Montana Legal Services Association http://www.mtlsa.org A non-profit legal aid organization that provides free legal assistance to low-income Montanans Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:31:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 MLSA Congratulates Crime Victim Advocates of the Year http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/07/mlsa-congratulates-crime-victim-advocates/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mlsa-congratulates-crime-victim-advocates http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/07/mlsa-congratulates-crime-victim-advocates/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:33:23 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=5104 Link to post: MLSA Congratulates Crime Victim Advocates of the Year

Kelly Erickson-HAVEN (Bozeman), Angie Fox-Yellowstone County Attorney's Office (Billings), and Janel Pliley, Adult Protective Services (Powell County), were recently recognized for their exemplary service in 2014 by Montana's Attorney General Tim Fox. Jan Berry, MLSA Supervising Attorney-Domestic Violence Practice Group,

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Link to post: MLSA Congratulates Crime Victim Advocates of the Year

Kelly Erickson-HAVEN (Bozeman), Angie Fox-Yellowstone County Attorney's Office (Billings), and Janel Pliley, Adult Protective Services (Powell County), were recently recognized for their exemplary service in 2014 by Montana's Attorney General Tim Fox.

Jan Berry, MLSA Supervising Attorney-Domestic Violence Practice Group, wrote a letter of recommendation for Ms. Erickson and presented at a ceremony in Bozeman.

MLSA attorneys and legal staff work closely with victim advocates across the state on individual cases, policies and procedures, and education for both the public and professionals working with crime victims. MLSA congratulates the crime victim advocates of 2014.

Learn more about MLSA's Domestic Violence Practice Group here.

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MLSA Wins Commuter Challenge http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/07/mlsa-wins-commuter-challenge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mlsa-wins-commuter-challenge http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/07/mlsa-wins-commuter-challenge/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:26:32 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=5018 Link to post: MLSA Wins Commuter Challenge

MLSA's Missoula office has won Missoula's "Commuter Challenge" in the small non-profit category for the second year in a row. The challenge, a week-long event encouraging people to adapt sustainable forms of commuting to work, is sponsored by Missoula in

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Link to post: MLSA Wins Commuter Challenge

MLSA's Missoula office has won Missoula's "Commuter Challenge" in the small non-profit category for the second year in a row.

Missoula in Motion

The challenge, a week-long event encouraging people to adapt sustainable forms of commuting to work, is sponsored by Missoula in Motion.

 

Way to go Missoula MLSA!

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Montana Supreme Court Case Helps Homeowners http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/montana-supreme-court-case-helps-homeowners/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=montana-supreme-court-case-helps-homeowners http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/montana-supreme-court-case-helps-homeowners/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 18:04:27 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4750 Link to post: Montana Supreme Court Case Helps Homeowners

The Montana Supreme Court recently entered a decision in Morrow v. Bank of America, N.A., that may help Montanans who have experienced abuse or misconduct at the hands of their mortgage loan servicers and/or are in the foreclosure process.   

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Link to post: Montana Supreme Court Case Helps Homeowners

MT Supreme Court Decision, Morrow vs. Bank of America, N.A.

The Montana Supreme Court recently entered a decision in Morrow v. Bank of America, N.A., that may help Montanans who have experienced abuse or misconduct at the hands of their mortgage loan servicers and/or are in the foreclosure process.   

The homeowners in the case, the Morrows, made several claims in District Court against Bank of America about the servicing of their mortgage.  Several claims related to discussions between bank employees and the Morrows, such as instructions to the Morrows to skip a payment intentionally and to ignore notices of acceleration. The Morrows also asserted that bank employees repeatedly told them over the phone that they were approved for a modification, but they received letters denying their applications for modification and ultimately received notice of a scheduled trustee’s sale of their property. 

The District Court granted summary judgment to the bank on all of the Morrows’ claims, in essence ending their suit without any relief for them.


The Morrows appealed to the Montana Supreme Court, asking that the summary judgment on their claims be reversed.  MLSA filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the Montana Supreme Court, supporting the Morrows’ appeal. During oral argument, the justices asked the attorneys for the Morrows and the bank questions about MLSA’s brief, including questions about the nature of a mortgage servicer’s duty to a borrower.


On May 7, the Montana Supreme Court reversed the District Court's order with respect to several of the homeowners’ claims, including actual fraud, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, and violation of the Montana Consumer Protection Act.  This means the Morrows can now take those claims to trial. The decision allows the Morrows a chance to have a jury decide their claims and opens the door to other homeowners with similar claims to try their cases. It also clarifies several aspects of Montana law about the standards mortgage servicers must meet, and will help to promote servicers’ compliance with those standards in the future.

More Information:

Last Best News article

Billings Gazette article

The full version of the Montana Supreme Court’s decision is available here.  A synopsis of the decision is available here.

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MLSA Holds Legal Clinic for Remote Clients Using Computer Tablets http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/mlsa-holds-legal-advice-clinic-remotely-located-clients-computer-tablets/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mlsa-holds-legal-advice-clinic-remotely-located-clients-computer-tablets http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/mlsa-holds-legal-advice-clinic-remotely-located-clients-computer-tablets/#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 22:36:22 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4739 Link to post: MLSA Holds Legal Clinic for Remote Clients Using Computer Tablets

MLSA recently held a clinic using computer tablets that allowed an MLSA attorney located in Missoula to give “face-to-face” legal advice to clients in another community. MLSA staff attorney Diana Garrett and each clinic participant used specially formatted tablets to

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Link to post: MLSA Holds Legal Clinic for Remote Clients Using Computer Tablets

MLSA recently held a clinic using computer tablets that allowed an MLSA attorney located in Missoula to give “face-to-face” legal advice to clients in another community.


MLSA staff attorney Diana Garrett and each clinic participant used specially formatted tablets to discuss the participant’s case. Ms. Garrett and the participants were able to view and speak to one another using the tablets, as well as to review documents.


The participants, domestic violence survivors with family law issues, reported that using the tablets was a positive experience and more helpful than simply using the telephone because of the ability to see the attorney with whom they were speaking. Ms. Garrett also found using the tablets more helpful in providing advice to clients than speaking over the telephone and a valuable experience.

A Legal Services Corporation Technology Initiative Grant funded MLSA’s purchase of the tablets. MLSA will continue to use the tablets to provide more services to remote clients throughout Montana in clinics as well as through other means.

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MLSA to Provide Services at Veteran Stand Downs Across Montana http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/mlsa-attend-veteran-stand-downs-montana/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mlsa-attend-veteran-stand-downs-montana http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/mlsa-attend-veteran-stand-downs-montana/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 21:49:55 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4703 Link to post: MLSA to Provide Services at Veteran Stand Downs Across Montana

MLSA is pleased to attend Veteran Stand Downs across Montana this spring through fall. MLSA AmeriCorps "Justice for Montanans" members, MLSA staff, and Justice for Montanans members from the Montana Court Help Program and the Montana Office of Consumer Protection

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Link to post: MLSA to Provide Services at Veteran Stand Downs Across Montana

US FlagMLSA is pleased to attend Veteran Stand Downs across Montana this spring through fall.

MLSA AmeriCorps "Justice for Montanans" members, MLSA staff, and Justice for Montanans members from the Montana Court Help Program and the Montana Office of Consumer Protection will provide general legal information, self-help resources, and legal referrals to Stand Down attendees.

Veteran Stand Downs provide homeless veterans with life resources such as food, clothing, healthcare, legal help, job counseling, etc. More than that, Stand Downs also help to provide struggling veterans with a sense of community and acceptance.

Vietnam veterans Robert Van Keuren and Dr. Jon Nachinson held the first Veteran Stand Down in 1988 in the city of San Diego. Since then, Stand Downs have grown in popularity, and events are now held in hundreds of locations across the nation every year.


See Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information on these and more Stand Downs we plan to attend.

May 10 – Anaconda: Anaconda Armory / 101 Polk Ave / Saturday 9am-4pm (MLSA will not attend Sunday.)

May 31 – Kalispell

June 7 – Bozeman         

 

June 28 – Missoula: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Missoula Armed Forces Reserve Center (New Armory)

9883 Running W Road, Missoula

(Across from Yogi Bears Jellystone Park on Hwy 93 North)

 

June 28- Trout Creek: 8am to approx. 1pm

Trout Creek Park (9 Park Street)

 

September 12 – Glendive

September 12 – Dillon

October 4 – Libby


Montana Legal Services Association 

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Celebrate Law Day: Why Every Vote Matters http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/celebrate-law-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=celebrate-law-day http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/05/celebrate-law-day/#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 15:13:03 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4669 Link to post: Celebrate Law Day: Why Every Vote Matters

    “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”   Abraham Lincoln’s words are those that most of us recognize in some form or fashion. The phrase describes our nation’s democratic ideal, that government should have only

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Link to post: Celebrate Law Day: Why Every Vote Matters

 

 

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

 

Abraham Lincoln’s words are those that most of us recognize in some form or fashion. The phrase describes our nation’s democratic ideal, that government should have only the powers that citizens give it.

Voting is the way that we, ordinary people, give the government its powers. Take away our right to vote and you take away our democracy. Over the years however, there have been many struggles and challenges in providing all Americans the means to vote. Even today, not everyone can easily and freely exercise his or her right to vote.

This Law Day we encourage you to learn more about the importance of voting rights, and to reflect on how honoring every American’s right to vote is the only way to preserve our democracy for which so many have fought and given their lives.

Learn More

American Bar Association President Silkenat on why every vote matters:

Voting Rights – Wikipedia

Voting Rights – US Department of Justice

 

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April is Fair Housing Month! http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/04/april-fair-housing-month/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=april-fair-housing-month http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/04/april-fair-housing-month/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:56:52 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4620 Link to post: April is Fair Housing Month!

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or disability in the sale or rental of housing. If you are a Montanan who has experienced housing discrimination,

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Link to post: April is Fair Housing Month!

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or disability in the sale or rental of housing.

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If you are a Montanan who has experienced housing discrimination, there is help. You can:

  • Contact Montana Fair Housing at: (406) 782-2573 / 1-800-929-2611   Montana Relay: 711- (406 782-2573 / 800-929-2611
  • View Montana Fair Housing's website by clicking here.
  • Read more about the Fair Housing Act, Fair Housing Month, or learn about filing a housing discrimination complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),  by clicking here.
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New MLSA Pro Bono Program Coordinator http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/04/angie-wagenhals-mlsas-pro-bono-program-coordinator/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=angie-wagenhals-mlsas-pro-bono-program-coordinator http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/04/angie-wagenhals-mlsas-pro-bono-program-coordinator/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:40:54 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4588 Link to post: New MLSA Pro Bono Program Coordinator

MLSA is pleased to announce that Angie Wagenhals is MLSA’s full-time pro bono coordinator. Angie has worked with MLSA since 2011 as a program assistant with pro bono coordination duties, but now will dedicate all her time to support pro

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Link to post: New MLSA Pro Bono Program Coordinator

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Angie Wagenhals is MLSA’s Pro Bono Coordinator


MLSA is pleased to announce that Angie Wagenhals is MLSA’s full-time pro bono coordinator.

Angie has worked with MLSA since 2011 as a program assistant with pro bono coordination duties, but now will dedicate all her time to support pro bono and help expand pro bono statewide.

Among Angie's many duties are expanding legal clinics for pro se litigants with pro bono attorney instruction, as well as coordinating quarterly continuing legal education credit trainings for pro bono attorneys.

Angie can be contacted at 406/543-8343 extension 207 or awagenha@mtlsa.org.

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MLSA’s Alison Paul Awarded National Medical-Legal Fellowship http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/03/mlsa-awarded-national-medicallegal-fellowship/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mlsa-awarded-national-medicallegal-fellowship http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/03/mlsa-awarded-national-medicallegal-fellowship/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:23:14 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4561 Link to post: MLSA’s Alison Paul Awarded National Medical-Legal Fellowship

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) Executive Director Alison Paul has been selected for a national medical-legal fellowship in the “Where Health Meets Justice” program. This fellowship was awarded to 24 leaders providing legal aid to the poor and is designed

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Link to post: MLSA’s Alison Paul Awarded National Medical-Legal Fellowship

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) Executive Director Alison Paul has been selected for a national medical-legal fellowship in the “Where Health Meets Justice” program. This fellowship was awarded to 24 leaders providing legal aid to the poor and is designed to improve the intersection of health and the law in each of their communities.

The program, a collaboration of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), with funding by the Public Welfare Foundation, will build healthcare expertise in the legal aid community so that organizations such as MLSA can better meet the legal needs of clients that affect their health.

“Legal needs related to housing, domestic violence and public benefits are inextricably linked to the health and well-being of low-income communities,” said Camille Holmes, Director for Leadership and Racial Equality at NLADA. “For decades, civil legal aid offices have worked to improve housing conditions, protect utility access and appeal benefit denials. But what has been missing is a concerted effort to align these services with the delivery of healthcare for the same populations. This fellowship aims to remedy that.”

MLSA is a non-profit law firm that empowers low-income people by providing legal information, advice, and other services free of charge, thereby protecting and enhancing the civil legal rights of, and promoting systemic change for, Montanans living in poverty.
While MLSA has a long-standing partnership with Riverstone Health in Billings to assist with the legal needs of its patients, participation in the fellowship program will allow MLSA to learn new funding strategies and opportunities within the healthcare sector, as well as to strengthen the organization’s tools and processes for providing exemplary services across the state.

Paul joins twenty-three other senior level staff from legal aid agencies in 21 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as inaugural fellows. During the year-long program, a faculty of national experts in healthcare administration, policy, research and economics will guide the fellows.

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MLSA Attorneys Honored as Champions of Justice http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/03/mlsa-attorneys-honored-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mlsa-attorneys-honored-awards http://www.mtlsa.org/2014/03/mlsa-attorneys-honored-awards/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:15:21 +0000 http://www.mtlsa.org/?p=4531 Link to post: MLSA Attorneys Honored as Champions of Justice

MLSA is pleased to announce that MLSA attorneys Bob LaRoche and Amy Hall have been honored with the Montana Justice Foundation's (MJF) Champions of Justice awards. Also honored are several individuals nominated by MLSA for their work with MLSA’s pro

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Link to post: MLSA Attorneys Honored as Champions of Justice

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MLSA is pleased to announce that MLSA attorneys Bob LaRoche and Amy Hall have been honored with the Montana Justice Foundation's (MJF) Champions of Justice awards.

Also honored are several individuals nominated by MLSA for their work with MLSA’s pro bono efforts, including Deborah Anspach, Gary Connelly, Jane Cowley, Jessica Fehr, Shannon Hathaway, Diane Kaatz, Marijo MacDonald, and Sheila Verlanic.

Part of MJF's 35th Anniversary, the awards honor 35 Montanans who have made significant contributions to the law over the last three-and-a-half decades.

The charitable arm of the Montana legal community, MJF's mission is to achieve equal access to justice for all Montanans through effective funding and leadership.

MLSA congratulates Mr. LaRoche and Ms. Hall, as well as all other honorees.

For more information about the awards and recipients, visit the MJF website.

 

 

 

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