Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : December 2012

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The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland thanks all of the Consumer Protection Project (CPP) volunteer lawyers and law students who provided pro bono assistance to low-income defendants in debt buyer cases this past year through brief legal advice in the courthouse and/or direct representation. Their willingness to offer time, legal skills, and compassion to low-income defendants was invaluable. 

The CPP was created in 2011 to address access to justice issues for defendants being sued by debt buyers, companies who typically purchase consumer claims that are in default for pennies on the dollar in order to pursue them through civil collection actions. Historically, these actions have had little to no documentation to support the claims, and are frequently barred by statute of limitations or are actions on debts already paid. Since the debtors are typically not present or are unable to advocate for themselves, the courts issue affidavit judgments against them. In 84 percent of the cases in which debtors are represented by CPP volunteers, however, the cases have either been dismissed or are won on the merits. These debtor defendants represented by volunteer counsel would not have had the resources to hire lawyers and would have presumably lost their cases, putting them under even greater financial strain. 

The CPP’s success is due in large measure to the extraordinary guidance of Professor Peter Holland of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic. We are grateful to our other project partners as well, including Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Legal Aid Bureau, Maryland State Bar Association, Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Montgomery County Bar Foundation, and University of Baltimore School of Law Civil Advocacy Clinic. Through our combined efforts, the CPP reached more than 200 defendants statewide in 2012. At this juncture, the courthouse clinics are operational in both Baltimore City District Court and Prince George’s County District Court while cases are referred for direct representation statewide.

For more information on the CPP or to volunteer, contact Emily Angel at: 443-703-3054.

2012 Pro Bono Consumer Protection Project Volunteers

  • Justin S. Alex
  • Marc A. Appel
  • Jeffrey Attix
  • Ayodeji Badaki
  • Lee Baylin
  • Donald L. Bell
  • L.M.D.D. Biggs
  • David Bocchino
  • Jessica Bower
  • Cheryl L. Callahan
  • Jeremiah Chiappelli
  • Wayne K. Clark
  • Rebecca J. Coleman
  • Tyrese L. Coleman
  • Michael E. Crowson
  • Antonia Cuffee
  • Timothy W. Davis
  • Leslie Dickinson
  • Olekanma A. Ekekwe-Kauffman
  • Sean Flaim
  • Michael Gerton
  • Antonio Glenn
  • Alice R. Gonlin
  • Jeana M. Harbison
  • Kristen Picket Herber
  • Peter A. Holland
  • E. David Hoskins
  • Will Hudson
  • Kathleen Hyland
  • Melvina Y. James
  • Martine Jean
  • Jennifer Kehl
  • William Kehoe
  • Tyler King
  • Kathryn Loncarich
  • Sai Lui
  • D. Scott Messersmith
  • William J. Mertens
  • Melanie Murray Mfume
  • Michael G. Morin
  • Simone Mollock
  • G. Robert Mowell
  • Andrew Olen
  • Walter Palmer III
  • Robert Y. Raheja
  • John A. Robothem
  • Mitchell Rotbert
  • Neil J. Ruther
  • Charles Shafer
  • Jeffrey Scholnick
  • Paul Smail
  • Arlene Smith-Scott
  • Michael R. Steer
  • Laura A. Van Meter
  • Mollie Wander
  • Doris Green Walker
  • Richard A. Williams
  • Cory L. Zajdel
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Publications : Bar Bulletin : December 2012

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