Tag Archives: Maryland Legal Services Corp.

MLSC announces 2012 legal services awards

The Maryland Legal Services Corporation announced its 2012 legal services awardees, to be honored at MLSC’s annual awards reception, Celebrating Thirty Years, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Herbert S. Garten will receive the Robert M. Bell Medal for Access to Justice, named for the chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Peter A. Holland of the Holland Law Firm will receive the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award for his significant contributions in the area of consumer law.  The Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award will go to Brenda Bratton Blom, professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and Lisae C. Jordan, acting executive director of Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award for a non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the rights and legal needs of low-income persons will be presented to John Wheeler, an intake specialist and paralegal at the Maryland Disability Law Center for the past 30 years. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has been named as this year’s recipient of the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award for its long-standing leadership in access to justice initiatives.

MLSC was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1982 to receive and distribute funds to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal assistance to low-income persons. From its inception, MLSC has made grants totaling over $164 million to help provide services in nearly 2 million legal matters for Maryland’s families in areas of family, housing, consumer, employment, health care and other civil legal matters.


MLSC, MSBA releases “Honor Roll” of top banks

The Maryland State Bar Assoc. and Maryland Legal Services Corp. recognize “Honor Roll” financial institutions that pay premium interest rates on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts, which help fund civil legal services for low-income Marylanders.

  • American Bank – Montgomery & Prince George’s counties & Washington, DC
  • Baltimore County Savings Bank – Baltimore City, Baltimore, Harford & Howard counties
  • BankAnnapolis – Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s counties
  • Carrollton Bank – Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore & Harford counties
  • Congressional Bank – Montgomery County, Washington, DC & N. Virginia
  • First Shore Federal – Wicomico & Worcester counties
  • Hamilton Federal Bank – Anne Arundel and Baltimore c0unties
  • HSBC Bank USA, N.A. – Montgomery County
  • MainStreet Bank – N. Virginia
  • Midstate Federal Savings & Loan – Baltimore County
  • Premier Bank, Inc. – Montgomery County & Washington, DC
  • Sandy Spring Bank – Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery & Prince George’s counties
  • Severn Savings Bank – Anne Arundel County
  • Standard Bank – Allegany County
  • TD Bank – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford & Prince George’s counties

For a complete list of all financial institutions approved to accept IOLTA deposits, visit www.mlsc.org.

Maryland legal services programs brace for cuts

The Maryland Legal Services Corp. is digging into its reserves and must cut grants to its programs by five percent, the Daily Record reported today.

“Late last month, [MLSC executive director] Susan M. Erlichman told Maryland Legal Services’ existing grantees to submit requests for fiscal 2013 that reflect a 5 percent reduction from the current funding levels,” the article said. “The grantees were also warned the cuts might be deeper in fiscal 2014.”

“’We are hoping that we can keep the cuts between 5 and 10 percent,’ Erlichman said. ‘If we can keep it to five that would be our desire but that really depends on what happens the next six months as far as income.’

“Maryland Legal Services, hit with dwindling revenue sources, is spending $1.6 million of its reserves this year and next, Erlichman said. If the trend continues, it will run out of money in fiscal 2014, she said.

“’This is very, very frightening,’ she said last week.”

Maryland Legal Aid, MLSC’s largest grantee, will be cut more than $500,000.

Maryland Legal Services Corp. announces 2011 legal services awards

M. Natalie McSherry of Kramon and Graham PA and Mitchell Y. Mirviss of Venable LLP lead the list of awardees at this December’s Maryland Legal Services Corp. annual awards reception.

Both will both receive the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award, presented annually to an attorney (usually in private practice) who has rendered extraordinary service by providing civil legal services to the poor or by improving the civil legal services delivery system for such persons.

Other awardees: Debra L. Gardner, legal director of the Public Justice Center (Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award);  Michelle Swift, paralegal at the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers’ Service (William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award); the People’s Law Library (Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award); and Janet Stidman Eveleth, the recently retired communications director at the Maryland State Bar Assoc. (Award of Special Recognition).

MLSC board chairman F. Vernon Boozer and Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell will present the awards at MLSC’s annual awards reception on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel. For more information, click here.

Joseph honored by Maryland Legal Services Corp.

Maryland Legal Aid executive director Wilhelm H. Joseph Jr. was awarded the Benjamin Cardin Distinguished Service Award last night at an awards banquet sponsored by the Maryland Legal Services Corp.

The award was presented by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, who noted that since arriving at Legal Aid in 1996, Joseph has nearly quadrupled its funding, raise salaries and enabled it to serve more than 50,000 Maryland families each year.

The Cardin Award is presented each year to an outstanding public interest attorney regularly involved in providing, promoting or managing civil legal services to the poor.

In the photo (left to right): MLSC president F. Vernon Boozer, Joseph, MLSC executive director Susan M. Erlichman and Bell.

Legal Aid director Wilhelm Joseph to receive Cardin Award

Legal Aid Executive Director Wilhelm H. Joseph Jr.

Executive Director Wilhelm Joseph will receive the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award, awarded each December to an outstanding public interest law attorney. “Mr. Joseph, who has led the Legal Aid Bureau for 14 years, has advocated for the poor through his long civil rights career, his efforts with the filing fee initiatives in the Maryland General Assembly and many other accomplishments,” MLSC’s press release said. The awards reception is Monday, December 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Sun: Funding fee increases “eminently sensible measure”

Today’s Baltimore Sun features two items on civil legal services: a front-page story (with a picture of Maryland Legal Aid staff attorney Christina Sawyer) about the funding-fee surcharge bills working their way through the General Assembly and the lead editorial endorsing the bills.

“Funding for legal services to the poor has plummeted as a result of the recession” the editorial said. “Unless something is done, thousands of families and individuals will lose their ability to challenge the decisions of mortgage companies, landlords, employers and health care providers in court. . . . Lawmakers should act to keep the gap in justice between haves and have-nots from growing even wider by passing this eminently sensible measure that will allow the [Maryland] Legal Services Corp. to continue to do the job . . .”