OCTOBER 2022


THE MONTHLY DOCKET NEWSLETTER

The latest news and updates from the Legal Aid Society
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Pro Bono Week:

A Celebration of Outstanding Attorneys

    Providing free legal services to over 2000 clients, annually, pro bono attorneys remain the backbone of our organization. During this year’s Pro Bono Week, we’d like to highlight attorneys and law firms that have made outstanding contributions ensuring the continuation of our pro bono operations here at the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. (LAS). The award recipients are recognized at the Orange County Bar Association’s (OCBA) annual Fall (September) and Winter (January) luncheons.


    Among the awards given, one of the most prestigious awards is the Judge J.C. “Jake” Stone Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes a volunteer attorney who has provided a significant contribution to pro bono via case work and leadership throughout their career. The recipient of this award for the year 2023 is Mary Doty Solik of Doty Solik, P.A., a private practice specializing in Zoning, Land Use, and Real Estate Matters.

A winner of the Russell Troutman Pro Bono Champion award in the year 2000, Mary has always shown an exceptional level of commitment to pro bono services. Since 1990, she has accepted forty-six cases representing eighty-five children through the Legal Aid Society and has reported a whopping 879 hours of service on those cases. Mary serves as one of few “conflict Guardian ad Litem (GAL) attorneys” meaning she’s unable to receive assistance from LAS staff attorneys on her cases. LAS staff regards Mary as “handling her cases with the same unparalleled level of professionalism that she provides her private practice clients.” All of Mary’s cases have been GAL-related, and she continues providing pro bono services to this day, currently having two open cases involving three children in the dependency system.



    Next is the John R. Hamilton Law Firm Award of merit. This award is granted to an entire law firm as opposed to a single attorney. The 2023 recipient of this particular award is none other than the outstanding law firm of Zimmerman, Kiser & Sutcliffe, P.A. Members of this firm began doing pro bono in 1991. The majority of the firm’s members who engage in LAS pro bono services handle GAL cases, but also extend their time into other areas such as housing and various community projects. The attorneys have collectively accepted 289 cases, donating an impressive, combined total of 6,243.90 hours.


    It is a rare occasion when a ZKS attorney is not in the juvenile courthouse advocating for or accepting a new GAL case. Their advocacy doesn’t stop there. One attorney collected baby items for the benefit of LAS’s littlest clients and another attorney dedicated years of service to the organization’s Board of Trustees.


We’d also like to recognize the winners of the Susan Khoury Guardian ad Litem Award of Excellence, Paul Zeniewicz of PZ Law Firm and retired Orange County attorney, Lynn James Hinson. Kaylin Martinelli of Becker & Poliakoff and Frank Blanco of the Law Offices of Frank Blanco are also Pro Bono award recipients receiving the Mary Ann De Petrillo Award of Excellence. This year’s Russell Troutman Pro Bono Champion Award recipient is Lawrence Kosto of Kosto & Rotella, P.A.



    Together, all of these outstanding attorneys have contributed over 8,000 hours to pro bono services here at the Legal Aid Society! Words alone cannot express the gratitude the organization and the residents of Orange County feel for attorneys who go above the call of duty to help those in need. It is understood that an attorney does not have to donate time or service in order to practice law…that is why we extend our sincerest appreciation to those who do. Thank you to all attorneys in Orange County who happily stand on the front line with our organization providing a wealth of justice to those who have none. We are grateful for your contributions.


To learn more about Pro Bono services here at the Legal Aid Society, visit our website by clicking here.

BE A CHAMPION & WIN:

BOC Prize Giveaway!

    Make a donation to the Breakfast of Champions Fundraiser and be entered to win exciting prizes! Simply follow the steps outlined in the graphic to the right! Prizes include Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, tickets to Opera Orlando, and specialty hot sauce gift baskets!

  

    Also, don't miss this year's big annual fundraiser hosted by WESH 2 News Anchor Stewart Moore on November 17, 2022 at 8:00 AM! Special guests include Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Legal Aid Society President Jay Small, Legal Aid Society Executive Director Bethanie Barber, & more! You don't want to miss this. Register for this year's event and remain updated by clicking here.


    We are also offering sponsorship opportunities with very lucrative benefits like promotional videos for your business and advertising on our social media sites. For more information on sponsorships, please contact Donna Haynes at 772-812-5175 | dhaynes@legalaidocba.org. We look forward to presenting yet another heartfelt, triumphant event to you all and can’t wait to see you there. Thank you!

COMMUNITY EDUCATION:

Impact Homelessness Resource Fair

    We’d like to give a special thanks to the students of Barry University and Valencia College who joined the Legal Aid Society this past Saturday to speak with over ninety community residents at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Impact Homelessness Resource Fair. At this event, we were able to educate the community on various legal services available to them. We are appreciative for every opportunity we have to spread the word and educate the public on the help provided here in Orange County. Thank You!


You may click here to view a Calendar featuring upcoming Legal Aid Society community events.

DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES:

Help After Hurricane Ian

     If you were affected by the recent Hurricane Ian Disaster, there are resources available to assist. Please view the graphic and links below for a list of helpful resources.


  1. Disaster Unemployment: https://disasterassistance.gov
  2. Food Assistance: https://fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory
  3. Emergency Supplies: https://hfuw.org/GetHelp/
  4. Housing Repairs: https://disasterassistance.gov

 

You may contact the Legal Aid Society office for assistance with legal services related to Hurricane Ian by calling 407-841-8310.

FREE IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE!


Legal Aid Society Lunchtime Trainings

The Legal Aid Society will be hosting a series of trainings providing in-depth insight to various legal issues. You may click here to view a Calendar featuring the training schedule and other Legal Aid Society events. These Lunchtime trainings are reserved for Lawyers, Paralegals, & Law Students. These trainings are virtual requiring registration via Zoom. Free lunch is available for those attending in person. Space is limited, so please be sure to register and reserve your spot.


To register, please contact with Marilyn Carbo (mcarbo@legalaidocba.org) or Michelle Erazmus (merazmus@legalaidocba.org). All trainings will be uploaded on the Legal Aid Society website here.


Upcoming Trainings:


IN PERSON & VIRTUAL - November 1, 2022 "Stepparent Adoptionspresented by Kimberly Palmer, Family Law Staff Attorney


IN PERSON & VIRTUAL - November 15, 2022 "Advocating for Undocumented Youth in Foster Care presented by Nicolas Jose Covelli, Guardian ad Litem Case Coordinator

 


We have sponsorship opportunities for these informative trainings. Want exposure for your business within the legal community? Please contact Donna Haynes at dhaynes@legalaidocba.org for more information. Thank You!

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A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER 85-8012557303C-7/CH396 AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING THEIR WEBSITE AT www.FDACS.gov. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.