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Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands _LAS

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Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands _LAS Powered By Docstoc
					                       THE TENNESSEE



                       Volunteer                                  AT TO R N E Y

                   LAS/NASHVILLE PRO BONO PROGRAM UPDATE: SPRING 2005
                   Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee
                   and the Cumberlands (LAS): Expanding
                   Volunteer Lawyer Services

                    L
                         awyers in the 48 counties served by the Legal        including all divorces, custod y, visitation, child support
                         Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the              defense, conservatorships, wills, estate matters, land-
                         Cumberlands (LAS) are volunteering as never          lord tenant disputes, contract disputes, bankruptcy and
                  before! LAS has established formal relationships with       driver’s license cases. Over 30 lawyers have signed up
                  local bar associations in Williamson and Montgomery         to take cases through the Williamson County VLP.
                  counties and continues to work with individual lawyers
                  in other counties, making more referrals to serve more      MONTGOMERY COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
                  clients. Exemplifying this, on the heels of the luncheon    The Montgomery County Bar Association and the
                  with Justice Drowota in 2004, 37 lawyers in the             Clarksville office of LAS sponsored a seminar on the
                                       Tullahoma office, serving Coffee,      new Child Support Guidelines conducted by Chris
                                       Bedford, Lincoln, Moore, Warren,       Church of LAS. Attorneys could choose to attend the
S U M M E R 2 0 0 5 Franklin and Grundy counties                              seminar for free if they agreed to take a pro bono case
                                       volunteered to provide pro bono        this year. As a result of this effort, the number of attor-
2 Letter from the Chair                representation to clients, with 32     neys agreeing to take referrals of pro bono clients has
4 Predatory Lending: Challenges        opened cases to date in 2005.          increased from zero to 14!
  and Opportunities
                                                                                                                  (continued on page 10)
6 Predatory Lending Law Forum           WILLIAMSON COUNTY
                                        VOLUNTEER LAWYER
Program Updates
                                        PROGRAM
1 Legal Aid Society of Middle
  Tennessee and the Cumberlands
                                        Recognizing the legal needs of
                                        the poor and elderly in their
9 Memphis Area Legal Services
                                        county, the leaders of the
9 Memphis Bar Association               Williamson        County       Bar
12 Community Legal Center               Association approached LAS to
12 West Tennessee Legal Services        establish the Williamson County
13 Legal Aid of East Tennessee          Volunteer Lawyer Program
                                        (VLP) to match individual
                                        lawyers in Williamson County
                                        with client needs. Clients who
                                        call LAS are screened for finan-
                                        cial eligibility and referred by
                                        LAS and Nashville Pro Bono
                                        Program staff to private attorneys
A publication of the                    for individual representation in
TE N N E SS EE B A R                    cases for which LAS does not
A S S O C I AT I O N
                                        have resources to provide assis-        Chief Justice Frank Drowota spoke at the Pro
                                        tance. The Williamson County            Bono Luncheon in Tullahoma, sponsored by the
                                        Bar Association established their       TBA Access to Justice Committee and the Legal
                                        own case acceptance policy,             Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the
                                        deciding to take referrals in cases     Cumberlands in November 2004.
    LETTER FROM THE TBA ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMITTEE’S INCOMING CHAIR, ANDY BRANHAM
    What Pro Bono Ain’t
     I
            f there were a joke about pro bono (that did not     we are doing Pro Bono Service as lawyers. We can do
            somehow mention Sonny Bono) it would prob-           good and still not be engaging in “pro bono” work
            ably go something like this: A client walks into a   which, as this lawyer sees it, is the exercise of our pro-
    lawyer’s office and orders a lawsuit. The lawyers fixes      fessional skills and our privilege to practice law for the
    him one and hands him a bill for his services. While the     benefit of those who would not otherwise be able to
    lawyer is regaling his partner about what a great job he     obtain the same — with no expectation of a fee. It is
    did on the client’s case, the client sneaks out without      us doing what we are trained and licensed to do to help
    paying. When the secretary asks the lawyer who that          the poor and disadvantaged have the same field advan-
    was, he says, “That my pro bono client for this year.”       tage as the wealthy, middle class, businessmen and
        And so it goes ….                                        bankers. It is doing what we usually do for money for
        Since I started sitting on this committee back in the    free and hopefully for fun.
    early ’90s and the days of Bruce Bailey, I have asked             That being said, this is not to in any way meant to
    any number of attorneys of my acquaintance what kind         dishonor, take away from or diminish any type of
    of pro bono work they do and have gotten all kinds of        service work. These can be soul filling, society
    answers, as they say, from the ridiculous to the sublime.    enriching, altruistic, public service acts on our part —
    Now I am not exactly sure what constitutes pro bono          and some may even qualify as service under the com-
    public service in every instance but, as my grandpappy       munity service portion of Rule 6.1 of the Supreme
    used to say, when conjecturing about the will of God,        Court of Tennessee — but just remember, they ain’t
    “I may not always know what it is, but I damn well           necessarily pro bono.
    know what it ain’t.”                                              For those of you who want to find out more about
        So in keeping with Granddaddy’s wisdom, I am             what pro bono really is and how to do it — well, we are
    bringing the first semi-definitive list of Top 10            blessed here in Tennessee with a wealth of opportunities
    Things Pro Bono Ain’t (According to Andy). Take              to serve through the Legal Service agencies and
    it for what it’s worth:                                      Community Legal Center. Please contact any of the
        What the list is, of course, is an effort to better      below to see how you can help AND get CLE to boot!
    clarify what it is that we are talking about when we say     And also please continue to do the good you do within
                                                                 the community; our churches, synagogues, charities and
                                                                 not for profits need us, and it is what we do well as
            PRO BONO SERVICE AIN’T:
                                                                 lawyers, we serve — but we could do that if we were
            1.  Getting your brother-in-law out of jail.         accountants, construction workers or Indian Chiefs —
            2.  Sitting on the Symphony Board,                   it’s what we do with our licenses and put our BPR num-
                Junior League Board or any other                 bers beside that makes it pro bono and gives our
                board — even Legal Services Board                brothers and sisters access to a courthouse whose doors
                (guilty as charged).                             would otherwise be effectively shut and locked to them.
            3. Participating in any run or walk for                    Here are the pro bono coordinator contacts within
                any disease or cause — including                 Tennessee:
                poverty or Access to Justice.
            4. Obtaining tax exempt status for the               MEMPHIS:
                Legends of NASCAR Foundation.                      Linda Warren Seely
2           5. Appearing in traffic court for the                  Memphis Area Legal Services
                senior partner’s duck hunting buddy.               109 North Main Street
            6. Service for fees not paid by persons                Second Floor
                able to pay (see above).                           Memphis, TN 38103
            7. Riding as a part-time deputy with the               (901) 523-8822
                Shelby County Sheriff’s Dept.                      lseely@malsi.org
            8. PI contingency fee cases, class actions
                or any alleged fee generating case that,            Meg Jones, Pro Bono Director
                let’s just say, does not work out for               Community Legal Center
                your client.                                        910 Vance Avenue
            9. Lobbying the City Council on behalf                  Memphis, TN 38126
                of the Humane Society.                              (901) 543-3395
            10. Teaching Sunday morning Adult Ed at                 megclc@bellsouth.net
                the church based on episodes
                of Matlock.
JACKSON:                                    9 South Jefferson Avenue, Suite 102
  Kathryn Tucker                            Cookeville, TN 38501
  Western Tennessee Legal Services          (931) 528-7436
  P.O. Box 2066                             mwilliams@lglaid.org
  Jackson, TN 38302
  (731) 426-1308                          GALLATIN:
  kathrynt@wtls.org                         Jim Hawkins
                                            650 North Water Avenue
NASHVILLE:                                  Gallatin, TN 37066
  Lucinda Smith, Director                   (615) 451-1880
  Nashville Pro Bono Program                jhawkins@lglaid.org
  300 Deaderick Street
  Nashville, TN 37201                     OAK RIDGE
  (615) 780-7127                            Neil McBride
  lsmith@lglaid.org                         Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee
                                            and the Cumberlands
CLARKSVILLE:                                226 Broadway Avenue
  Kevin Fowler                              P.O. Box 5209
  Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee     Oak Ridge, TN 37831
  and the Cumberlands                       (865) 483-8905
  120 Franklin Street                       nmcbride@lglaid.org
  Clarksville, TN 37040
  (931) 552-6656                          CHATTANOOGA & CLEVELAND:
  kfowler@lglaid.org                        Nancy Pagano
                                            Pro Bono Coordinator
MURFREESBORO:                               Legal Aid of East Tennessee
  Barbara Futter                            The Doctors Building
  Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee     744 McCallie Avenue, Suite 410
  and the Cumberlands                       Chattanooga, TN 37403
  526 North Walnut Street                   (423) 265-4164
  Murfreesboro, TN 37130                    npagano@laet.org
  (615) 890-0905
  bfutter@lglaid.org                      MORRISTOWN:
                                            Jeff Armstrong
COLUMBIA:                                   Legal Aid of East Tennessee
  David Kozlowski                           1001 West Second North Street
  Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee     Morristown, TN
  and the Cumberlands                       (423) 587-4850
  104 West Seventh Street                   jarmstrong@laet.org
  P.O. Box 1256
  Columbia, TN 38402                      KNOXVILLE:
  (931) 381-5533                            Terry Woods
  dkozlowski@lglaid.org                     Legal Aid of East Tennessee             3
                                            502 S. Gay Street, Suite 404
TULLAHOMA:                                  Knoxville, TN 37902
  Jack Giddens                              (865) 637-0484
  Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee     twoods@laet.org
  and the Cumberlands
  123 NW Atlantic Street                  JOHNSON CITY:
  P.O. Box 1293                             Carla Forney
  Tullahoma, TN 37388                       Legal Aid of East Tennessee
  (931) 455-7000                            P.O. Box 360
  jgiddens@lglaid.org                       311 W. Walnut Street
                                            Johnson City, TN 37605
COOKEVILLE:                                 (423) 928-8311
  Marla Williams                            cforney@laet.org
  Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee
  and the Cumberlands
    Predatory Lending: Challenges and
    Opportunities for Tennessee Attorneys
    By Tracey McCartney, Attorney at Law
    Executive Director, Tennessee Fair Housing Council


    M
             rs. Jones1 is an elderly African-American           the rise of “sub-prime” mortgage lending. Sub-prime
             woman living in a small frame house in a pre-       mortgage lending is a subset of the mortgage lending
             dominantly black Nashville neighborhood.            market that purports to make loans available to people
    Her only income is Social Security, and she has mul-         who are unable to qualify for bank financing at prime
    tiple serious disabilities. Her home at one time had         rates, usually because of credit.3 Subprime mortgage
    been paid off, but she refinanced it to pay some debt.       activity grew an average of 25 percent per year from
        Enter a mortgage broker, a relative of a long-time       1994 to 2003, more than the growth rate of prime
    friend. He promised her he could get her a mortgage          lending. Subprime loans are generally far more expen-
    loan that would pay off current loan and the credit card     sive to the borrower than a prime loan would be, with
    debt she’d accrued. He also promised her that her pay-       higher interest rates, fees and penalties for early payoff.
    ment wouldn’t go up because he could get her a lower             While subprime lending provides an important
    interest rate than the one she was currently paying.         source of mortgage financing for people who might
        He filled out all the paperwork and obtained the         otherwise not be able to buy a home, most of the
    loan. Mrs. Jones never received any documents                abuses generally considered “predatory” take place
    showing what her interest rate and payments would be.        within this segment of the lending industry. While not
    The closing agent hurried her through signing the            all subprime lending is predatory, almost all predatory
    paperwork. The broker showed up for closing to make          lending is subprime.
    sure Mrs. Jones had signed the papers, but he didn’t             While lenders usually disagree, there are several
    speak to her or otherwise acknowledge her presence.          practices generally considered “predatory” by commu-
        Four days after closing — and one day after her          nity activists and others concerned about abusive
    right to cancel the loan expired — she discovered to         lending. They include:
    her horror that her house payment would now be
    approximately 55 percent of her monthly income,                 • High fees. The Center for Responsible Lending
    which is a meager $650 per month.                               says that borrowers should not be charged more
        For a while, a friend helped her pay the mortgage,          than 3 percent of the total loan amount. This does
    but he too fell ill and was unable to continue. Her             not include legitimate third-party charges, like ter-
    home faced certain foreclosure.                                 mite inspections, attorney fees and appraisal fees,
        Fortunately for Mrs. Jones, two attorneys were able         required to close a loan. Inflated fees, where they
    to assist her. The attorneys filed a complaint in               are present, normally are charged by the lender for
    Chancery Court in Nashville against the broker (who             origination or by a broker for arranging the loan.
    had disappeared), the owner of the lending company
    who employed the broker, the lender, the servicer, and          • Yield-spread premiums. Yield-spread premiums
    the title company that did the closing. While some par-         are a fee paid by the lender to a broker as a bounty for
    ties were later voluntarily dismissed, the case eventually      convincing the borrower to pay a higher interest rate
    settled. The servicer accepted a short payoff, which            than he or she actually qualifies for. The premium is
    gave Mrs. Jones a chance to pay off her predatory loan          then passed along to the borrower in the form of a fee
4   with a reverse mortgage.2 She received a small amount           at closing. What a deal for the borrower — he pays
    of damages. And she is still in her home.                       the broker for getting him into a bad loan.
        Mrs. Jones’ story is not isolated or unique, although
    its relatively happy ending is. Every day, unscrupulous         • Prepayment penalties. Most subprime loans
    lenders — motivated by fees, emboldened by the                  have, buried deep in the loan documents, language
    naiveté of most borrowers and unencumbered by                   that states that the borrower will pay a penalty if he
    strong state or federal laws — take advantage of people         or she refinances or otherwise pays off the loan
    who own homes but may be strapped for cash to pay off           before a given time period, usually two or three
    consumer debt or make home repairs. In fact, the eld-           years into the loan. These penalties are usually large
    erly are the most attractive targets for predatory              enough to trap a borrower in a bad loan by making
    lenders because, if they are on a fixed income such as          it too expensive to refinance. For example,
    Social Security but living in a house that’s paid off,          depending on the value of the house, a borrower
    they are house-rich but cash-poor.                              who might otherwise be able to pay off a subprime
        Predatory lending has become more prevalent with            loan’s remaining principal balance might not be
able to get a loan large enough to cover both the           nancings because they are behind on their current
principal balance and the penalties.                        loan and a broker or originator has convinced them
   Lenders engaged in subprime lending argue that           that a refinance will buy them time and perhaps
these penalties are designed to protect the lender’s        even lower their payments to something more man-
investment in that borrower, to recoup the expense of       ageable. Predictably, those payments go up instead.
making the loan or to keep the borrower’s interest          Additionally, because of the cost of the refinances,
rate down. However, only 2 percent of borrowers in          the debtor loses considerable equity, which is known
the prime market are subjected to such penalties,           as “equity stripping.”
while 80 percent in the subprime market are expected
to pay them. Further, subprime borrowers generally          • Steering. Studies have demonstrated that
realize no benefit from a prepayment penalty.4              unscrupulous brokers and subprime lenders often
                                                            steer African-American borrowers into more expen-
• “Flipping.” Flipping is repeated refinancing of a         sive loans than they qualify for. A HUD study found
high-cost loan by the same lender. A borrower typi-         that a borrower in an African-American neighbor-
cally pays the same inflated fees every time the loan       hood is five times more likely to get a subprime loan
is refinanced, and there is usually no net benefit to                                        (continued on page 7)
the borrower. Borrowers often agree to these refi-


    The following is a short list of websites addressing predatory lending, compiled
    and annotated by Ron Haynes.

    http://www.naca.net/
    The National Association of Consumer Advocates is a national association of over 1,000 attorneys
    experienced in consumer matters including predatory lending. The website lists attorneys and their
    areas of practice. Of particular interest is the section containing amicus briefs for many predatory
    lending problems such as RESPA violations, pay day lending schemes, and yield spread premium
    issues to name a few.

    http://www.consumerlaw.org/
    The website for the National Center for Consumer Law lists resources including its Stop Predatory
    Lending publication, a step-by-step guide for lawyers to combat predatory lending practices in the mort-
    gage industry, a list of its own training conferences, up-to-date news about all types of consumer issues,
    and an endless list of other consumer websites including government agencies.

    http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/pred/predlend.cfm
    This website established by HUD offers a lot of statistical information including income and racial
    disparities in the subprime lending market. It also provides help to find a housing counselor, avoid
    foreclosure, and offers a brochure on how to avoid predatory lending.

    http://www.mortgagebankers.org/resources/predlend/
    Known as the “Predatory Lending Resource Center,” this website sponsored by the Mortgage
    Bankers Association is an up-to-date predatory news source regarding legislative bills, reports and              5
    recent court decisions.

    http://www.aarp.org/money/wise_consumer/financinghomes/
    The AARP website offers a glossary of terms needed when confronting mortgages, instructions on
    how to spot a dishonest lender and shows a borrower what terms to avoid. Must see pages are the
    ones explaining the benefits of reverse mortgages for borrowers 62 and older and the comparing home
    equity lenders worksheet. Designed for non-lawyers.

    http://www.safeborrowing.com/
    This ABA website, developed and maintained by the ABA Business Law Section’s Consumer
    Financial Services Committee, offers general information about borrowing and consumer credit,
    including links to other websites that offer similar information. This website offers a good overview
    for everyone about the documents involved in a loan. It mainly addresses non-lawyers.
    Predatory Lending Law Forum
    This seminar will introduce participants to the basics in the area of Predatory Lending, including a
    review of what a predatory loan looks like. The seminar will provide an overview of the Truth in Lending
    Act, including its basic provisions as well as the remedies it provides. The seminar will also provide an
    overview of the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

    The seminar also will address how and why attorneys can and should take on Predatory Lending cases
    by familiarizing participants with the variety of fee shifting and fee arrangements available in Predatory
    Lending cases under relevant state and federal statutes. The seminar will also include information about
    the potential for class action litigation; how to deal with arbitration clauses in this context; and the rel-
    evant portions of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, RICO and the Fair Debt Collection Act.

    THE BASICS:
    CLE Credits:     6 Hours CLE Credit
    Date & Location: June 3, 2005
                     Nashville (Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Avenue North, 2nd Floor)
    Time:            Registration          8 a.m.
                     Program               8:30 a.m - Noon
                     Lunch on Your Own Noon - 1:30 p.m.
                     Program               1:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

    TOPICS TO INCLUDE:
    Basics of predatory lending; Truth in Lending Act; Home Ownership Equity Protection Act; Real
    Estate Settlement Procedures Act; Fee-shifting and fee arrangements under relevant state and federal
    statutes; Tennessee Consumer Protection Act; Class-Action Litigation; RICO; Dealing with arbitra-
    tion clauses; Fair Debt Collection Act.

    SPEAKERS TO INCLUDE:
    Tracey McCartney, Executive Director, Attorney, Tennessee Fair Housing Council; Dave Tarpley,
    Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands.

    COST:
    FREE to any attorney who agree to take 2 PRO BONO CASES
    $175 for TBA Members
    $200 for non-member attorneys
    $25 for employees of nonprofit organizations and other non-attorneys (no CLE credit)

    THIS SEMINAR IS BEING SPONSORED BY:
    The Tennessee Fair Housing Council;
    The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA); and
    The TBA Access to Justice Committee.

6   THE MISSION OF THE TBA ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMITTEE IS TO:
    A dvance the cause of equal access to justice for all Tennesseans.
    Cthe justice community. access initiatives among all members of
      reate a culture of equal


    Cservices statewide.
      oordinate and encourage cooperation among providers of legal


    Educate the bar on the need and obligation to provide pro bono
      publico representation.
    S Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct.
     upport the bar in fulfilling its obligations under Rule 6.1 of the


    Supply aon access to justice issues. courts, the legislature, and the
      public
              voice for attorneys to the
Predatory Lending: Challenges and Opportunities (continued from page 5)

   than a borrower in a white neighborhood .                  sequences of which is termination of the creditor’s
                                                              security interest in the collateral.
   • Single-premium credit insurance. As its name
   implies, this is a form of insurance sold to the bor-      • The Home Ownership Equity Protection Act
   rower at closing. The premium is financed into the         (HOEPA), an amendment to TILA, has enhanced
   loan as a lump-sum payment. The borrower often is          damages and additional protections against abuse
   completely unaware that he or she is paying the            where a case involves a loan that meets HOEPA’s
   premium, and the coverage the insurance provides           technical “high-cost loan” test.
   is usually wholly inadequate, providing coverage for
   a far shorter time than it would take to pay back the      • The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
   part of the loan represented by the premium.               (RESPA) was designed to protect consumers from
                                                              unduly high settlement costs and deceptive settle-
   The continuing rise of predatory lending cries out         ment practices. It also requires disclosure of settle-
for stricter regulation. However, the Tennessee               ment costs before the closing, and the debtor has a
General Assembly so far has declined to pass compre-          right to obtain a detailed history of the account from
hensive legislation that would curb some of the worst         the lender or servicer. While RESPA itself does not
abuses. The Tennessee Department of Financial                 have a wide range of remedies, and many of its pro-
Institutions, the state agency charged with regulating        visions don’t provide a private right of action, plain-
banks, mortgage lenders and brokers and other lenders         tiffs can recover damages for violation of RESPA
(such as consumer finance companies), has declined to         under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act
push for comprehensive legislation, opting instead to         (dealt with in more detail below).
draft a bill that would require originators to be regis-
tered — but not licensed — with the department.5              • The Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit
   At the federal level, the Comptroller of the               Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibit lending dis-
Currency declared in 2003 that state and local govern-        crimination on several bases.10 Widespread preda-
ments have no power to prohibit predatory practices           tory lending based on race is referred to as “reverse
by federally chartered banks.6 Further, a bill pending in     redlining.” ECOA also contains provisions
Congress would strip states and localities of their           regarding procedures for taking and evaluating loan
authority to curb predatory lending, setting one set of       applications and for providing notices when a loan
rules for the entire country7 that some critics of the bill   is rejected. ECOA’s remedies include actual and
believe would be too weak.8 A competing bill would            punitive (up to $10,000) damages, equitable relief
likewise set a federal standard but has stronger con-         and attorney fees.
sumer-protection provisions.9 That bill is modeled on
legislation in effect in North Carolina.                      • The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act11
   With rampant abuse and weak legislation, lawyers           (TCPA) prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or prac-
in Tennessee who seek to represent borrowers have an          tices in the conduct of any trade or commerce in
opportunity and a challenge to serve a potentially            part or wholly within this state.” As mentioned
large client base under existing state and federal law.       above, violations of RESPA that may not have a
However, there simply are not enough attorneys who            remedy under federal law can be brought under the
have recognized how valuable to their practices this          TCPA. TCPA also specifically prohibits “bait and          7
area of the law could be.                                     switch” tactics like those so common to predatory
   While most consumer advocates agree that existing          lending. Remedies include damages (treble in the
law is not strong enough, enough statutory and case           case of willful or knowing violations), costs and
law exists to afford many consumers some meaningful           attorney fees.
remedies, depending upon their facts:
                                                              • The Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations
   • The Truth in Lending Act (TILA), which                   Act (RICO) provides a federal right of action for a
   mostly deals with failures to make certain disclo-         demonstrated pattern of engaging in one of the
   sures in a loan transaction, includes as remedies          enumerated prohibited activities. RICO provides
   statutory damages equal to twice the finance charge        for treble damages, attorney fees and costs.
   (capped at $2,000), actual damages occasioned by
   failure to make required disclosures, costs and            • Traditional common-law claims such as fraud,
   attorney fees. Perhaps the most powerful remedy            misrepresentation, unconscionability and bad faith
   TILA offers is rescission of the loan, one of the con-                                       (continued on page 8)
    Predatory Lending: Challenges and Opportunities (continued from page 7)

       can provide remedies in a range of fact situations.       Affordable Loans by Race and Age” (2003), available
                                                                 at http://www.omm.com/omm_distribution/newslet
       Predatory lending can be a highly technical area of       ters/client_alert_financial_services/pdf/ncrcdis
    the law, but attorneys who have mastered it have built       crimstudy.pdf
    highly successful practices representing both indi-             4. Center for Responsible Lending, Prepayment
    vidual plaintiffs and classes. While predatory lending       Penalties in Subprime Loans, “When Qualifying for a
    practice is usually associated with Legal Aid or pro         Better Mortgage Doesn’t Pay Off,” (2004, updated
    bono attorneys, it is fee-generating work that many          March 2005).
    firms would find interesting, fulfilling and lucrative. In      5. 2004 Tenn. Pub. Acts 747 (codified at Tenn.
    fact, there are a handful of firms throughout the            Code Ann. § 45-13-101 et seq.).
    country whose sole focus is consumer protection and             6. In Tennessee, because of a “wild-card” provision
    predatory lending.12 There is a dire shortage in             that provides that state banks can be regulated by the
    Tennessee of attorneys knowledgeable about predatory         state only to the extent federal banks are regulated fed-
    lending from the plaintiff’s side; a handful of Legal Aid    erally, the OCC ruling meant that state-chartered
    attorneys and members of the private bar handle all          banks also could not be covered by predatory-lending
    the clients they can, but most victims in Tennessee are      legislation. That was one reason given by the
    not able to find competent representation. Predatory         Commissioner of the Department of Financial
    lending truly represents an opportunity for attorneys to     Institutions for not pursuing comprehensive consumer-
    do well while doing good.                                    protection legislation. However, the OCC’s decision
                                                                 would not have affected the state’s ability to regulate
    NOTES:                                                       non-bank lenders, which are the source of most abu-
       1. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.     sive lending practices.
       2. A reverse mortgage, technically known as a                7. H.R. 1295, 109th Cong. (2005).
    “Home Equity Conversion Mortgage,” is a federally               8. Center for Responsible Lending, The
    insured loan that is available only to persons 62 and        Ney-Kanjorski Bill Replaces Effective State
    older. A reverse mortgage allows a senior to use the         Protections Against Predatory Lending with a Weak
    equity in her home to receive an annuity or a lump           Federal Standard (March 2005).
    sum of cash that can be used to pay off previous mort-          9. H.R.1182, 109th Cong. (2005).
    gages or other expenses. The homeowner does not                 10. The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et
    make house payments, and the loan does not come due          seq., prohibits discrimination in most housing-related
    until the homeowner passes away or the home other-           transactions based on race, color, religion, national
    wise changes hands. The amount a homeowner is eli-           origin, sex, disability and familial status (the presence
    gible for depends on the equity in the house and the         or anticipated presence of children under 18 in a
    homeowner’s age. The main drawback to a reverse              household). The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15
    mortgage is that it prevents a home from being passed        U.S.C. §§ 1691 et seq., prohibits lending discrimina-
    to heirs free and clear.                                     tion based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex
       3. However, studies have shown that people of             or marital status, age (provided the applicant has the
    color, mostly African Americans, end up in the sub-          capacity to contract) or receipt of public assistance.
    prime market in disproportionate numbers even                   11. Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-18-101.
    without credit problems. See, e.g., National                    12. Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin is a
8   Community Reinvestment Coalition, “The Broken                Chicago firm whose main focus is predatory lending.
    Credit System: Discrimination and Unequal Access to          http://www.edcombs.com/
Memphis Area Legal Services Pro Bono Update

M
         emphis Area Legal Services (MALS) is                   and Consumer Law Attorney Should Know.”
         pleased to welcome staff paralegal Shirley R.             At the request of one young lawyer, Jerrod Smith of
         Blayde to the wonderful world of Pro Bono.             Tate, Lazarini and Beal, MALS staff met recently with
Shirley replaces former MALS staff member                       John Keys who currently serves in the Bredesen
Cynthia Day.                                                    administration in the Veterans Affairs division. Keys is
    The Attorney of the Day Project has received quite a        formerly of Memphis and has agreed to work with
bit of publicity since it opened its doors in February. Since   Smith, MALS and the Access to Justice committee to
then, volunteer attorneys have helped over 75 clients on        create a pro bono project to assist veterans.
a variety of cases including landlord/tenant, consumer and         MALS volunteer attorneys have been able to access
domestic cases. There was even a referral for a pro bono        a variety of on-line CLE programs at no or discounted
mediation thanks to David Cook of the Hardison Law              cost to them once they have completed a pro bono
Firm. MALS also offers a special thanks to the Greater          case. LawyersLearn, an on-line CLE provider out of
Memphis Paralegal Association for its volunteer efforts at      Knoxville, and the WestLegalEdCenter are two compa-
the Attorney of the Day Project. In particular, thanks go       nies that volunteered to donate their services in the
to Brenda Huffstutler, Carol Scoggins, Shelley Stewart,         cause of pro bono. LawyersLearn provides an access
Jennifer Miller and Rose Smith for their participation.         c ode number as does WestLegalEdCenter enabling vol-
    MALS held a CLE program for volunteer attorneys             unteer lawyers to choose from a variety of programs on
on General Sessions Procedure on May 20 in Judge                their web sites. The access code numbers are good for a
Phyllis Gardner’s courtroom at which University of              limited amount of time through both programs and
Memphis Clinical Professor Connie Ross spoke. The               WestLegalEdCenter limits the value of the coupon to
seminar was offered at no charge for volunteer attor-           $150. Nonetheless, MALS wants to publicly express
neys through MALS.                                              gratitude for these services. And in the words of volun-
    As also noted in the WTLS Update, the Tennessee             teer attorney Kevin Kern, “This is a great service.”
Taxpayer Project and MALS presented a CLE program
for volunteer attorneys on May 11 at the University of
Memphis School of Law. Mary Gillum of the                       For more information, please contact Linda Warren Seely
Tennessee Taxpayer Project presented a day-long pro-            at (901) 523-8822 or lseely@malsi.org
gram called “Tax Law Issues Every Bankruptcy, Family



Memphis Bar Association Takes the Lead in
Public Service Planning

A       t the request of incoming Memphis Bar
        Association President Barbara Zoccola, local
        incoming bar presidents in Memphis met to
                                                                nity which in turn will increase the public’s trust and
                                                                confidence in lawyers and the justice system.
                                                                   Much of the discussion focused on volunteer oppor-
collaborate and plan joint public service projects.             tunities and what would most appeal to attorneys. Van
Attendees included Gina Higgins of the National Bar             Horn made the point that “Anyone can build a               9
Association, Bill Haltom of the Tennessee Bar                   Habitat for Humanity House, but we as attorneys have
Association, Danny Van Horn of the TBA Young                    a special license; only an attorney can provide legal
Lawyers Division, Linda Warren Seely of the                     counsel, advice and representation. We should, there-
Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women and Kirk               fore, focus on those opportunities that allow us to use
Caraway, incoming president of the Memphis Bar                  this license to benefit our community.” Bill Haltom
Association’s Young Lawyers Division.                           followed up on Danny’s point by noting that volun-
   In a far ranging discussion about public service and         teering to use one’s license in the pursuit of access to
the bar, the incoming presidents agreed to work on              justice is good for the justice community, good for the
increasing volunteer opportunities for attorneys in the         client community and it can be fun, given the right set
Memphis area. By partnering with each other, the bar            of circumstances. “After all, it’s not like eating broc-
associations hope to leverage their resources; create           coli,” he quipped.
new and exciting projects for their members; increase              Many thanks to Zoccola for her initiative in
pro bono participation rates; avoid duplication of proj-        bringing together the new leadership of the bar and
ects and initiatives; and offer services to the commu-          coordinating this effort.
     LAS of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands Expanding Services (continued from page 1)
     NASHVILLE PRO BONO PROGRAM                               individual representation.
     The wonderful attorneys in Davidson County continue         The Nashville Pro Bono Program continues to
     to answer the calls — and the calls — from LAS and       operate a weekly advice clinic staffed by volunteer
     the Nashville Pro Bono Program to extend services to     attorneys for self-represented individuals in divorce
     low income and elderly individuals in our community.     cases from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. most Mondays.
     The program has handled more than 990 requests for       Clients who are eligible for LAS services can receive
     assistance in 2005, and lawyers in Davidson County       advice regarding appropriate forms to be filed and the
     have provided assistance in more than 290 cases.
        In addition to individual representation, a wide
     range of advice and counsel is available on a regular
     basis to clients through the following resources pro-
     vided by LAS and the Nashville Pro Bono Program.
        The Second Tuesday clinic is followed every
     month by The Saturday Bar, an advice clinic that
     meets the third Saturday of each month. Lawyers from
     private practice like Larry Maxwell at Baker,
     Donelson; government lawyers like Pete Halverstadt;
     and corporate counsel like Richard Green of
     EMI/CMG are stalwart volunteers for this clinic.
        Organized by attorney Sharmila Murthy at LAS,
     on the third Friday of every month, staff of LAS serve
     as interpreters for volunteer attorneys who meet with
     Spanish speaking clients at the Woodbine
     Community Center Legal Clinic. Attorneys —
     including John Griffin and Frank Wilbert of Kay,           John Blankenship, then chair of the TBA Access to
     Griffin, Enkema, and Brothers PLLC — review the            Justice Committee, spoke to the attendees at the Pro
     facts of applicants’ cases and provide advice or refer     Bono Luncheon in Tullahoma in November 2004.
     them to LAS and the Nashville Pro Bono Program for




10




     Dave Yoder, director of Legal Aid of East Tennessee, also addressed the crowd at the Pro Bono Luncheon in Knoxville
     in February 2005. LAET held a press conference before the luncheon to announce the Fifty-Fifty Plan developed by
     LAET and endorsed by the Knoxville Bar Association. For more information on the Fifty-Fifty Plan, see the pro-
     gram update for LAET on page 13.
 Justice Riley Anderson and John Blankenship,                      Andy Branham, then vice-chair and
 then chair of the TBA Access to Justice                           now chair of the TBA Access to Justice
 Committee, seen here comparing notes, each                        Committee, addressed the crowd at the
 spoke to the group of assembled attorneys at the                  Pro Bono Luncheon in Tullahoma in
 Pro Bono Luncheon in Knoxville sponsored by the                   November 2004.
 TBA Access to Justice Committee and Legal Aid
 of East Tennessee in February 2005.
                                                            people on fixed incomes, and others who have no where
                                                            else to turn, are treated with the same degree of fairness
process to be followed in representing themselves in        as anyone else in the payment of property taxes. A
obtaining a divorce.                                        follow-up “dial-a-lawyer” program on April 26 was ded-
   LAS and the Nashville Pro Bono Program continue          icated to answering questions about the process for con-
to partner with bar associations to provide opportunities   testing property tax assessments.
for lawyers to serve the community. On April 25, 2005,
the Program and LAS partnered with volunteer lawyers
from the Nashville Bar Association’s Young Lawyers          Please contact Lucinda Smith at the Nashville Pro Bono
Division and the Lawyers’ Association for Women to          Program (615-780-7127 or smith@lglaid.org) with any
present information and advice regarding the tax assess-    suggestions or ideas for new opportunities that allow
ment process and appeal process and to help assure that     lawyers to serve our communities in Middle Tennessee.




                                                                                                                         11




Justice Riley Anderson spoke to the group of assembled attorneys at the Pro Bono Luncheon in Knoxville spon-
sored by the TBA Access to Justice Committee and Legal Aid of East Tennessee in February 2005.
     Community Legal Center Program Update
     By Meg Jones, Executive Director


     C
             ommunity Legal Center just began its second           start a foundation to mentor single mothers.
             decade of providing legal services to the                We need pro bono attorneys to help leverage
             “working poor” in Memphis and Shelby                  resources too. Taking pro bono cases is a wonderful way
     County. In considering what direction our agency will         to fulfill your ethical obligation to the profession. Pro
     take in the next 10 years, we are looking at ways in          bono representation can be very rewarding. Think of the
     which we can leverage our time to provide the greatest        feeling you get of justice being served and having done
     amount of services using the least amount of our com-         something to make the world a better place when you
     munity’s resources. Community Legal Center is some-           help people who are earning a living but then get blind-
     what unique in our ability to leverage resources.             sided by something totally out of their control. They
     During our latest fiscal year we had an average total         can’t afford to hire an attorney to get matters straight-
     cost per client served of only $45.12.                        ened out, but without representation they may begin a
        Thus, we point with pride to our newest project,           downward spiral that could even end in homelessness.
     the Pro Se clinic in the civil court house. This clinic       Examples of two such cases that were handled by CLC
     has enabled us to greatly increase the number of non-         recently include a client who had a judgment against
     contested divorces we can handle with the addition            him for medical bills that were really incurred by some-
     of the equivalent of one half-time attorney. Actually,        b ody else with the same name. And, a pro bono attorney
     our clinic is staffed by two attorneys working 10             represented a woman who was being sued for false arrest,
     hours per week each. These attorneys provide limited          mental anguish, loss of wages, etc., by her batterer. The
     representation to clients with children in non-               arrest for which he was suing her was the arrest that
     contested divorces. Once the paperwork is prepared,           resulted from him abusing her. The pro bono attorney
     the client continues to file their divorce and appear         got the suit dismissed with prejudice.
     in court pro se, or unrepresented.                               Yes, “Crime is a stain on our community”
        We recently had to say goodbye to Elizabeth Carroll,       (Memphis Crime Commission) and so is injustice.
     one of the attorneys who helped “birth” this program.         CLC is working to eliminate the lack of access to jus-
     She will still be around to fill in, but she did great work   tice that has plagued the poor in Memphis.
     and will be sorely missed. We welcome her replace-
     ment, Yollanda Kight. She is very interested in helping       For more information, please contact Meg Jones at (901)
     low-income women. One of her personal goals is to             543-3395 or megclc@bellsouth.net


     West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS)
     Program Update
     W
              est Tennessee Legal Services has sponsored           so willingly given to educate the members of the West
              several seminars to say thank you to all of the      Tennessee bar. The five seminars had a combined atten-
              attorneys that so graciously give of their time      dance of 244 attorneys and their staff.
     and talents. In January, Nancy Miller-Herron, claims              In April, WTLS hosted a community-wide seminar
     commissioner for West Tennessee, gave a seminar at            titled “Protecting Tennessee Communities: A
     WTLS and also at Shiloh Golf Restaurant to update             Response to Methamphetamine.” WTLS marketed
12   attorneys and their staff on issues regarding the             this seminar to the entire community in an effort to
     Tennessee Claims Commission. In February, Kim Beals           include everyone interested in this serious problem
     and Nancy Broersma with the State of Tennessee gave           and with the hope that it might educate the commu-
     a seminar on the new child support guidelines. Nancy          nity about West Tennessee Legal Services. In May,
     Shor from Washington D.C. (executive director of the          WTLS is joining with MALS to present a seminar on
     National Organization of Social Security Claimants’           tax issues, with one seminar in Jackson and one in
     Representatives) participated in another seminar titled       Memphis, both hosted by Mary Gillum.
     “Perfecting Your Social Security Practice.” Judge Bill            Finally, the Jackson/Madison County Bar
     Jenkins, an administrative law judge in Memphis,              Association will host its annual Law Day on April 29
     Nancy Hughes, a vocational and career consultant, and         at the First Methodist Church in Jackson. WTLS will
     Andrew Nelson, an automation instructor, also pre-            be in attendance to give the Pro Bono Awards to the
     sented at that seminar. The attendees came from across        deserving attorneys.
     the state to hear these tremendous speakers. Kevin
     Snider conducted a seminar on “The Pros and Cons of           For more information, please contact Kathryn Tucker at
     the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act” in March.              (731) 426-1308 or kathrynt@wtls.org
     WTLS appreciates the time that these presenters have
Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET)
T
        he 50/50 Plan: Like all non-profit law firms,              • Volunteers answer questions from pro se litigants
        LAET’s success in providing legal services to low-         facing eviction or other housing problems at our
        income persons depends on support from the                 Detainer Court Clinic.
entire legal community, with contributions of time in pro
bono service and with financial donations. Despite                 • Volunteers conduct Case Evaluations, reviewing
steady increases in financial support, we still fall short in      the merit of potential claims.
our goal to meet the most serious civil legal needs of our
client community. The obvious question is, “How much               • Volunteers are most receptive to accepting a
would it take, in time and money, to solve the problem?”           referral when the request is made by someone he or
The 50/50 Plan answers that question: If every lawyer              she knows. Volunteers who make Case Placement
donated $50 per month to Legal Aid programs and 50                 calls are able to find representation for clients and
hours per year in pro bono service, we would finally have          recruit new Pro Bono Project members.
the resources to give meaningful access to the justice
system to those who face crisis-level legal problems.              • Experienced lawyers serve as mentors and con-
LAET extends special thanks to all of the lawyers who              sultants for volunteers serving as primary counsel
have enlisted as 50/50 Partners to demonstrate an                  on a case and to LAET staff in evaluating the merits
extraordinary level of commitment to the justice system            of a client’s claim.
and to our profession.
                                                                   • The Pro Bono Project frequently recruits volun-
LAET CENTRAL REGION: KNOXVILLE OFFICE                              teer lawyers to conduct Community Education for
PRO BONO PROJECT UPDATE                                            staff and clients of local social service agencies.
Pro Bono Service Options: LAET’s Pro Bono Project
has a dual mission — to supplement the legal services               Individual and Law Firm Projects: The Pro Bono
our staff can offer low-income clients by tapping into          Project has been able to make representation in certain
the expertise of the wider bar and to serve the bar itself      types of cases so routine that volunteers have agreed to
by giving every lawyer an opportunity to experience             accept all of the Project’s clients who need representa-
the satisfaction of representing someone who would              tion in those cases. For example, in Chapter 7 bank-
otherwise be denied access to the justice system. To            ruptcy cases, our staff obtains information the
meet those goals, we offer a wide variety of service            volunteer needs to prepare the bankruptcy petition and
options for volunteers:                                         collects the filing fee from the client before referring
                                                                the case to the volunteer. Because this saves so much
Advice and Brief Service Clinics                                time for the volunteer, one volunteer accepts all of our
  • Bankruptcy often appears to be the only option              Chapter 7 bankruptcy referrals. In a similar project, we
  for someone who is overwhelmed by debt, but it                worked with a volunteer lawyer to develop a protocol
  sometimes causes more problems than it solves.                for screening clients who seek emancipation. This
  With the help of volunteer lawyers, we offer                  process requires the minor to create a plan for his/her
  Debtor’s Survival Camp on the fourth Saturday of              education, child care, housing, and employment, the
  each month to teach clients how to avoid bank-                criteria the court generally requires to be met before
  ruptcy by using some simple tools for dealing with            approving an emancipation. This process is so efficient
  debt collectors and protecting their assets.                  that the lawyer who helped develop it agreed to accept         13
                                                                all of the Project’s emancipation referrals.
   • Volunteer lawyers assist pro se litigants complete             Other Forms of Assistance: The Pro Bono Project
   form pleadings for agreed divorces at our Self-Help          offers a variety of other types of assistance to volunteers:
   Divorce Clinics.                                                 • We provide forms and instructions for routine
                                                                    services, such as name changes, small estate
   • At Saturday Bar, UT College of Law students                    administrations, uncontested relative adoptions
   conduct preliminary client interviews to assist vol-             and conservatorships.
   unteer lawyers consulting with the clients about
   matters that can be resolved with brief advice                  • LAET provides $1 million in primary-coverage
   rather than extended representation.                            professional liability insurance for volunteers.

   • Volunteers assist survivors of domestic violence at           • Volunteers may use the LAET library, which
   our Orders of Protection Clinic.                                includes a broad WestLaw subscription; and we
                                                                   recruit law students for research assistance.
                                                                                                     (continued on page 14)
     Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) (continued from page 13)
        • The Project recruits pro bono assistance from         made a commitment in 2003 to promote the Pro Bono
        other professionals, such as court reporters, media-    Project by conducting an annual month-long effort to
        tors, and guardians ad litem for Project cases.         place Project cases and recruit new volunteers.
                                                                   “Reverse Referrals”: We recognize that all lawyers
        Continuing Legal Education: Our commitment to           are performing pro bono work, even if they are not
     providing continuing education to our volunteers           reporting it to the Project. Reporting pro bono service
     takes several forms:                                       through an organized pro bono program is one of the few
        • We offer a CLE program called Collaboration           ways that lawyers can document the enormous service
        between Legal Aid and the Private Bar, which is         they routinely provide without compensation. This doc-
        approved for 1.25 hours of dual CLE credit and is       umentation strengthens the public’s confidence in the
        available on request to law firms and their guests      legal system, so we encourage lawyers to tell us about the
        and to local bar associations.                          pro bono cases they handle outside of the Project.
                                                                   Volunteers’ Commitment: Volunteers may enroll
        • We co-sponsor CLE events with the Knoxville           as a member of the volunteer panel without making a
        Bar Association. The most recent session was a          long-term commitment. Likewise, volunteers are not
        workshop on “routine” legal services, in which we       required to accept any particular file or a minimum
        provided forms and step-by-step instructions for        number of referrals.
        completing cases commonly referred by the Project.
                                                                For more information, please contact Terry Woods at
        • Like all pro bono programs statewide, we record       (865) 637-0484 or twoods@laet.org
        the time volunteers spend on pro bono cases and
        report it to the CLE Commission for credit under        LAET EASTERN REGION: JOHNSON CITY
        Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 21.                        OFFICE PRO BONO UPDATE
                                                                Special Event: On March 10, Tennessee Supreme
        • In exchange for accepting a specified number of       Court Justice William M. Barker spoke at a luncheon
        referrals, LAET waives tuition fees for volunteers at   for attorneys from Washington, Carter, Greene and
        LAET-sponsored seminars; and the Knoxville Bar          Sullivan counties, urging them to meet the Pro Bono
        Association waives tuition fees for volunteers at       Challenge issued by the Supreme Court and the
        KBA-sponsored seminars in exchange for per-             Tennessee Bar Association to adopt a formal pro bono
        forming a specified amount of service.                  policy and urging them to support the LAET Pro Bono
                                                                Program. This luncheon was held at the Johnson City
         Consumer Law Task Force: We are in the process         Country Club and was sponsored by The Tennessee Bar
     of creating a Consumer Law Task Force, in which            Association’s Access to Justice Committee and Legal
     experts in consumer law will review Pro Bono Project       Aid of East Tennessee, East Region.
     files and work with less experienced volunteers in liti-      Special Recognition: Sullivan County (Bristol)
     gating the cases. We encourage volunteers to seek          Attorney Shelton Hillman has been recognized for his
     attorneys’ fees from the adverse parties in these cases.   contribution to the LAET 50/50 Plan through which
     Our hope is that this strategy will have an impact in      attorney pledge to do 50 hours of pro bono work annu-
     eliminating many of the abusive practices commonly         ally and to contribute $50 per month to LAET.
14   inflicted on low-income consumers.                            Saturday Bar: Sullivan County (Bristol) attorneys
         Law Firm Pro Bono Policies: In response to the         held the first Saturday Bar in February. Attorneys
     Tennessee Supreme Court’s Law Firm Pro Bono                present were Wes Edens, Frank Slaughter Jr., Shelton
     Initiative, we are working in collaboration with the       Hillman Jr., Kristen Morrell and David Tipton.
     Knoxville Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee to
     help Knoxville’s large firms develop pro bono policies     For more information, please contact Carla Forney at
     tailored to the individual firms’ goals. As part of the    (423) 928-8311 or cforney@laet.org
     policy adopted by one local firm – Woolf, McClane,
     Bright, Allen & Carpenter PLLC – lawyers from the          LAET SOUTHERN REGION: CHATTANOOGA
     firm come to LAET’s Knoxville office every month to        & CLEVELAND OFFICE PRO BONO PROGRAM
     review files, either placing the cases with volunteers     UPDATE
     within the firm or outside of the firm.                    The Pro Bono Committee and the YLD of the
         The Knoxville Bar Association’s Board of               Chattanooga Bar Association are busy planning Pro
     Governors Initiative: The KBA Board of Governors           Bono Night 2005 which will be held at Bessie Smith
Hall on May 26. Justice William M. Barker will host                      6. New or established projects
the event and present the Pro Bono Firm of the Year                         a. Inner Cities Ministries legal clinic
Award. Judge Jacqueline Schulten will honor attorneys                       b. Samaritan Center legal clinic
Harry Cash, John Gerard Johnson, James Paris and Joe                        c. Community Kitchen legal clinic
Simpson for their pro bono contributions.                                   d. Establish new clinics at new locations
   Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) recognizes                            e. Create your own law firm or corporate
that it is not always possible for lawyers to provide one                      project, such as
on one client representation. Therefore, LAET strives                          • Regain voting rights project
to provide numerous other opportunities through the                            • In school advice clinics
Pro Bono Program for lawyers to fulfill their pro bono
service under Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1.                       BRADLEY COUNTY
                                                                      Members of the Bradley County Bar Association are
PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES IN HAMILTON                                    interviewing potential pro bono clients at the Blythe
COUNTY INCLUDE                                                        Avenue Safe Haven Legal Clinic and are prepared to
  1. Pro Bono Intake                                                  present informational talks on specific legal issues at
     a. Interview pre-scheduled, pre-screened-legal                   future clinics. The clinics are held on the last Saturday
        aid clients                                                   of the month.
     b. Refer to other volunteer attorneys from legal                 Pro Bono Opportunities in Bradley County include:
        aid’s volunteer list                                             1. Community Based Legal Clinics
                                                                            a. Senior Law Clinics
   2. Community Based Legal Clinics                                             • Prepare living wills and powers of attorney
      a. Senior Law Clinics                                                 b. Advice Clinics
         • Prepare living wills and powers of attorney                          • Answer questions on various legal topics
      b. Advice Clinics
         • Answer questions on various legal topics                      2. Community Education
                                                                            a. Presentations
   3. Community Education                                                      • Speakers on predetermined legal topics
      a. Presentations                                                      b. Write/edit legal brochures
         • Speakers on predetermined legal topics
      b. Write/edit legal brochures                                      3. Conduct a Pro Se Divorce Clinic

   4. Mentor a Legal Aid attorney or a new                               4. Default Divorce Clinic
      volunteer attorney
                                                                         5. Represent Children in Domestic Violence Cases
   5. Conduct a Pro Se Divorce Clinic
                                                                      For more information, please contact Nancy Pagano at
                                                                      (423) 756-4013 or npagano@laet.org




  REEL JUSTICE                                                               Register now online at
                                                                             www.tba.org/conv2005
                                                                             or call (800) 899-6993.                              15

  TBA CONVENTION
  Tennessee Bar Association
  June 15-18 • Knoxville Marriott
  Network with your peers at the Bench/Bar Luncheon. Enjoy special
  entertainment at the fabulous, newly renovated Tennessee Theatre.
  Learn about the law and cinema in a CLE program produced by
  Don Paine, Sarah Sheppeard, Dorothy Campbell and Lucian Pera.
THE TENNESSEE
                                     PRESORTED

Volunteer   ATTORNEY
                                     STANDARD
                                    US POSTAGE-
                                        PAID
                                    Nashville, TN
                Summer 2005
                                   Permit No. 929
Tennessee Bar Association
Tennessee Bar Center
221 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

				
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