PSB – Frequently Asked Questions?

What about professional liability insurance?
When you accept a case through PSB, you are covered by our E&O insurance for free.  If you have your own insurance, PSB insurance is in excess of any other.  If you are uninsured, it is primary for any covered claims so long as you have followed program procedures.

What if I cannot accept the case referred to me?
If you are unable to accept the case referred, you must IMMEDIATELY contact the client and PSB at (305) 579 – 5733 ext. 2249 or  Once a case is referred to you, it is deemed accepted until or unless you notify PSB otherwise. 

I am a criminal, government, corporate or PI attorney.  How can I accept a case?
PSB has a wide range of cases for volunteers.  We will train you if you are unfamiliar with the case categories offered.  PSB provides FREE CLE accredited training courses and has experienced attorneys willing to assist you in all areas as mentors.  Forms and manuals are available upon request. (Click here for more information)

I am retired or not presently practicing law, or I have no office or staff.  What can I do?
PSB needs your assistance. Retired and inactive attorneys may become “Emeritus” lawyers and accept cases under the supervision of a Legal Aid staff attorney. You also may donate funds, participate in pro se clinics, provide training, refer cases, be a mentor, or help prepare forms and handbooks.  Training and assistance are available to all participants.

I volunteer at my church, provide wills for my neighbors or help the Girl Scouts.  Does that qualify for PSB?
PSB’s goal is to recruit all members of the private bar to provide legal representation to the poor so that they will have equal access to the judicial system.  General community service is commended but will not qualify, nor will legal work for a non-eligible client organization.

Participation in an approved pro bono legal project will qualify.  You must notify this office upon acceptance of a referral from a qualifying project in order to be credited.  If you or your group want to begin a qualifying project, contact PSB for approval and assistance.

How many hours and how many cases am I expected to handle?
PSB volunteers contribute a minimum of 20 hours of legal services per year or “buy-in” for $350.00 per year to Legal Aid.

When is a case completed?
After accepting a case, the attorney is expected to complete the case to final resolution, not including an appeal.

Who pays costs?
All pro bono clients are low income.  The Affidavit of Indigency is the official court document which must be filed in order for the clerk to waive filing fees, serve process, make copies, or publish notices of action.  For Bankruptcy cases, there is a different form for filing for indigency status. Very limited funds are available to pay other costs (e.g. depositions, expert witnesses).  If the client cannot pay and you need to expend these or other costs, you must call PSB first for approval.  Only approved costs will be reimbursed.  Mediation services are available to pro bono attorneys at no cost. 

What if I collect a fee?
Where possible, volunteers should seek to recover fees and costs from opposing parties.  All fees and costs collected are rebated to PSB and will help defray the costs of other cases.    (Click here for Cost Recovery Agreement).