Current Pro Bono Cases

 

 

Alaska Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Cases

 

(Updated 11/15/2018)

 

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.

 

AN-18-30981

Woman needs to obtain guardianship of her adult daughter, who functions on an 8 year old level and is unable to care for herself.  Mother wants to prevent people from taking advantage of her daughter. 

 

AN-18-31666

Woman needs an attorney to help her arrange a new payment agreement with the State of Alaska for child support arrears.  ALSC has a great local Mentor to help you navigate this pro bono case.

 

KE-18-31507

Disabled senior needs assistance with preparing for an FED trial.  He is the Personal Representative and has been trying to evict a squatter off the estate.  He filed the case himself, but is now confused about how to prepare for trial.

 

AN-18-30695

This is a compelling custody matter.  Our client was recently found online by his long-lost 14 year-old daughter. Her stepfather is not supportive of this relationship.  Our client could use some assistance getting custody, or at least regular visitation with his teenage daughter.  The biological mother disappeared with the child was a baby.

 

KN-18-31394

This pro bono case needs a Contract, Real Estate, and/or Construction Law attorney.  Client contracted with a construction company to build a home. That contractor is now threatening to quit the job, unfinished.  The real estate agent involved tried to smooth things over unsuccessfully.  The home is related to a USDA Rural Development loan and so if the home is not finished, it puts the loan and the closing in jeopardy. 

 

AN-18-29611

Elderly, frail client rented a mobile home and claims her cleaning deposit was not returned.  She is afraid of the landlord because he’s threatened her. She speaks limited English and will need a translator, which ALSC will pay for.

 

AN-18-30658

Widow wishes to adopt his wife’s daughter, who he has raised since she was 3 years old.  She does not have a relationship with her biological father who lives in another state. The wife dies intestate.

 

AN-18-30813

Client would like to cancel Direct TV service because she can no longer afford it.  She is current on her bill, yet keeps receiving statements. She cannot get the company to respond to her and would like someone to intervene on her behalf.  She has requested a copy of the contract several times without success.  She claims she never received this and was not advised there is a cancellation fee.

 

AN-18-30186

Client feels he was fired at work due to discrimination and harassment.  He needs an attorney to investigate his claims and assist him with a possible case against his employer.

 

KN-18-31125

This is a divorce case with no children.  The couple are both senior citizens and our client has serious medical issues and has been staying in the hospital.  The divorce case was filed in Anchorage, although the client lives in Homer and the husband lives in Cordova.  She is having difficulty obtaining Medicaid and other assistance because she is still married and the husband has a large amount of assets, including a substantial retirement account. 

 

BE-18-31136

Woman living in a small village seeks assistance filing for guardianship over her mother, who was recently diagnosed with dementia.  She needs a lawyer to help her decide whether she should file for guardianship or whether her mother is still competent to execute a power of attorney.

 

FA-18-31058

A lawyer in Fairbanks is needed to help an elderly woman get a lien removed from her property for assisted living home services for her unmarried partner, who is not an owner of this property and is now deceased. 

 

AN-18-31253

Alaska Native elder would like a simple will.  He owns no Native Allotment or ANCSA stock.

 

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-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-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.

 

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. 

 

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.)

 

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 11/14/2018)

 

Kenai divorce – property only.  Trial call 12/21, trial 1/14/19.  Client seeks help with property only divorce trial.  No kids.  Husband has an attorney.  Short term marriage with limited property – personal property, vehicles, and debts.  DV includes sexual assaults. 

 

Anchorage divorce/custody.  DV custody hearing 12/13/18.  Client seeks help with divorce and custody (1 kid).  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 custody.  Motion hearing 11/29/18.  Client seeks help with custody (2 kids).  DV includes strangulation, threats with a gun, and harassment.  Client was isolated by dad and his family and had to flee to get away from them; she is now in a safe location with family support.  Client recently represented herself at a PO hearing but did not get the order. 

 

Palmer divorce/custodyCase is not yet filed.  Client obtained her own long-term protective order in November 2018, with 2 findings of DV.  Client seeks help with divorce/custody (2 kids).  DV includes breaking down door and abuse to pet.  Limited marital property, including cars and a 401(k). 

 

Fairbanks custody.  Case filed but then dismissed for lack of service.  Client seeks help with custody case (3 kids).  Client has long-term DVPO that will expire in 1/19.  DV includes strangulation, assault, and stalking. 

 

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 Immigration Justice Project – Pro Bono Asylum Project

(Updated 11/1/2018)

 

The Alaska Immigration Justice Project will provide training and mentoring for pro bono attorneys willing to take on an asylum case or a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) guardianship case. 

 

Asylum #1 – Client was a community organizer in her home country.  She was beaten and sexually assaulted due to her political activities.  She needs a pro bono attorney to file an affirmative asylum application with the Department of Homeland Security asylum office.

 

Asylum #2 – Client is a young woman who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted because of her family’s political activities.  She needs a pro bono attorney to file an affirmative asylum application with the Department of Homeland Security asylum office.

 

SIJS #1 – Young cancer survivor from South America needs pro bono attorney to assist her with appointment of guardian in State court and filing of SIJS petition with the Department of Homeland Security.

 

SIJS #2 – Young boy from Central America needs pro bono attorney to assist him with appointment of guardian in State court and filing of SIJS petition with the Department of Homeland Security.

 

 

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