Catch up with the Justice for Military Families Pro Bono Program!
Director – Gabriela Nostro
Pro Bono Coordinator – Sarah Ford
Committee Secretary – Amy Rose
Intake Coordinators – Jenna Bouchard, Kirsten Gough, Rachel Hsiao, and Tricia Petek
The Justice for Military Families Pro Bono Program began last year but has continued to become more streamlined and robust this year. One of the components of our program is to place cases that come through TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). These cases are initiated by the families of recently deceased service members and generally involve probate or family law issues, although the subject matter does vary.
You may have seen our requests for assistance on Facebook. We have the following cases currently open if anyone is willing to help or connect us to an attorney:
We received a case from a client in Palm Harbor, Florida who was in a long term relationship with the deceased service member, but never formally married. She needs legal assistance with legal recognition of the relationship. We were recently informed that the client and deceased service member resided in South Carolina during their relationship, which is where their estate is. As a result, the client may need legal assistance in SC but we would appreciate talking with anyone in FL or SC.
We are also searching for a pro bono attorney in San Antonio, Texas. The potential client is the surviving mother of a service member killed in action. The issue involves a dispute between the client and her family member, both of whom reside on a jointly deeded property, but reside in separate units on the property. The two units share electrical utilities under the same account, listed under the family member’s name. This family member has also removed the circuit breaker from the client’s unit, leaving her without electricity.
We are also in communication with a potential client in Sugar Land, Texas who is the surviving spouse of an Army veteran who passed away in August 2014. The service member passed away without a will. The client needs assistance with settling the service member’s estate. Specifically, the client is facing issues with obtaining the service member’s personal property, transferring title to heirs, accessing bank accounts, and dealing with creditors.
The goal of the Pro Bono Committee this coming year is to include members that volunteer to actively participate in either taking cases themselves, helping to place cases among their network, or creating information sheets to build our library of information. One of our new projects is to increase our efforts to add to this library of resources so our partners can benefit from the shared information. We will be asking for volunteers to join the Pro Bono Committee after the holiday season. Please keep a look out in the next newsletter or you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will consider coming on board the Justice for Military Families Pro Bono Program!