Available Cases

VIP offers the unique opportunity to positively affect the lives of low income Philadelphia residents. We provide resources to assist you throughout the case, including mentors, interpreters, law students and training materials. VIP has included potential core competencies that staff anticipate volunteer counsel would achieve by taking the case, but these experiences are not guaranteed. Every VIP case provides an opportunity for direct client contact and case management. Join the VIP team by taking a case!

If you are interested in taking one of the following cases, please click on the case number to send an email to the VIP staff. Thank you!

Probate

  • 13-0034943

    Client needs assistance attaining title to the house in which he lives. Client’s mother and stepfather owned one-third of the property as tenants by the entirety, and client and his brother each owned another one-third. Client’s stepfather died in 2011. Client’s mother then died intestate in 2013, leaving client and his two brothers as her heirs. Both brothers are willing to give up their interests in the property, and one has signed a statement to that effect. Prior to the mother’s death, a guardian was appointed for the mother’s estate to handle proceeds from a fire insurance policy, some or all of which may have been paid to the mother’s nursing home. Client has not been able to reach the guardian to determine the status of the insurance proceeds. Client is temporarily out of work and is currently working with a housing counselor regarding his delinquent mortgage payments. Client needs assistance in probating his mother’s estate and transferring title of the property into his name. 
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice; Client Interviewing

  • 14-0036270

    Senior client seeks assistance with a probate matter. Client would like to become the record owner of her home that is currently titled to her deceased husband. Client and her adult son are the record owner's sole heirs. Son is willing to transfer his interest in the property to client. Client needs an attorney to probate and administer her husband's estate, including transferring title of the property to her.

    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing  

Real Property

  • 100024

    Client, who is disabled, resides in a home that was formerly two adjacent properties whose physical structures were combined into one many years ago. The house still straddles two different street addresses and tax parcel numbers.  Both parcels were previously owned by the same corporation and encumbered by one mortgage taken out in 1998. In 2007, only one of the properties was technically sold at Sheriff's sale for delinquent real estate taxes.  The successful bidder at the Sheriff's sale sold the first property to our client in 2008, with a title insurance company insuring the transfer and with a mortgage taken out by our client. Seemingly, all parties involved thought that both parcels were being jointly sold, and client has maintained possession of both parcels since 2008. Client has regularly paid the real estate taxes owed on the first parcel, but the taxes on the second parcel remain unpaid.  The corporation that is the record owner of the second parcel is not actively conducting business anymore.  VIP filed a claim against the title company that insured the purchase of the first parcel; however, the title company stated that the second parcel was not covered under the policy. An attorney is needed to assist client in analyzing any equitable or legal avenue he may have to obtain title to the second parcel.  If that is successful, client will also need assistance in dealing with the delinquent real estate taxes on the second parcel and in consolidating the two parcels into one; a City Law Department attorney is familiar with this matter and willing to work with a VIP attorney on the real estate tax issues.
    Core Competencies: Negotiation Skills, Client Interviewing

     

Support

  • 14-0036473
    Urgent Need
    Hearing before Master
    Client seeks representation in spousal support matter. There is no current support order. OP is employed and has been paying client $800/month towards bills, but client, who has a medical condition and is unemployed, cannot make ends meet. Client recently moved in with her son and began renting her property to generate income. Client is still eligible for free legal representation. Client attended a conference on October 21, 2014 and a settlement conference with the Master on December 10th.  There is a hearing scheduled before Master Ketterlinus on February 5 at 2 PM. OP is represented by counsel.  
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Factual Investigation and Development

Tax

  • 14-0036348
    Nonprofit/Tax

    Client is an established, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to combating poverty through neighborhood services, particularly arts-related programming. Client is the current owner of a historic theater in North Philadelphia. Client is in the process of restoring the theatre, which is where the majority of its activities take place. The building lost its tax-exempt status when client acquired it and is now delinquent on real estate taxes. Client recently restored its tax exempt status for the property but needs assistance filing a nunc pro tunc petition to clear its back real estate tax bill.

    Core competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

  • 14-0036367
    Nonprofit/Tax

    Client is a nonprofit organization that provides job search, mentoring, community service, and life skills training to juveniles and ex-offenders. Client is seeking to expand its operation by creating a new anti-violence social media and fundraising campaign. Client is seeking advice regarding an online crowdfunding campaign while remaining complaint with current fundraising and solicitation regulations. Core Competencies: Client interviewing

Wills

  • 14-0036382

    Senior client seeks assistance drafting a will. Client's only asset is her home. Client would like to leave the property equally to her three children.

    Core Competencies: Drafting, Client Interviewing