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16-0038743 Urgent Needs

Submitted on April 21, 2017 in Torts

Client, who is very friendly and responsive, seeks assistance with a slip-and-fall case involving her late mother’s property. The client is the personal representative of her mother’s estate as of March 2017. The OP initially had an administrator appointed by the court and filed a complaint in May 2016. VIP has assisted the client with being substituted as administrator of the estate, and the client is now ready to file an answer to the complaint. The City of Philadelphia is also a defendant in the suit and has filed a subpoena to compel the plaintiff to appear for a deposition by May 9, 2017. A VIP volunteer previously took the case but did not enter an appearance on the client’s behalf, and is no longer able to assist the client. The discovery deadline is May 1, 2017; a settlement conference has been scheduled for June 15, 2017, at 11 a.m.; the projected pre-trial conference and trial dates are August 7, 2017, and September 4, 2017. Opposing counsel is Attarah Feenane.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

17-0040025 Urgent Needs

Submitted on April 24, 2017 in Custody

Client seeks assistance with a custody matter. Client/mother and OP/father share a 7-year-old daughter. The current custody order grants client primary physical and legal custody, while OP has partial custody and sees the child on weekends. OP filed an Emergency Petition to Modify Custody. He hopes to gain primary physical custody of the child because of concerns he has about client’s husband, which client says are unfounded. A custody trial is scheduled for May 2, 2017, at 9:00 am before Judge McLaughlin. OP is represented by counsel. VIP will counsel client that representation would be for that hearing only and assist the volunteer with executing a limited representation agreement.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience

17-0039940 Urgent Needs

Submitted on April 14, 2017 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant appeal. Client represented herself in Municipal Court with advice from VIP but ended up with a judgment against her in the amount of $1,964.92. The eviction complaint sought money for a water bill, attorney’s fees, and court costs. Client lives in the home with her four sons. She has never seen a water bill, but has paid the landlord anywhere from $160-180 per month for water. She is currently up-to-date on all payments, except one water bill since the commencement of the lawsuit. She had a money order for the water bill at the Municipal Court hearing. Client has notified landlord of issues such as flooding in the basement resulting in mold, infestations, and the high water bill. There are open L&I violations on the property. Defenses may include breach of implied warranty of habitability, failure to provide tenant with a Certificate of Rental Suitability and “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing” Handbook, and retaliation. Client filed a pro se appeal on April 12, 2017, and it was served the same day. Landlord will be required to file serve complaint on client by May 2, 2017. The settlement conference is scheduled for May 30, 2017, at 1:00 pm, and the trial is scheduled for June 19, 2017, at 9:00 am. Opposing counsel is Todd Barritz, Esq.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills


Submitted on April 20, 2017 in Custody

Client, a single working mother, seeks assistance with a custody matter. Client/mother and OP/father share a 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. OP/father, who is represented, filed for custody, partial custody, or supervised physical custody of the children. The two children reside with client and visit OP at his house, but there is no formal custody order in place. OP previously filed for custody in 2016 but the complaint was dismissed when he failed to appear at the scheduled hearing. Client is comfortable with OP having visitation, but would like primary physical and sole legal custody of the children. Client handles all of children’s needs, including serving as the payee on the children’s SSI payments and taking the children to their weekly therapy appointments. A volunteer is needed to represent client at a custody hearing before Judge Diane Thompson on June 26, 2017 at 9:00 am. VIP will assist with obtaining a limited representation agreement for the June 26th hearing only.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Witness Preparation


Submitted on April 18, 2017 in Custody

Client/father and OP/mother share a nine-year-old son. The current custody order, which is from January 11, 2016, gives client and OP shared physical and legal custody of their son. OP, who is represented, has been withholding their son from client for several months, has left the state and country with the child without permission, and has changed the child’s school without permission. Client filed a petition for contempt against OP for failure to comply with the custody order, as well as a petition for modification of the custody order. OP has also filed a petitions to modify custody and for contempt against client. Client seeks sole physical and legal custody of his son. A volunteer is needed to represent the client before Judge Pechkurow on June 5, 2017 at 1:30 for a custody hearing on the petition to modify and the petitions for contempt. VIP will assist the volunteer with obtaining a limited representation agreement from client stating that he/she will only be representing client at the June 5th hearing.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience


Submitted on April 19, 2017 in Divorce

Client seeks assistance with a divorce matter. Client/wife and OP/husband were married in 1993. Client filed for divorce in March 1998. Since then, the divorce grounds have been approved and discovery has been completed. Client previously had representation but can no longer afford it. OP is represented by an attorney, Andrew I. Roseman, Esq., and has served client with notice of a hearing regarding equitable distribution. Client’s income is from SSD, and she owns a house. Client and OP bought the house together in 2006. In 2011, a new deed was executed giving client full title. OP has income from employment, a car, healthcare coverage, and a pension. Client is currently receiving approximately $150/month in spousal support. A volunteer is needed to represent client at the Equitable Distribution Hearing on May 16, 2017, at 9:30 am before Master Dennis L. O’Connell.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience


Submitted on February 17, 2017 in Divorce

Client/Wife and OP/Husband married in February 2008 and have been separated since 2014. The client is a victim of domestic violence. Client is employed but still qualifies for legal representation, and OP is employed as a carpenter. The marital estate includes the increase in value in the house client purchased in 2000 and the marital portions of both parties’ pensions. No divorce action has been filed to date. The client would like legal representation to initiate a divorce action.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Draft Pleadings


Submitted on April 5, 2017 in Real Property

Client and current record owner (RO) signed a notarized agreement in 2007, where client promised to transfer a house in his name to RO and RO was supposed to give a sum of money and the property at issue to client. Client transferred title of the property he owned to RO and moved into the property he was supposed to receive, but RO never gave client the full sum of money and never transferred title of the property to client. RO recently tried to evict client from the home as a tenant. The case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based on the notarized property agreement, but it is now clear that RO will never honor their agreement. A volunteer is needed to assist client with a quiet title action to obtain title to his home.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings


Submitted on April 3, 2017 in Miscellaneous, Nonprofit

Client is a nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia. Client’s mission is to raise funds in support of wildlife rehabilitators in their efforts to care for sick and injured wildlife, as well as to engage in activities to educate and raise awareness with the general public regarding issues surrounding local wildlife. Client seeks assistance understanding the best way to distribute funds to wildlife rehabilitators in order for the rehabilitators to gain the most benefits without penalty.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing


Submitted on April 13, 2017 in Probate

Client and her two brothers are living in the property owned by their recently deceased mother. Client’s mother died with a will in 2014 leaving the property to client and her brothers, and naming client as the executrix. All three siblings are willing to share interest in the property. A volunteer is needed to assist the client with administering the estate and transferring title to the property.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing

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