Monthly Archives: June 2010

ESPN Zone workers demand dignity, compliance with the law

ESPN workers will be at Baltimore’s ESPN Zone location in the Inner Harbor Wednesday at 11 a.m. to put ESPN on notice for violation of the WARN Act and call for respect of workers’ rights. Workers will set a seven-day deadline to meet face to face with Disney-owned ESPN to resolve these abuses before taking legal action.

ESPN Zone shut-down Tuesday, June 15. Workers learned of the closing through the media, giving them a week’s notice they would be out of a job. The WARN Act requires that an employer give workers at least 60 days notice, with penalties attached if this is violated. The workers are represented by Maryland Legal Aid.

Foster teen gets wish granted

A 17-year-old Legal Aid client  in foster care got her wish yesterday–the surprise present of a laptop computer for the aspiring visual artist and photographer to do her school work on. Adrienne St. Paul, who enters her senior year in high school this fall, is the first recipient of a computer from F.O.S.T.E.R.–Friends of Special Teaching and Educational Resources, a Frederick group collecting new laptop computers and digital cameras for children in foster care, the Frederick News-Post reported today.

“Ten weeks ago, St. Paul’s Legal Aid lawyer, Kathleen Hughes, told [Master Rick] Sandy the high school student needed a computer to do schoolwork,” the article said. “Working on library computers wasn’t always possible. Sandy called Hughes to the bench and ordered the formation of a committee to find funding for laptops.”

“We’re making history here today,” Sandy said to applause , and a few tears [in his courtroom yesterday], about the gathering, which was sprinkled with [judges], lawyers and social workings all in on the surprise.”

To read the article, click here.

Legal Aid’s IT experts talk about virtualization

Maryland Legal Aid’s information technology prowess was featured in a Daily Record article about computer technology, “MSBA 2010 Conference: Advice to computer-dependent firms – Be prepared.”

“Legal Aid’s disaster recovery plan uses an increasingly popular strategy called virtualization,” the June 10 report said. “All of a computer system’s applications — e-mail, client database, intranet — are converted into files that can be stored on one or two servers, rather than having one server devoted to an entire application. For Legal Aid, this means running its entire computer system through three servers, one of which is available for back-up, where before it needed 12 servers, roughly one for each computer application.”

“It has allowed us to give more services to attorneys,” said Pat Gregory, Legal Aid’s assistant director for IT.

To read the article, click here.

Top court weighs child v. parent interests

The Maryland Court of Appeals heard arguments earlier this month whether a troubled mother can keep her parental rights in light of her seven-year-old daughter’s flourishing relationship with her foster parents, who want to adopt her, the Daily Record reported . The girl is represented by Maryland Legal Aid.

Joan Little, chief attorney of Legal Aid’s Child Advocacy Unit in Baltimore, argued that the girl’s loving foster parents can’t adopt her because the courts preserved the mother’s parental rights–despite her record of neglect.

The girl has been “sentenced to a life in foster-care limbo” because the lower courts placed the mother’s rights above her daughter’s interests, Little said, adding that “the issue is the best interest of the child, not the best interest of the parent.”

To read the article, click here.