OCTOBER BRIEFS FROM DADE LEGAL AID - SPEEDING LAWFULLY BIKE CHALLENGE TO BENEFIT DADE LEGAL AID IS ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020 at10 am
Message from Karen J. Ladis, Executive Director
“Speeding Lawfully" is a socially distanced bike challenge for all ages and activity levels that will take the place of Dade Legal Aid’s annual Patently Impossible Project, since it just isn’t possible to hold the Patently Impossible competition in person this year. Thankds to event chair Jaime Rich Vining, Esq., who came up with this great idea! “While pivoted due to the global pandemic, 100% of the proceeds from the event will help Dade Legal Aid that represents low income children and families impacted by COVID-19,” said Vining. “Dade Legal Aid and Put Something Back Pro Bono Project provide critical access to justice to low-income residents of Miami-Dade County,” said Vining, Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Dade County Bar Association. For over a decade, Vining has been creating fundraisers and handling pro bono cases for the organization. This year, Vining decided “shifted gears” to host this virtual event to support the non-profit law firm that has been serving the unmet legal needs of the community since 1949.
“Put Something Back is the cornerstone of the pro bono efforts by Miami lawyers. The program has served thousands of clients for decades. As a former President of the Dade County Bar Association, I am very proud of this program and the work of Dade Legal Aid,” said Steven Davis, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and Member of the Florida Bar Board of Governors for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
Dade Legal Aid staff and pro bono attorneys handle thousands of cases annually in the areas of family law, domestic violence, probate, guardian ad litem, child advocacy, bankruptcy, housing and consumer law. "The demand for our services has never been greater,” said Karen Ladis, executive director of the agency. “Our staff, pro bono volunteers and clients are facing new challenges navigating the “new norm.” We have been working remotely for months continuing to provide a safety net of civil legal services to those severely impacted by COVID-19– the elderly, the disabled, survivors of sexual assault and human sex trafficking, unaccompanied minor children, veterans and others.” Thanks to the combined efforts of the bar association and its leadership, supporters, participants and many local voluntary bar associations, law schools, members of the legal community, Dade Legal Aid continues fulfilling its mission to protect children and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, families in crisis facing evictions, foreclosures and bankruptcy, and other vulnerable populations. For more information about Speeding Lawfully or registering for a pro bono case, please visit www.dadelegalaid.org or email email@example.com.
WHAT: A Virtual Bike Race to Benefit Dade Legal Aid
CHAIR: Jaime Rich Vining, Esquire
WHEN: Sunday, October 25, 2020, 10:00 am
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS: Dade County Bar Association, Intellectual Property Committee, Young Lawyer Section, IBERIABANK First Horizon, Corsearch, Bast Amron, Bilzin, STROOCK, Ser & Associates, Rasco Klock, Miami-Dade FAWL, First Family Law American Inns of Court, Haitian Lawyers Association, St. Thomas University School of Law, Foster-Morales Sockel-Stone, Phipps Reporting, Steven Davis, Freddi Mack, Cole Scott & Kissane, Hollub Homes,South Miami Kendall Bar Association, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr, Bar Association, The South Asian Bar Association of Florida, The LAB Miami, and more…
SEPTEMBER BRIEFS FROM DADE LEGAL AID
Message from Karen J. Ladis, Executive Director
In September, we saw a spike in family law, housing and domestic violence cases caused by the pandemic, unemployment and other issues facing our community's low income residents. We are addressing the influx of cases by streamlining intake processes. Clients seeking pro bono services through our Put Something Back Pro Bono Project can apply online and request assistance from one of our virtual kiosks from virtually anywhere. The pro bono attorney team at Dade Legal Aid is comprised of Bruce Levine, with over 28 years of experience coordinating pro bono disaster relief efforts, Nikki Weisburd, with over 15 years of representing older foster youth and coordinating child advocacy efforts for the agency, and Stephanie Grosman, a seasoned family lawyer who handles family law cases, serves as a GAL, and mentors new attorneys accepting pro bono cases. Rounding out the team are Jessica Zuvic, a dedicated paralegal and professional who performs an inordinate amount of tasks necessary to refer, monitor and close thousands of cases each year, Jason Sotelo and Yasminne Rayo, former Americorp VISTA Fellows with the agency who conduct client intake and process referrals, and Samantha Napoles, who updates records, closes cases and credits attorneys for their pro bono services. October is National ABA Pro Bono Month (although every month is pro bono month at Put Something Back!) and we will be featuring some of our outstanding staff attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants who are working hard to provide services to those in need of critical assistance with nowhere else to turn to for help. Stay tuned for more updates and stay safe!
AUGUST BRIEFS FROM DADE LEGAL AID
Message from Karen J. Ladis, Executive Director
We are experiencing a huge influx of family law and domestic violence clients due to COVID-19. Our staff attorneys and secretaries are working hard and continuing to provide their services remotely, focusing on the increasing numbers of new clients that are adversely impacted each week. We receive over a 100 new applicants a week in need of civil legal services with nowhere else to turn for assistance.
We are preparing for an increase in eviction and foreclosure cases once the moratorium is lifted. We are working with the bankruptcy bar and the Eleanor and A. Jay Cristol UM Law Bankruptcy Clinic to prepare for the influx in cases. The clinics are taught remotely and going well and we are also examining proactive methods to work with landlords to assist people once the moratoriums are lifted.
Last month, our Family Law Department processed 123 new applications. Our Domestic Violence Department assisted 72 new clients. Put Something Back referred over 100 cases in all areas of civil law including contracts, liens, collections, probate, family law, bankruptcy and consumer cases.
This year’s YLS Back to School Drive was a big success. We received 50 backpacks and supplies and distributed them to our clients. We are excited that the YLS is partnering with us on our upcoming events and helping to fill client needs. We are also planning a Speaker’s Bureau with the local Veterans Affairs hospital.
Our Juvenile Delinquency Webinar with the Haitian Lawyers Association, Virtual Family Law Clinic featuring Marck Joseph, and Venture Law Clinic have all been successful so far. We continue exploring new partnerships and innovations in order to increase access to justice for those in need.
On October 25, we are holding a virtual bike challenge. Join us as we shift gears and hold “Speeding Lawfully Bike Challenge” sponsored by the Intellectual Property Committee of the DCBA along with co-sponsors DCBA YLS, MDFAWL, SMKB, HLA, FACDL, and many others. Please contact Stephanie Grosman or Jaime Vining for more details. STAY SAFE!
JULY BRIEFS FROM DADE LEGAL AID
Message from Karen J. Ladis, Executor
I hope you are staying safe and well during this crisis. The pandemic is impacting the legal community like never before. With local lockdowns and curfews, now more than ever, we are experiencing a surge in requests for our help with Family Law, Domestic Violence, Probate, Evictions, Collections & Bankruptcy matters. Our in-house staff and pro bono team are committed to doing everything we can to meet the increased needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct legal representation has a tremendous impact on the quality of life for Miami-Dade's indigent population. Now is the time to step in to volunteer to handle one of our pre-screened cases for a low income resident facing financial uncertainty, eviction, divorce or domestic violence. Please let us know if you and your firm are able to assist a low income client and donate your resources to help us achieve access to justice for all. Thank you to the many attorneys and firms for generously donating their time and firm resources to help us provide free legal assistance to disadvantaged indidviduals, families and nonprofits during these difficult times. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our participants.
This week, we say farewell and thank you to Hayley Goodman, HOPE Summer Fellow, 2L, University of Miami School of Law. Throughout the summer, Hayley has assisted the Guardianship Department with client interviews, drafting pleadings and legal research and has attended vitrual hearings, remote meetings and office events. We are so grateful to her and to UMHOPE.
Our Child Advocacy Project Coordinator, Nikki Weisburd, Esquire, has also been extremely busy during this period of working remotely monitoring the changing graduation requirements for Miami-Dade Public Schools impacting Foster Youth to make sure they will graduate on time. Our team is advocating to get expenses covered for youth who lost their part-time jobs so they will still have some income, working with doctors to obtain coverage for children who are being denied treatment although they qualify for services, and finding a new placement for a youth who was on the run. We have actively contacted our Child Advocacy pro bono attorneys for updates on their cases and are grateful for the requests for new cases from attorneys throughout the community.
To support our legal advocacy, please consider a charitable donation to the Dade Legal Aid Fund at The Miami Foundation (EIN #650350357). You may donate online on our website at the Donate tab or via check, credit card, or stock via mail or wire transfer to The Miami Foundation, 40 NW 3 Street, Suite 305, Miami, FL 33128 with special instructions that the designation is for the Dade Legal Aid Fund.
All Donors receive a Charitable Letter for Tax-deductible purposes. If you or your firm have time and want to volunteer remotely, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Click Here. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
Dear Volunteers and Firms:
Thank you for being ready, willing and present to serve our community during this crisis. Dade Legal Aid is following guidance issued by the authorities to reduce the threat of COVID-19 and we are taking all necessary precautionary measures to safeguard the health and well-being of our staff, families, clients, and volunteers, including having the lobby, stairwell, and all common areas professionally cleaned and purchasing the necessary PPE. In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to protect all parties involved, and in accordance with the guidelines of the CDC, we continue to work remotely and will remain accessible to our clients, the courts, stakeholders, each other and the community via email and phone. As the courts are closed, please reschedule all upcoming in person meetings and appointments. We will continue to evaluate the situation and remain fully available to our clients and the legal community remotely until further notice.
Please take all preventative measures to minimize the further spread of the virus during these unchartered times and follow best practices for preventing exposure and illness. Although we are physically closed, please stay up to date with notifications and recommendations from the CDC and WHO or visit our Covid - 19 page for additional resources. I hope you and your families remain safe and well, and that I will see you soon!
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone for your support and cooperation. We appreciate you and hope to see you soon.
Karen Ladis, Esq.