Current Pro Bono Cases

 

Updated 10/3/2018

Alaska Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Cases

 

Please contact Laura Goss at 222-4521 or lgoss@alsc-law.org if you are interested in any of the cases and/or projects listed below.

 

NO-18-28739

Elder residing on a remote island needs to get guardianship of his 18 yo daughter who is profoundly disabled.  Social Security advised this client to get guardianship. 

 

AN-18-30561

Woman was fired from her job for advocating for health and safety issues, and for doing something another male manager did.  This is a case of sex discrimination and retaliation for previous sex discrimination reports and wrongful termination for reporting the health and safety violations. 

 

BE-18-28294

Alaska Native elder needs an attorney to help get her deceased son’s commercial fishing permit transferred to her grandson. 

 

AN-18-29736

Veteran and senior lives in the Mat-Su valley and hired someone to do work on his home a few years ago.  The work was not completed or done correctly.  Client failed trying to fix this himself.  As a result he is without heat.

 

AN-17-25992

Veteran would like the assistance of an attorney to negotiate a manageable payment plan with Child Support Services Division.  If you want to learn how to assist clients like this one, I can provide you a mentor.

 

KN-17-26460

Client would like a divorce and custody of the couple’s two children. Husband is currently in jail in Mexico for molesting a family member’s minor child.  You will need to work with the US Embassy to serve the husband in Mexico jail.

 

BE-18-30599

Yupik Elder needs a will.  Client will need an interpreter, which ALSC will pay for.

 

AN-17-26724

Veteran needs an attorney to help her get a divorce.  There are no children. 

 

KN-18-29389

Widower needs the assistance of a lawyer to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, mainly due to medical bills.

 

PA-18-27847

Disabled woman would like to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and needs the help of a good lawyer to do so.

 

JU-18-29776

Disabled senior in a limited income would like to sell a parcel of property to pay for living expenses. He believes he cannot due to the lack of an easement. He needs a real estate lawyer to help resolve his issue.

 

AN-18-27135

Client has a potential claim against his former employer for unpaid wages and breach of contract.  He had a lawyer, but client can no longer afford it.  English is this client’s second language.

 

BE-18-29619 and BE-18-29620

Client is an Alaska Native woman and has raised a child in her care since birth. She needs legal assistance getting the documentation to formalize this relationship. She would like guardianship or custody of the child. Many issues have arisen due to her not having legal custody, including medical care and filing for the PFD. 

 

AN-18-29638

This is a divorce case.  A pro bono lawyer took it to the Supreme Court, an opinion was issued, and it has been remanded for further proceedings.  A pro bono lawyer is being requested for the proceedings on remand. 

 

BE-18-29096

Lifelong Bethel resident needs assistance obtaining adoption of her grandson.  Her son died in April 2018. Prior to the death, both the son and grandson lived with her.  The child’s mother is not in his life in any way.

 

BE-18-29406

Native Alaskan woman needs to Probate her brother’s estate.  The main issue is a fishing permit.

 

AN-18-27224

Client who is a senior is seeking recovery of money she believes was wrongfully extracted from her to pay off condo dues and special assessments when she sold her home. 

 

KN-17-26102

57 year-old woman needs a divorce from a violent husband. There are no minor children. There was a Dissolution Petition in 2014 but the court denied it because the property and debt distribution appeared to be “patently inequitable.”  She needs an attorney to help her obtain the marital home, a portion of husband’s retirement income, and potential spousal support.  (ALSC will pay for the QDRO.)

 

AN-17-26144

Woman took out a large loan in 2009 to pay for her son-in-law’s substance abuse treatment. She is still paying on this loan, even though her son-in-law is now deceased.  Client is hoping to recover some money from her son-in-law’s estate or from the rehab facility. 

 

PA-17-24620

This is a custody case from Kenai, though a bit different.  There are disagreeing parents and a GAL regarding the course of treatment of a 15 year old who recently suffered a psychotic break.  The father and client is legally blind, and can really benefit from an attorney to assist him with getting all of the best information before the GAL and the Court so that the best possible decisions can be made for this vulnerable teen.

 

Unbundled Pro Bono Opportunities with ALSC:

 

Landlord/Tenant Hotline

During one 2 hour evening shift per month, you will answer calls from Alaskans with questions about their current situation.  Your main resource is the Landlord/Tenant Act Handbook.  You will receive calls at any phone of your choice.  Contact Laura Goss at ALSC for more information.  907-222-4521 or LGoss@alsc-law.org.

 

Housing Court Justice Project

Assist Pro Se low-income tenants or low-income landlords (if the other side has an attorney) in Eviction Court.  You will be present at Anchorage District Court one morning per month to provide limited assistance to clients scheduled for eviction proceedings such as: legal counseling, negotiating settlement agreements, representation in an eviction hearing, and drafting any relevant documents, such as pleadings and answers.  Contact Laura Goss at ALSC for more information.  907-222-4521 or LGoss@alsc-law.org.

 

Veterans Legal Clinic – sponsored by ALSC and the VA

You will provide free consultations for income-qualifying Veterans regarding civil legal matters.  Clinic days are scheduled once monthly and in advance.  Shifts will be 7 hours (9am-4pm) at the Northway Mall.  Consultations are 45 minutes and are pre-scheduled one hour apart.  Contact Laura Goss at LGoss@alsc-law.org or 222-4521 for more information and to sign up to volunteer to help Vets.

 

Early Resolution Project (ERP) – Anchorage – Palmer – Kenai – Juneau 

In one afternoon, you will offer free legal advice to family law pro se litigants referred by the Alaska Court System, who they have deemed as easy to resolve with attorney assistance.  You will meet privately with your client and work out an amicable agreement between both parties that same day.  86% of ERP cases are amicably completed that afternoon.  ERP volunteers are needed in Anchorage, Palmer, Juneau, and Kenai.  ERP sessions are held once per month in each city except Anchorage where it is held weekly.  Contact Laura Goss at ALSC for more information.  907-222-4521 or LGoss@alsc-law.org.

 

Pro Bono Attorney Mentoring Opportunity  

The Pro Bono Training Academy (PBTA) is an exciting new initiative aimed at increasing support for our pro bono volunteers.  We hope to do this in many ways, one of which is by creating a mentoring system wherein experienced volunteer attorneys mentor newer volunteer attorneys in specific areas of the law.  Hopefully, knowing they are supported will encourage attorneys to take on more complex cases on a volunteer basis. This project is in the planning phase. We are looking for experienced attorneys interested in serving as a mentor attorney.  We are also very interested in your ideas about what such a program should look like.  If you want to serve Alaska’s low-income population by sharing your legal expertise, please contact: Sarah Carver, Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Training Academy, scarver@alsc-law.org, 907.406.2222.


Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault—Legal Advocacy Program

 

(Updated 10/11/2018)

 

Kenai property only divorce.  Trial call 10/26, trial week 11/5/18.  Client seeks help with property only divorce trial.  Husband has an attorney.  Short term marriage with limited property – personal property, vehicles, and debts.  Severe sexual assaults, including rape with strangulation. 

 

Anchorage divorce/custody.  Interim custody hearing 11/1/18.  Client seeks help with divorce and custody.  1 child.  No property.  DV includes punching, spitting in face, and sexual assault.  Client has a physical disability that leaves her unable to speak.  She communicates by typing using an iPad with a voice program. An attorney will be essential to allow her to effectively communicate her story in court.    

 

Palmer domestic partnership/custody/protection order.  Long-term PO hearing 10/16/18 – client is the respondent, but is actual victim of DV.  Most recent incident towards client resulted in trip to ER.  Parties have long-term relationship; they divorced years ago but stayed together.  2 kids.  Lots of financial abuse and control. 

 

Any questions and/or interest in the above cases, please contact Katy Soden @ 907-297-2791 or ksoden@andvsa.org.


Federal Pro Bono Project 

 

Updated 6/12/2018

 

3:18-cv-00037-TMB, Moondog v. Cordle, et al.

Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 concerns freedom of speech allegations based on prisoner voicing his concerns about (1) rodents in Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s kitchen and dining area and (2) a correction official being the victim of spousal abuse.  Prisoner alleges being retaliated against by being threatened to lose—and then losing—his “Floor Custodial” job, being placed in segregation, being threatened to have his “privileged mail” opened, being threatened to be transferred—and then being transferred—to  another facility, and having his television destroyed in the process.  Complaint is in the process of being served.  Plaintiff has provided all of the relevant paper evidence that he knows of. The U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for any limited-scope representation.  Volunteer attorney(s) could help by committing to one round of interrogatories, or assisting with the limited task of learning the name(s) of those allegedly responsible for transferring plaintiff to Spring Creek Correctional and/or shipping his television without insurance.

 

3:16-cv-00223-RRB  Bradshaw v. Nyholm, et al.Federal civil rights case challenges idea that prisoner safety is a privilege.  Case involves Department of Corrections’ use of solitary confinement and process by which prisoners become eligible for protective custody.  Federal Pro Bono Project volunteers have drafted an amended complaint.  Discovery motions are now due June 19, and dispositive motions are due August 20, 2018.  U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for any limited-scope representation that a volunteer is willing to undertake.

 

3:17-cv-00154-RRB, Helveston v. Brooks, et al.Federal civil rights case concerns allegations that prisoner was infected by a dentist with chronic hepatitis C while housed at Spring Creek Correctional Center and has not received medical care as agreed to in a previous court case’s settlement.  Complaint is in the process of being served; the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for limited-scope representation that a volunteer is willing to undertake (e.g., discovery, dispositive motion(s), and/or settlement negotiations).

 

3:17-cv-00036-SLG Powell v. Goslin, et al.Federal civil rights case concerns allegations of inadequate health care by Department of Corrections staff regarding treatment of prisoner’s shoulder injury and staph infection. The United States District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for representation limited to discovery, a motion for preliminary injunction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, settlement negotiations, or any other scope of representation that a volunteer is willing to undertake.

 

If interested in volunteering please contact Susan Orlansky at susano@reevesamodio.com or (907) 222-7117.


Alaska Institute for Justice – Pro Bono Asylum Project

(Updated 2/20/2018)

 

The Alaska Institute for Justice will provide training and mentoring for pro bono attorneys willing to take on an asylum case.

 

  • “G.N.” – Young woman from West African country recently placed in immigration court removal proceedings.  Needs attorney to represent her in immigration court to present asylum claim and petition to reinstate her green card. 
  • “D.N.” – Asylum seeker from West African country needs pro bono attorney to prepare affirmative application for political asylum and represent him before the asylum office. 

Please contact Dan Rodgers at (907) 279-2457 or dan.rodgers@akijp.org if interested in receiving more information.