Press Clips On Civil Legal Aid

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News Story (NATIONAL)

Minimum Wage Increases Are Great. But Only If Workers Actually Get Them.

January 30, 2020 | TalkPoverty.org
But when cities and states take action to raise wages, they often ignore a pretty obvious problem: across most of the country, employers routinely skirt paying the minimum wage, overtime wages, or contractually promised wages, with little fear of facing consequences.
Tags: Wage Theft
News Story (Connecticut)

Study: Bridgeport, New Haven have among highest 75 eviction rates in large cities

January 24, 2020 | New Haven Register
DeLauro, pointing to studies in cities across the country, said providing representation to those contesting eviction dramatically alters the outcome of cases.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Right to Counsel
Letter to Editor (NATIONAL, Pennsylvania)

To the Editor: Re “Eviction Crises That a Few Hundred Dollars Could Solve”

January 7, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
While the holiday season brought tidings of joy for some, many people go through the cold winter months facing eviction and homelessness. Many are renters who are shut out of their homes over only a few hundred dollars, often less than one month’s rent.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Right to Counsel
Op-Ed (Georgia)

Limited Representation Helps Tenants Who Would Otherwise Face Eviction Alone

December 31, 2019 | Daily Report (Georgia)
Sharing simple information about the law and the eviction process can help tenants buy time to relocate or to negotiate a different outcome with their landlords.
Tags: Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

The latest threat to US landlords? Cities are arming tenants with lawyers

December 28, 2019 | The Real Deal
Free counsel is hard to implement, but so far appears effective at reducing evictions.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Right to Counsel
News Story (NATIONAL)

As Rents Rise, Cities Strengthen Tenants’ Ability to Fight Eviction

December 26, 2019 | Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
Half-a-dozen cities from San Francisco to Cleveland are promising tenants the right to an attorney in eviction cases, a costly and logistically daunting initiative that advocates say is a necessary response to rising housing costs and homelessness.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Right to Counsel
Blog Post (NATIONAL)

5 Principles for Civil Justice Reform

December 19, 2019 | Center for American Progress (CAP)
For parties involved, the stakes of civil proceedings are extraordinarily high. Child custody; orders of protection against a violent stalker; foreclosure of and eviction from a home; and falling prey to predatory debt collectors are all matters handled by civil courts.
Tags: Civil Justice Reform
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia renters forced to deal with major issues — or risk eviction

December 18, 2019 | WHYY (PA)
“The importance of the right to counsel bill can’t be minimized,” says Rachel Garland, a veteran of the city’s eviction courts and managing attorney at Community Legal Services. “This is a very large step for Philadelphia.”
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (NATIONAL, Ohio, Pennsylvania)

Is Tenants’ Right to Counsel On Its Way to Becoming Standard Practice?

December 10, 2019 | NextCity.org
Eviction is a deeply disruptive and destructive event in a tenant’s life that, in the words of Matt Desmond, director of Princeton University's Eviction Lab, “is not just a condition of poverty, it is a cause of it.” Research shows that most of the time in housing court landlords have lawyers but tenants do not. The good news is that there is a growing national movement to provide all renters facing eviction the legal help they need to ensure a fair outcome in eviction proceedings. So far, five cities have passed such bills, and more are considering it.
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel | Housing: Eviction | Housing: Landlord-Tenant
News Story (Washington)

Landlords with lawyers, tenants without: How some WA renters are signing away their rights

December 5, 2019 | Crosscut
The state Legislature recently passed new regulations to protect against eviction, but many don't know their rights.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Landlord-Tenant
News Story (Utah)

They Loan You Money. Then They Get A Warrant For Your Arrest.

December 3, 2019 | ProPublica
High-interest loan companies are using Utah’s small claims courts to arrest borrowers and take their bail money. Technically, the warrants are issued for missing court hearings. For many, that’s a distinction without a difference.
Tags: Debt Collection
Op-Ed (California)

Record Expungement Unlocks Opportunities after a Criminal Conviction

November 26, 2019 | Voice of OC
Many with past convictions may qualify to have those convictions expunged but don’t know about their eligibility or have difficulty navigating the complex process without a lawyer.
Tags: Expungement / Record Sealing
News Story (Pennsylvania)

City Council passes bill right to counsel bill for low-income tenants

November 14, 2019 | Philadelphia Tribune
Philadelphia City Council passed legislation for taxpayers to pay the legal bills of low-income tenants who are facing eviction on Thursday, sending the bill to Mayor Jim Kenney.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philly Council passes Right to Counsel, giving free legal representation to tenants who are evicted

November 14, 2019 | Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a bill Thursday that will provide free legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction, all but cementing Philadelphia on a list of cities that have strengthened renters’ rights amid what many say is a growing national eviction problem.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philly Council votes unanimously to provide free lawyers for tenants facing eviction

November 14, 2019 | WHYY (PA)
Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a bill Thursday that will provide lawyers to low-income tenants facing eviction in the city.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story, Video (New York)

Bronx legal clinic for women veterans in jeopardy of closing due to funding

November 13, 2019 | News 12 the Bronx
Samantha Kubek, with the NY Legal Assistance, established the legal clinic, the nation's first for women veterans at VA hospital.
Tags: Veterans
Editorial (Massachusetts)

Mass. residents facing eviction deserve legal representation

November 6, 2019 | Boston Globe
The legislature held a hearing in July to review a trio of bills that would enact a right-to-counsel law for certain eligible cases in housing court. A few cities have a similar law, but no other state does — Massachusetts would be the first.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Pennsylvania)

A Fairer Evictions Court

November 6, 2019 | Philadelphia Citizen
Proposed legislation would provide free lawyers for Philly tenants at risk of evictions, similar to how defendants are guaranteed counsel in criminal court. Could it help even the playing field here, as it has in New York City?
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
Op-Ed (Montana)

Legal Aid helps break cycle of intimate partner violence

November 4, 2019 | Billings Gazette
Our community can do more for survivors, and while intimate partner homicides are on the rise, we must protect victims and provide what are often lifesaving services to those suffering from domestic violence.
Tags: Domestic Violence
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philly bill moves forward to provide free legal counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction

October 29, 2019 | Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia City Council took a step toward strengthening tenants’ rights Tuesday when a committee voted in favor of a bill that would provide free legal counsel to low-income residents facing eviction.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
Audio (NATIONAL)

Law and Disorder: Climate Change in the Courts

October 18, 2019 | Climate One
The increase in weather-driven disasters over the past few years has given rise to a whole new branch of legalese, known as “Disaster Law.” Laura Tuggle of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services helps disaster survivors navigate the muddy waters of federal relief, insurance claims and inheritance rights.
Tags: Natural Disasters
Op-Ed (Pennsylvania)

Philly has eviction problem. Right to counsel legislation could help solve it.

October 17, 2019 | Philadelphia Inquirer
Those most affected by evictions in Philadelphia are most likely to be our city’s most vulnerable populations: black women with children, older people and those raising grandchildren, veterans, people with disabilities, and low-income households.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Right to Counsel
Op-Ed (Massachusetts)

Online self-help center would level legal playing field

October 8, 2019 | MassLive
By developing an online self-help center, Massachusetts has the opportunity to make our civil courts fairer for people forced to represent themselves.
Tags: Pro Se/Self-Help
News Story (Massachusetts)

Could Virtual Aid Improve Court Access For The Lawyerless?

October 6, 2019 | Law360
With approximately half of all civil litigants walking into Massachusetts courtrooms without attorneys to provide counsel, a large percentage are potentially exposing themselves to negative legal outcomes as they contend with quotidian matters such as debt, divorces or rent disputes, a nonprofit’s recent study contends.
Tags: Pro Se/Self-Help | Technology
Op-Ed (Mississippi)

After terrifying ICE raid, Mississippi is still fighting back

October 3, 2019 | USA Today
Families are still separated, and lawyers are still pushing back against slanted justice system.
Tags: ICE Raids | Immigration | Immigration Process
Feature (Puerto Rico)

Hurricane Maria, 2 Years Later: ‘We Want Another Puerto Rico’

September 20, 2019 | New York Times (NYT)
Manuel Rivera Rodríguez, a legal aid attorney, said his clients were still scrambling for property title documents and appealing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reconstruction help.
Tags: Natural Disasters
News Story (NATIONAL)

CFPB Summoning Zombie Debt Back to Life

September 18, 2019 | American Prospect, The
The consumer agency is finalizing new rules on debt collectors that would enable them to get judgments on illegitimate debts.
Tags: Debt Collection
Op-Ed (NATIONAL)

A cancer survivor paid an old debt, but collectors garnished her wages anyway. It’s part of a disturbing trend that’s about to get worse.

September 6, 2019 | Business Insider
A few large debt-buying corporations overload our civil courts against powerless defendants who can't afford the legal help to defend themselves.
Tags: Debt Collection
News Story (Ohio)

Cleveland May Join Crusade To Increase Eviction Atty Access

August 25, 2019 | Law360
Cleveland is the latest in a series of municipalities across the country that are considering — or have already created — a right to counsel for certain individuals who face eviction, a move that advocates hope will prevent housing problems from spawning other economic and health woes for families.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Mississippi)

Undocumented Workers Provide Employers With Little Risk, Large Reward

August 16, 2019 | Newsweek
The campaign against undocumented laborers escalated to its most severe crackdown in over a decade when federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided five poultry processing facilities in Mississippi last week, sweeping up 680 people on suspicion of unlawful status.
Tags: Immigration