBrief
4. Help this client file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy     

This client is a hourly employee whose hours have recently been decreased. She states that with the decrease in hours she has been unable to maintain her household and has had to resort to taking out loans to just pay her bills. Client has turned in all necessary paperwork, and is very motivated. (16-0007384)

5. Please help client with cancer through her divorce process

Client seeks a divorce from her husband of two years. Client was diagnosed with metastatic breast and bone cancer in March 2015, and received chemotherapy until May 2015. Client and husband still live in the same house. Client tried to apply for Section 8 Housing but was told there is a waiting list. The parties do not have any minor children, and there are no assets or debts to distribute. Client believes that her husband will likely contest the divorce. Client cannot afford an attorney and needs assistance with obtaining a divorce. (16-0007372)

Monday & Thursday Mornings

Kathleen Bowers, Bressler Amery Ross volunteers at the Civil Help Desk.

Wedne sday Mornings

Yashiba Blanchard and Ernest Bates, Southern Nuclear, assist  a client at the Domestic Relations Help Desk.

Homeless Shelter Help Desk
First Tuesday of the month

Melonie Wright, Butler Snow, and Tommy Buck, Maynard Cooper, talk to a client at the Homeless Shelter Monthly Help Desk.

Kathleen Bowers, Bressler Amery & Ross
Tiffany DeGruy, Bradley
Melinda Guillaume
Matthew Griffin
Yu Huang
Kendra Johnson
Priscilla Kelly
Barbara Luckett, Legal Services of Alabama
De Martenson, Huie Fernambucq Stewart
Preston Martin, Bressler Amery & Ross
Matthew McVay
John Milledge
Shenavia Murphy Southern Company
Tarakia Phillips-Barge
Daniel Lopez Rubio
Tereza Sampaio
Moses Stone
Sarah Yates, Bressler Amery & Ross

Luke Brooks, Cumberland Law School
Jessica Chang, Cumberland Law School
Sidni Smith, AmeriCorps Member / UAB
Rachel Barlotta, Baker Donelson
James Bedsole
Richard Carmody, Adams and Reese
Jack Carney, Carney Dye
Gregory Cook, Balch & Bingham
Alana Frederick, Bradley
Melinda Guillaume
Scott Harwell, The Harwell Law Firm
Charlie Lorant, The Lorant Law Group
Abby van Alstyne
Morgan West
Andrew Wheeler-Berliner
Yashiba Blanchard

Yashiba  volunteered to help a client who was in desperate need of filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. 

J ason Malone
Jackson Lewis

Jason  volunteered to help an elderly client eject her niece. The niece has been living in the home without the client's permission, and refuses to leave.
De Martenson
Huie Fernambucq

De volunteered to help a client whose insurance company wrongfully denied his auto claim.

Lindsay Nadeau 
Law Office of Frank Buck

Lindsay volunteered to accept a divorce case to assist a domestic violence victim with two small children.

L aBrenda Norman 

LaBrenda volunteered to accept two uncontested divorce cases with minor children. In both cases, the parties have been separated for a long period of time without any resolution. These parties cannot afford an attorney to assist them through the process.

Katie Powell
Butler Snow

Katie volunteered to accept an uncontested divorce case. Both parties are financially unable to afford an attorney to help them through this matter. Their divorce case would have dragged on another several months had Katie not volunteered to take their case.
Gregory Rhodes
Sirote & Permutt

Gregory volunteered to accept a pending divorce case of client with eight children. Client's spouse has abandoned the wife and children. She is applying for disability and cannot afford an attorney to help her through this process.

V ictoria Ebrahimi-Charles
The Frankowski Firm

Victoria helped two women obtain divorces from their spouses who were in prison.

Charles Todd Henderson 

Charles helped two homeless clients receive community service for their pending ticket cases.
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