Monthly Archives: November 2012

Womens Law Center to celebrate 40 years

Tomorrow the Women’s Law Center will celebrate four decades of advocating for women’s rights, the Daily Record reported today. The organization, founded in 1972, will honor a leader who played a pivotal role at the center in each decade.

Reena Shah

For the first decade of the 21st century, the honorees are two law school associations that support the WLC. Representing the University of Maryland Carey School of Law is Reena Shah, director of the Human Rights Project at Maryland Legal Aid.

“I saw that women of my generation thought that equal rights had been achieved,” said Shah, who graduated from the University of Maryland law school in 2007.  “I saw a sense of indifference, and I didn’t buy that. There are always forces in society and women are always such targets in terms of how different forces can come in and take their autonomy.”

For more information on tomorrow evening’s event at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, click here.

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Legal Aid represents disabled woman barred from apartment for wrong breed of service dog

Metropolitan Maryland office staff attorney Sara Wilkinson

Hazel Sanders, an elderly, disabled Howard Co. woman, can’t move into a subsidized apartment because the management of the complex says her service dog–a Rottweiler–is “inherently dangerous” and it won’t allow a service-animal exception to its no-pets policy.

Anne Benaroya, an expert on animal law quoted in today’s front-page Baltimore Sun article, said the policy shows the potentially far-reaching consequences of a recent Court of Appeals ruling on pit bulls that quoted a 2000 study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The study concluded that Rottweilers and pit bulls made up more than half of human deaths from dog bites.

Legal Aid staff attorney Sara C. Wilkinson, who represents Sanders, said the argument doesn’t hold up, arguing there’s no Maryland law on Rottweilers, her client’s dog has no history of aggressive behavior, and that  “most importantly, federal anti-discrimination law protecting the disabled should trump a brief mention of a 12-year-old veterinary article in a case regarding pit bulls.”

To read the article, click here.

Legal Aid’s Mike Jeffers is Balto. Co. “Lawyer of the Year”

Stan Gann, Jr. (left), Mike Jeffers

Maryland Legal Aid staff attorney Mike Jeffers, who works in the Baltimore Co. (Towson) office, was named Attorney of the Year by the Baltimore County Bar Association. From remarks by Towson attorney (and BCBA pro bono committee chair) Stanford Gann, Jr., who presented the award to Jeffers last week at a meeting of the BCBA: “In addition to serving as one of [Legal Aid executive director] Wilhelm Joseph‘s army of legal service providers at Legal Aid for the past 12 years, Mike served with distinction as a past chair of the Pro Bono Committee, serving admirably for a two-year term. . . . In addition to being a fierce proponent of legal services for those less fortunate and of pro bono causes, Mike is one of the most decent people you will ever know. When I had the pleasure of calling him to let him know he won the award, his instant response was modesty pointing out that he believed others were much more deserving. Well, I’m here to tell you Mike that this year, you are the most deserving person for the award and you exemplify everything that this award means–service to those in need, volunteering for the legal profession and your community, and answering the call.”

Franklin’s Restaurant to benefit Legal Aid

On Monday, November 5,  Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery & General Store in Hyattsville will donate 20 percent of designated receipts to Maryland Legal Aid.  To participate, customers just need to go there to eat or buy something in the restaurant or store, and tell their server/cashier that they want their purchase to benefit Legal Aid.

Franklin’s, named a “Best Beer Bar” by D.C. Foodies, is at 5121 Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville.  Dining room hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; the bar is open until midnight. Stop by anytime during restaurant and store hours, or join Legal Aid staff for happy hour from 4-6:30 p.m.