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The September/October Issue

In this month’s A2J Dispatch, we highlight A2JC’s groundbreaking partnership with the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV), which aims to enhance legal service accessibility through GIS-mapping technology, we highlight the launch of A2JC’s Delivery of Legal Services Committee and we report on the Access to Counsel in Evictions Task Force’s commendable work, we celebrate the National Celebration Of Pro Bono and we explore the role of civil legal aid in disaster recovery as well as the importance of domestic violence-related legal services.

A2J Commission News

  • A2JC Approves Partnership with MSCFV on A2JC Data Dashboard. At the September 20th A2J Commission meeting, the Commissioners heard from and approved a partnership with the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV). MSCFV has generously offered to partner with A2JC to build out an A2J extension to their existing dashboard that uses GIS-mapping technology. A2JC’s Data and Legal Technology Committee will coordinate other A2J stakeholders and work with MSCFV to build out this exciting new extension that will help map out available legal services, court locations, and hot spots for civil court cases and more.
  • A2JC’s New DLS Committee Holds Kickoff Event! On October 4, 2023, A2JC’s new Delivery of Legal Services Committee held a successful Kickoff Event. DLS Committee members met in Annapolis to have a visioning session to reinvigorate the work of the Committee and discuss its action plan for the year ahead. The Committee will have three subcommittees: Advocacy, Education, and Public Interest Community. The Committee welcomes all MSBA members, whether in private practice, judiciary, government, corporate counsel, or a civil legal aid organization, who are passionate about public interest law and an accessible, equitable, and just legal system to join the Committee. Join here.
  • Access to Counsel in Evictions Task Force Holds 6 Hearings. The Access to Counsel in Evictions Task Force is a legislatively mandated body that was created with the same legislation that created the Access to Counsel in Evictions law. The ACE law is only the second of its kind in the country, which provides for all income-qualified Marylanders to have a right to access counsel in eviction cases. The ACE TF is charged with monitoring the implementation of the law, seeking funding for its implementation, and recommending policy changes to ensure successful implementation. The ACE TF is currently being chaired by the ED of A2JC, Reena Shah. Starting on October 2, the TF held 6 hearings, where it heard from all different stakeholders involved in the implementation of the law, including MLSC, the legal services providers, the judiciary, DHCD, and more. The TF has collected information and will deliver a report to the Maryland General Assembly and the Governor with its recommendations by January 1, 2024. To learn more, go to: Access to Counsel in Evictions Task Force.
  • MSBA Calls for Proposals for 2024 Legal Summit. The MSBA has opened its call for proposals for the 2024 Legal Summit that will take place in Ocean City from June 5 – 7, 2024. The Legal Summit offers a “Justice Track” and seeks program proposals from the A2J and DLS communities. Priority deadline is Monday, December 4, 2023. Final deadline is Monday, January 8, 2024. See here to learn more: https://www.msba.org/2024-summit-general-program-proposals/.

Tips from Maryland Judiciary’s Access to Justice Department. We are pleased to offer recurring content from the Maryland Judiciary’s Access to Justice Department as part of the A2J Dispatch.

Local A2J News

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