Circuit Riding Around Albany Increasing Residents’ Access to Justice

This article was originally published by the Albany Herald under the headline “Georgia Legal Services adds Westtown Library to ‘circuit’”. Read the article here.

Georgia Legal Services “circuit rider” Whitney Knox, one of seven lawyers in the Albany GLS offices on Oglethorpe Boulevard, is available to discuss very specific legal issues with Westtown patrons from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Tuesday of each month. The program is part of Georgia Legal Services’ efforts to make its staff available where there are specific needs in the community.

“We circuit ride in all 33 of the counties in our service area,” GLS Supervising Attorney Rhonda Bass said. “Our services are offered to usually low-income individuals who meet federal poverty guidelines, and we offer elder law services to people 60 and over with no income guidelines.

Read this Albany Herald article in full here.

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GLSP Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper Given State Bar YLD’s Signature Service Award

Jana Edmondson-Cooper, GLSP attorney of nearly six years, was awarded the State Bar Young Lawyers Division’s Signature Service Award on Saturday, Jan. 23 in Atlanta at the organization’s 10th annual Signature Fundraiser. The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) notes that the award is “presented annually to recognize an individual who has achieved a certain level of service, as measured by his or her commitment to the YLD and other service-related organizations”.

In a Jan.15 statement, they write:

Jana Edmondson-Cooper was an obvious choice for the YLD Signature Service Award,” YLD President John R.B. “Jack” Long of Augusta said.  “Through her job at GLSP, she shows her daily commitment to helping Georgia’s indigent who are in need of legal services.  Furthermore, her volunteer efforts for the YLD reflect her true passion to fulfill the primary mission of the State Bar of Georgia: service to the public.  I am proud to have her serve on the YLD Board of Directors, and appreciate her steadfast dedication to the YLD.

Read more about the event here.

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GLSP Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper Named to Top 100 Black Lawyers

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 announced that Jana Edmondson-Cooper of Georgia Legal Services Program was selected for inclusion into its Top 100 Black Lawyers, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for her superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only, and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers.

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper provides bilingual legal counsel and representation to low-income individuals, the majority of whom are limited English proficient, in administrative forums and courts of law. Her areas of practice include family law, health law, housing, public benefits, wills & estates and education law with a focus on language access as an access to justice issue.

Read more here.

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Augusta: Free Clinic on Debt Relief, Other Consumer Advice Offered

Appointments Available for Feb. 13 Clinic in Augusta, Deadline to Register Feb. 4

Starting Jan. 19 appointments can be made to receive free legal advice on consumer issues such as how to defend yourself in lawsuits from creditors, stopping unfair debt collection practices and illegal garnishments and filing for bankruptcy. Private attorneys will meet with individuals at the consumer law clinic, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, at the Georgia Legal Services Program office in Augusta, at 209 7th St., 4th fl. The clinic is hosted by the Pro Bono Project of the Georgia Bar, Georgia Legal Services Program, and Nicholson Revell LLP.

Clinic help will be provided by appointment only, and space is limited. Appointments can be made from Jan. 19 through Feb. 4 by calling 706-721-2327 or 1-800-248-6697 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Deadline to register for the Feb. 13 clinic is Feb. 4.

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GLSP Wins $485K for Farmworkers in Settlement With Hamilton Farms

This article was originally published in The Daily Report, authored by R. Robin McDonald, on November 10, 2015 under the headline, “Georgia Farm Pays $485K to Settle Migrants’ Class Action”.

Ga. Legal Services legal team that secured a 485.000 settlement from a farm on behalf of migrant workers. L-R Ted Roethke, Laura Rivera, Dawson Morton, Hilary Smith and Isaac Raisner.  Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Ga. Legal Services legal team that secured a 485.000 settlement from a farm on behalf of migrant workers. L-R Ted Roethke, Laura Rivera, Dawson Morton, Hilary Smith and Isaac Raisner. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

One of the state’s largest farms and its affiliated businesses have agreed to pay $485,000 to migrant workers to compensate them for violating federal wage-and-hour laws.

The settlement of the class action litigation marks the fourth time since 1998 that Hamilton Farms in Norman Park and several affiliated businesses have been sued over alleged violations of workers’ pay and workers’ rights, said attorney Dawson Morton of Georgia Legal Services, who represented the workers in the most recent case.

Read the full article here.

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215 Georgians Served on Ask A Lawyer Day

More than 215 individuals with low-incomes received free legal help last Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Attorneys from Georgia Legal Services Program and the Georgia State Bar’s General Practice and Trial section teamed up to provide free legal services in 21 counties around the state, from Richmond to Tattnall, Dougherty to Whitfield.

Volunteer private attorneys and Georgia Legal Services Program attorneys worked together to provide legal help in areas related to family, probate, criminal, consumer, real estate, and housing law issues, among others. Below is a photo essay of the successful event.

Macon. Volunteer Attorney David Bury prepares for his next client.

Macon. Volunteer Attorney David Bury prepares for his next client.

 

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and GLSP Attorney Chandra Wilson.

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and GLSP Attorney Chandra Wilson.

Macon. Attorney Kevin Hicks and GLSP Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell.

Macon. Attorney Kevin Hicks and GLSP Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell.

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and Rhudine Nelson, GLSP Pro Bono coordinator

Columbus. Attorney Ray Tillery and Rhudine Nelson, GLSP Pro Bono coordinator

Columbus. Attorney Paul Kauffmann and client.

Columbus. Attorney Paul Kauffmann and client.

Brunswick. Melissa Cruthirds, Casey Harris, and J. Wrix Mcilvaine.

Brunswick. Melissa Cruthirds, Casey Harris, and J. Wrix Mcilvaine.

Macon. Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell is interviewed by a local television news station about Ask A Lawyer Day.

Macon. Pro Bono Coordinator Rachael Schell is interviewed by a local television news station about Ask A Lawyer Day.

Macon. Attorney David Bury (left) and client.

Macon. Attorney David Bury (left) and client.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albany. Volunteer attorney Marshall Portivent and his client.

Albany. Volunteer attorney Marshall Portivent and his client.

Augusta. Volunteer Attorney Chade Franklin.

Augusta. GLSP Attorney Chastity Franklin.

Macon. Attorney Sharon Reeves (right) and client.

Macon. Attorney Sharon Reeves (right) and client.

 

Macon. Attorney David Bury, Attorney James Freeman, Judge Phillip Brown, Attorney Larry Brox, and Attorney Veronica Brinson.

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Former GLSP Managing Attorney Named Dean of the FAMU College of Law

This article was originally published on Capital Soup on Oct. 29, 2015. 

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) has named Angela Felecia Epps the new dean of the FAMU College of Law. Professor Epps will join the College of Law, located in Orlando, Fla., on January 4, 2016.

Angela Epps

Angela Felecia Epps, courtesy of Capital Records.

Epps currently serves as a professor of law at the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). She also served as associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor of law from 2008-2014. Epps joined the UALR in 1999. Her teaching and scholarly focus is on criminal law, criminal procedure, and legal counseling, a reflection of her distinguished career as a legal officer and judge advocate for the United States Marine Corps. She previously served as a managing attorney for the Georgia Legal Services Program in Albany.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Epps said, “I am honored to be selected as the next dean of the FAMU College of Law. I am excited about becoming part of the legacy of ‘Excellence with Caring’ that is FAMU and I look forward to working with the College of Law community. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this important position.”

Epps was selected after a national search conducted in partnership with Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.

Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz of the UALR William H. Bowen School praised Epps for her contributions to the legal community.

“Florida A&M University is getting a gem of an educator, colleague, administrator and, most of all, human being in selecting Felecia Epps as the dean of the Law School,” he said. “Her departure from UALR-Bowen is bittersweet for her colleagues here in Little Rock, but we all have known for a long time that she possesses a deep reservoir of skills and abilities that could be tapped.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Marcella David noted Epps’ extensive and significant practical experience as important to what she will bring to the FAMU deanship.

“Professor Epps’ ability to nurture connections with the legal community and local community will support FAMU’s continued growth and impact in the region and across the state. At the same time, she is an active and engaged scholar who will focus on the student experience and supporting faculty members’ scholarly, research, and service activities,” David said.

Professor Epps earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa in 1980, and her Juris Doctor (magna cum laude) from Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska in 1983.

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GLSP Director Reflects on Big Year

This commentary was originally published in the Daily Report on Oct., 23, 2015.

scales empty courtroom

Courtesy of the Daily Report.

In Service: Georgia Legal Services Director Reflects on Big Year

So many of our clients’ stories start with struggle and result in triumph, through their own persistence and a lawyer’s help at the right moment.

One senior citizen finally decided that 30 years of abuse was enough. Once she made that decision, with our help she was able to leave her husband and find peace and safety. But the decision to make the journey was hers.

Or the high school student near graduation with options for college—threatened with harsh discipline for a minor act for which others were not punished. With our help he was able to graduate.

 

Read the full article here.

Phyllis Holmen is the executive director of the Georgia Legal Services Program.

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