Settlement Funds to Help West Virginia State Bar Provide Legal Assistance

CHARLESTON, W.Va., January 5, 2015 – The West Virginia State Bar received $329,000 from a U.S. Department of Justice settlement with Bank of America that will help legal services organizations in the state provide foreclosure-prevention assistance to indigent citizens and/or support community redevelopment legal services.

Anne Werum Lambright, chair of its Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Committee, announced that the Department of Justice settlement with the bank involved residential mortgage-backed securities and other conduct related to the housing/financial crisis several years ago.

“The West Virginia State Bar takes very seriously its responsibility to support our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights to have legal representation,” Lambright said. “The financial crisis several years ago created problems for many families. These funds can help provide counsel for those who face foreclosure today. In addition, organizations involved in community redevelopment can request funds that will support legal work for their projects.”

Applicants for the newly announced grants must qualify as a legal services organization but do not have to be current grantees.

Lambright said The West Virginia State Bar’s Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Committee is accepting requests for proposals (RFPs) from legal services organizations for use of the funds. Requests for proposals (RFPs) are available on The West Virginia State Bar website: www.wvbar.org/RFP. Applications must be received by midnight April 30, 2016. Applications may be submitted via USPS, Email or Fax.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) GUIDELINES

Mailing Address: IOLTA Legal Assistance Grants, Attn Anita Casey, 2000 Deitrick Blvd, Charleston, WV 25311

Email Address: caseya@wvbar.org
Fax Number: 304-558-2467

“Members of The West Virginia State Bar understand the importance of representing citizens who find themselves in need of legal services but cannot afford to defend their interests in court and other legal proceedings,” Lambright said. “The funds also can support local groups that encounter legal costs as they work on economic development projects.”

Legal Outreach Committee

The Committee formerly known by the names Lawyer Information and Referral Service and Tuesday Legal Connect has changed its name to The Legal Outreach Committee. The change of name reflects the progress the Committee has made during the past few years making legal services more readily and easily available to the public. The Committee now sponsors three different programs:

  • Tuesday Legal Connect – The weekly call in service operated by the West Virginia State Bar and Legal Aid of West Virginia from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.
  • West Virginia Lawyer Referral Service – A 24/7 online service that allows the public to connect with attorneys who may be willing to take on new cases. Participants in the Lawyer Referral Service can be searched by practice area and county, or zip code.

West Virginia Online Legal Help – A 24/7 online service that allows users to post legal questions to a private messaging system. The questions are answered by volunteer attorneys. All information posted is held in strict confidence.

Government Lawyers Reception

On November 3, 2015 the Government Lawyers Committee held a reception at the Charleston offices of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe.
Below are photos from the event.

Federal Public Defender Podcast: In Plain Cite

In Plain Cite is a podcast about developments in constitutional and federal criminal law produced by the Federal Public Defender office in the Southern District of West Virginia. Since its launch in July 2015, topics discussed on the show have included the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in
Johnson v. United States that declared a major recidivist sentencing provision unconstitutional, the various sentencing reform bills pending before Congress, and the courts’ treatment of cell phone data and the Fourth Amendment. The most recent episode (Episode 5) talked about the Clemency Project with a pair of guests who are on the front lines of the continuing push for federal prisoners seeking reduced sentences. The next episode will deal with the amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines that went into effect at the beginning of this month.
The show can be found on the main page of the website of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of WV at http://wvs.fd.org/ or it can be found in your favorite podcast app or in iTunes and subscribed to. It is also available at http://inplaincite.libsyn.com/