News from the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network

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Attorney General Shapiro Announces $6.7 Million in Debt Relief for PA Students at For-Profit Colleges

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 15:09

Attorney General Josh Shapiro has announced a proposed settlement with Aequitas Capital Management, a defunct investment firm, that provides $6.7 million in debt relief for 1,200 Pennsylvanians who attended for-profit colleges.

Aequitas holds student loan accounts related to the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, a large for-profit chain of 30 schools that filed for bankruptcy in 2015.  In Pennsylvania, Corinthian operated the Everest Institutes in Bensalem, Bucks County and Pittsburgh and WyoTech, later bought by an unrelated entity, in Blairsville, Indiana County.

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Fair Housing News - Late Summer 2017

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 09:16

The Fair Housing Law Center has released the latest edition of it quarterly newsletter, FAIR HOUSING NEWS.

The Fair Housing Law Center was launched and is operated by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services. It provides the first and only coordinated effort in the 24-county region of Western Pennsylvania to affirmatively promote through testing, legal advice, counsel, and representation the rights of the protected classes delineated in the Fair Housing Act. 

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U.S. Supreme Court Institutes New Electronic Filing System

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 11:03

The U.S. Supreme Court is instituting a new electronic filing system that will begin operation on November 13, 2017. A quick link on the Court’s website homepage will provide access to the new system, developed in-house to provide prompt and easy access to case documents. Once the system is in place, virtually all new filings will be accessible without cost to the public and legal community.

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Registration Open for 2017 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Conference - September 28-29

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 08:19

Registration is now open for the 2017 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Conference. The Conference will take place on September 28-29, 2017 at the Hilton Harrisburg Hotel, One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.

Registration is free for staff and board members of Pennsylvania's network of legal aid programs. Registration for staff of non-PLAN public interest, government or other nonprofit organization is $275.00. The cost for all other registrants is $450.00.  Registration includes meals and conference materials. 

PLEASE NOTE:  THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR THE CONFERENCE IS  SEPTEMBER 15, 2017.

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Free Webinar: In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the Supplemental Security Income Program

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 10:46

Justice in Aging is offering a free webinar entitled In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the Supplemental Security Income Program on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern.

This webinar will examine the “in- kind support and maintenance” rule and provide advocates with the tools to successfully navigate the rules on behalf of their clients. 

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2017 MLK, Jr. Program Interns Honored at Reception

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 08:36

The 2017 Class of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Interns recently completed their summer of service. The class was honored at a reception held July 25, 2017. The featured speaker at the reception was Sharon Lopez, Esq., President of the PA Bar Association and a member of the first MLK class of interns twenty-five years ago. 

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Attorney General Josh Shapiro Announces Consumer Financial Protection Unit

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 09:09

Attorney General Josh Shapiro has announced that he is creating a Consumer Financial Protection Unit to better protect Pennsylvania consumers from financial scams, and appointing an experienced consumer protection attorney to lead the initiative.

Attorney General Shapiro announced the appointment of Nicholas Smyth, who helped create the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), as Assistant Director of the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection with a dedicated focus on financial initiatives. The effort will focus on lenders that prey on seniors, families with students, and military service members, including for-profit colleges and mortgage and student loan servicers.

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Health Law PA News - June/July 2017

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 07:58

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the June/July 2017 edition of Health Law PA News

Health Law PA News is a free newsletter containing the latest news relating to Health Law in Pennsylvania. You can subscribe to receive the PHLP eNews, which links to the Health Law PA News on the PHLP website at www.phlp.org

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PUC Seeks Additional Comments on Chapter 56 Revisions; Proposed Changes to Utility Reporting, Medical Certificates, Friday Terminations and Security Deposits Among Highlights

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 14:49

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is requesting additional comments on proposed revisions to Chapter 56 of the Public Utility Code (Chapter 56).

Revisions to Chapter 56 relate to the standards and billing practices for residential utility service.  Act 155 of 2014, which reauthorized and amended Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code (Chapter 14) and partially superseded Chapter 56, directed the Commission to revise Chapter 56 and promulgate regulations to administer and enforce Chapter 14 (Responsible Utility Customer Protection).

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American Bar Association launches national Homeless Youth Legal Network

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 08:45

Homeless youth in the United States remain a largely invisible segment of the homeless population, though researchers estimate that nearly eight percent of youths experience living on the streets. 

In an effort to increase legal services for this vulnerable population, the ABA Commission on Homelessness & PovertyCommission on Youth at Risk, and Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee has announced the official launch of the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network

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Max Laun Honored as NLADA’S Dinner Highlights Pillars of the Justice Community

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:17

​The National Legal Aid & Defenders Association held its 2017 Exemplar Award Dinner on June 20, 2017 honoring several leaders from the justice, legal and policy community. The annual dinner is a premier event drawing a diverse crowd from the legal, corporate, policy and public interest communities to support NLADA's longstanding commitment to providing equal justice to every American.

Max Laun, the Vice President and General Counsel at Arconic, was the 2017 Exemplar Honoree, which honors a member of the corporate counsel or private law firm community who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, vision, dedication, and achievement in promoting and supporting equal justice.

Attorney Laun currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. and is the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh.

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NEW NATIONAL REPORT, “MEASURING THE UNMET CIVIL LEGAL NEEDS OF LOW-INCOME AMERICANS” FINDS WIDENING JUSTICE GAP

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:39

Today, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) presented its new report: "The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans” during a congressional briefing at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. The report updates and expands LSC's 2009 study of the "justice gap" in the United States.

The newly updated study reports in the past year, a staggering 71 percent of low-income households experienced at least one civil legal problem, such as an eviction notice, wrongly denied benefits, or a family court suit resulting from domestic violence. Of the Americans facing such problems, 86 percent received inadequate or no legal help because they couldn’t afford it.

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Health Law PA News - May 2017

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 08:29

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the May 2017 edition of Health Law PA News.

Health Law PA News is a free newsletter containing the latest news relating to Health Law in Pennsylvania. You can subscribe to receive the PHLP eNews, which links to the Health Law PA News on the PHLP website at www.phlp.org

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Webinar: Community HealthChoices (CHC): What Consumers, Advocates, and Providers Need to Know

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 14:11

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project will be holding a free webinar entitled Community HealthChoices (CHC): What Consumers, Advocates, and Providers Need to Knowon June 14, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Community HealthChoices is the State’s New Managed Care Program that will impact 450,000 Pennsylvanians.

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Wolf Administration Announces Medicaid Policy Change for Individuals Suffering from Hepatitis C Virus

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 08:19

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced changes to the state’s Medicaid (MA) policy to expand coverage of life-saving drugs to treat Hepatitis C (HCV) virus. Beginning on July 1, the Department will begin phasing in coverage for individuals who have liver function test scores of “F1” or “F0”.

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IRS Accepting Applications for 2018 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grants

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 10:59

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the application period for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grants for calendar year 2018 will run from May 1 to June 20, 2017.

The LITC program is a federal grant program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, led by the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina E. Olson. The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain an LITC.  An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.

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Health Law PA News - April 2017

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 11:04

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the April 2017 edition of Health Law PA News.

Health Law PA News is a free newsletter containing the latest news relating to Health Law in Pennsylvania. You can subscribe to receive the PHLP eNews, which links to the Health Law PA News on the PHLP website at www.phlp.org

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Funding for Civil Legal Aid: Where Do We Go From Here? - Article

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:23

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. Executive Director Samuel W. Milkes has authored an article entitled Funding for Civil Legal Aid: Where Do We Go From Here?, that appears in the current edition of The Pennsylvania Lawyer (May-June 2017), the magazine of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

The article explores the current state of funding for civil legal assistance in Pennsylvania, the current challenges faced by the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, law school clinics, pro bono providers and all the other providers of civil legal aid in the state, and encourages lawyers to urge decision-makers to support legal aid.

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