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Dec 10

2018

Legal Aid Submits Comments Strongly Opposing Proposed “Public Charge” Rule

Today, the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stating our strong opposition to proposed regulations governing the “public charge determination” for immigrants and their families. The proposed rule would treat receipt of essential public benefits (such as Medicaid, SNAP and Section 8 housing subsidies), low income, poor health, being young or elderly and lack of English proficiency (among other factors) as negative factors in assessing an immigrant’s application for lawful permanent resident status.
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Dec 06

2018

New DC Legislation Will Protect Consumers’ Structured Settlement Annuity Rights

Many personal injury cases in the District are settled using a “structured settlement.” Such settlements provide for the payment of damages to the injured party in a stream of income over a period of years through a special form of annuity. But the persons holding these annuities are often victimized by companies who seek to purchase some or all of the future payments in exchange for immediate cash that is far less than the value of the purchased payments. To make matters worse, the sellers often do not understand the full implications of the transaction. Read more →

Dec 05

2018

$6 Million Settlement with Debt-Buyer Highlights Illegal Practices and the Need for Consumer Protection

Yesterday, DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced that the District has joined 42 states in a $6 million settlement with the nation’s largest debt buyer and collector — Encore Capital Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Midland Credit Management, Inc. and Midland Funding, LLC — in order to resolve claims involving the company’s use of illegal tactics to collect on unverified debts. Read more →

Dec 05

2018

Snap Challenge: Reflections From Week 1

Last week I started a two-week SNAP Challenge which entails eating on the amount of food stamps benefits a SNAP recipient would receive: $4.40 per day.

With Week 1 completed, I wanted to share some of my reflections on the experience so far. Below are some of my biggest takeaways from Week 1 and my daily SNAP journal: Read more →

Nov 29

2018

BADC to Honor Legal Aid Generous Associates Campaign Co-Chairs

The Bar Association of DC (BADC) has announced that it will honor Jeremy Peterman of Orrick and his fellow 2018 Generous Associate Campaign Co-Chairs with the Young Lawyer of the Year Award for their exemplary legal service to DC’s community. The award will be presented this Saturday, December 1, at BADC’s Annual Banquet and Awards Gala.
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Nov 16

2018

New DC Rules to Affect the Provision of Legal Services

The DC Court of Appeals issued two orders earlier this month that will likely have a significant effect on the provision of civil legal services in the District of Columbia. The rules changes that were announced in the orders, which go into effect January 1, 2019, enjoyed the broad support of the DC Access to Justice Commission, the DC Consortium of Legal Services Providers, and the Washington Council of Lawyers, among others. Read more →

Nov 09

2018

So-Called “Eviction with Dignity Act” Lacks Critical Tenant Protections

On Tuesday, the DC Council will hold a first vote on the Eviction with Dignity Act of 2018. We urge Councilmembers not to support the legislation without first making critical changes.

Since May of this year, Legal Aid, along with many of our colleagues in the legal services community, has been actively working with representatives of housing providers and members of DC Council on much-needed reforms to the eviction process. As my colleague Damon King wrote in July, our efforts suffered a setback when emergency legislation was put into place that lacked critical protections for the District’s most vulnerable tenants.  Legal Aid testified on September 24 about the serious need for revisions to the legislation before it became permanent, and many of the councilmembers appeared receptive to those concerns. Read more →

Oct 29

2018

Domestic Violence Awareness: The Effects of Financial Abuse

Every October, people wear purple to increase awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence and show solidarity with survivors. Domestic Violence Awareness Month increases education about the prevalence of domestic violence, common indicators of abusive relationships, and resources for survivors of domestic violence. While many people are familiar with the controlling patterns of physical and emotional abuse associated with domestic violence, you may be surprised to learn that 99% of victims of domestic violence experience financial abuse. Read more →

Oct 26

2018

Legal Aid Staff Attorney June Lee Receives “Allies in Justice” Award

Last night, Legal Aid Staff Attorney June Lee was honored by the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project with its Allies in Justice Award. June was recognized for her work and partnership with DVRP in offering client-centered legal support and representation to survivors of domestic violence, particularly those of Asian descent. Her co-recipient was Amritha Narasimhan, a long-time DVRP and community volunteer. Read more →

Oct 24

2018

Legal Aid Honors Jason Knott of Zuckerman Spaeder

Yesterday, at our Generous Associates Campaign and Pro Bono Volunteer Celebration, Legal Aid honored Jason Knott of Zuckerman Spaeder with our Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award. This award recognizes attorneys who have provided outstanding pro bono service through individual representation and/or leadership in facilitating such representation by their colleagues. Read more →