New legal resource for Wisconsin veterans

Wisconsin veterans and their families who are at risk for homelessness now have a new legal resource thanks to a VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF) grant that funds a collaboration between Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW) and the Center for Veterans Issues (CVI). The goal of the partnership is to provide free legal services through LAW to low-income veterans and their families who are homeless or who are at-risk of being homeless, …

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Limited scope representation gets a boost

On April 4, the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted unanimously to adopt a series of changes proposed in Petition 13-10 to expand support for limited scope representation arrangements between lawyers and clients. The changes, which take effect in January 2015, have broad support in the access to justice community and have been a key priority for the Commission. Among other changes, the new rules will provide a process for entering and withdrawing limited appearances in court …

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From victim to advocate – one survivor’s story

For years, Judy Woller slept facing the bedroom door, listening for the click of a gun being cocked. Woller’s husband objected to her spending time with other people and became upset when she wouldn’t quit her job or stop going to church. Over time, his anger escalated and he threatened to kill her and their children while they slept. “When I left my husband in 1978, I did not know of any resources to help. …

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Pro bono spotlight – Terry Young

Terry YoungFive years ago, Attorney Terry Young became involved with Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), working on the Tenants’ Rights Project. Young, who works as Assistant General Counsel & Assistant Secretary for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, said he was drawn to pro bono work by a deeply rooted core value of helping others, a value he observed in his parents, and by his faith, which teaches the importance of giving to those in need. He noted that he has had to the good fortune to work for companies that encourage their employees to volunteer.

In his pro bono work, Young regularly meets with VLP clients who have landlord-tenant problems and evaluates their cases. He may give them advice about how to pursue their claims or defenses pro se, or he may represent them himself. “I was drawn to landlord-tenant law because it’s an area where there can be a lot of abuses because so many people are unaware of their rights,” said Young.

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Supporting judicial discretion to ensure fair hearings

On February 24 the Wisconsin Supreme Court held a public hearing on Petition 13-14, which requests amendments in the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct to provide better guidance to judges in addressing the challenges raised by the growing number of self-represented litigants. The petition, filed by the Access to Justice Commission last September, proposes modifying Supreme Court Rule 60.04 to make it clear that “reasonable efforts to facilitate the ability of all litigants, including self-represented …

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Provider spotlight – ABC for Health

By Bobby Peterson, Executive Director, ABC for Health, Inc. Since our founding in 1994, ABC for Health, Inc. has displayed a passion for quality legal services related to access to health care and coverage issues. We focus on linking children and families, particularly those with special health care needs, to healthcare benefits and services. ABC is a statewide public interest law firm that engages in direct legal representation, impact litigation and one-on-one client advocacy for …

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Community foundation support for medical-legal partnership in Wausau

The Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin has awarded Wisconsin Judicare a grant that will allow Judicare and Bridge Community Health Clinic (BCHC) to improve and continue their medical/legal partnership in Wausau. The Community Foundation, based in Wausau, is a nonprofit community corporation, created by and for the people of north central Wisconsin. It seeks, manages, and awards charitable gifts with one goal in mind: to enrich life for present and future generations. That includes …

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