Legal Aid in the USA

Until as late as 1974, access to legal counsel was based on financial ability. In 1974, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established to help fund access to legal help. Even with the advent of the LSC there are lot of people without affordable legal aid. This group consists predominantly of people of the lower income group, especially those people whose vocation puts them in risk of litigation.

One example would be the case of professional drivers, whose occupation depends on their commercial driver’s license (cdl), like truckers. These people in evidence of their low income cannot afford legal services in the event of a ticket. This has lead to the mushrooming of business lawyers related to trucking and the term cdl lawyer or truck attorney comes to mind.

Fortunately, with the development of the Internet, instant and free legal advice has become much more easier to obtain. Interactive websites of law firms provide online legal advice, thereby making the process hassle free as well.

One more example would be of people suffering from major trauma due to external agencies. These people having to spend fortunes on their medical bills can hardly even begin to think about legal service. In such cases the pro bono work done by some of the bigger law firms has to be mentioned. Of course in the present scenario there has been a leap in the growth of the so called “personal injury” attorneys who specialize in these sort of cases and most such lawyers charge only on successful litigation.

The other offices of professional legal aid are legal clinics and public defenders. Public defenders are state offered counsel in the event of criminal procedure brought against any person who cannot afford it otherwise. Legal clinics are organizations which provide hands-on experience to law students and thereby giving access to free legal advice to the public.

Even with so many organizations and law firms in legal aid, the scenario in the U.S leaves much to desire and one can only hope that the new ground broken in the health insurance sector would lead to similar growth in the legal sector. health insurance sector would lead to similar growth in the legal sector.

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Tips For Finding Legal Aid Services

When you really need legal help and there is no other place to go, then you can try a legal aid service. As I’ve been working for legal aid services of Oregon for seven years I know best what I am talking about. And I am not joking. In our country not having money can mean not having rights. No matter what some people might say, it has always been like that. If there were no legal aid services poor people would have no where to turn to when they have some kind of legal problem. Of course, there is free of charge legal criminal representation provided but it’s not good enough. What should the poor do when for example the bank is foreclosing on their house? In that case the state does not offer free civil representation. Just imagine what a disaster it would have been if there was no legal aid service.

Once I was working as a corporate lawyer, so I’ve seen both sides. Then I worked for a big rental agency and there have been many times when I helped them with the eviction of clients so that they could develop their properties and get higher rent rates. I realize my work was not just and thus I am not proud of my actions. However, my life got the right direction when I started working for the legal aid services of Oregon. Finally, I could look in the mirror again, I was no longer ashamed of my work, on the opposite – I feel proud of myself because I am doing the right thing – helping the poor.

I wouldn’t like you to leave with the false impression that I am against legal representation for the rich. I believe that everyone deserves representation both rich and poor people. However, least to say, the current situation seems quite unfair. In case the poor don’t find a legal aid service they are left all alone. Even when they get some help from the legal aid service, the poor are stuck with a bunch of lawyers with limited resources and time. The poor might have a chance but it wouldn’t be a fair battle in court with the big legal bully guys on the other side.

What this country should do in order to solve the rank injustice problem, is to guarantee equal legal representation to every citizen. Until this dream of mine comes true, I will be here, working in legal aid services of Oregon, giving my best to help destitute people in dire need.

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Understanding Legal Aid

Many people who become involved in a civil legal dispute are unable to hire legal help. Because everyone has the right to defend themselves in a Court of Law, which includes the right to a fair trial and equality before the law, the state may provide some legal assistance in the form of legal aid.

Civil legal aid is given to people who are in dispute which is not criminal. If you are in a dispute, for example, with someone over a breach of contract, you could apply for legal aid. This is used to pay for your legal help or lawyer, and may sometimes have to be paid back partially or in full when the case is over.

You can get legal aid for a range of things, such as family and domestic disputes including custody care of children, division of property if a marriage dissolves, or domestic violence. Other scenarios include disputes over debt, whether you’re suing or being sued by someone, or employment disputes. You can’t apply for this sort of aid if you are getting a divorce.

In a criminal offence, you can apply for legal aid as soon as you are charged with an offence or receive a court summons. Again, there are some smaller offences (such as driving offences) which are sometimes not eligible for this.

To apply for legal aid, you will need to show that there is a dispute worth answering to in court, and you will need to prove that you do not have the means to pay your own court fees. This will mean proving your income and listing all your assets, including your house and car.

The decision on whether you are eligible for legal aid will be made by the Legal Services Agency (LSA). They make the decision on the basis of whether you can afford a lawyer and whether legal aid is justified in your case. If your case is not a domestic one – for example if it is to do with property – the LSA may decide whether or not to award legal aid based on the likelihood of the outcome.

The LSA will also assess how much of the aid you will have to pay back, depending on a range of factors. If you will be required to pay anything back, the LSA will tell you this at the time of the grant. The good news is you will never be asked to pay back more than the amount the LSA specifies, and sometimes it may be less.

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What Are Legal Aid Organizations?

If you require legal advice or representation, you need to hire an attorney. Not everyone can afford an attorney. Legal aid refers to a system where nonprofit organizations provide legal services to people who cannot afford an attorney. Such organizations are generally referred to as legal aid organizations or legal aid clinics.

Legal aid organizations provide legal representation for free. Sometimes they charge a nominal fee. They are run by attorneys and law students and are sponsored by charitable organizations, lawyers’ associations, and law schools, and by federal, state, and local governments. In some states these services are partially funded from the interest earned in law firm trust accounts.

Some attorneys also volunteer their services to provide aid. In some jurisdictions the court may appoint private attorneys to handle legal aid clients. Legal aid organizations deal with all types of legal issues but cannot help everyone with every legal problem. They do not handle some types of cases including criminal cases and fee-generating cases, like car accidents in which you want to make the other person pay for your injuries or the damage to your car. Even if they cannot represent you directly in a case, they may be able to tell you where to get help or give you advice that will help you handle the case yourself. These organizations generally handle the following legal issues:

· Denial of benefits including welfare, food stamps, medical assistance, supplemental security income, Social Security, and unemployment compensation.
· Housing problems including evictions, lockouts, confiscation of personal property, foreclosures, discrimination (racial and against families with children), disputes with landlords over repairs, rent, contracts, deposits or difficulties with public housing.
· Consumer issues including debt problems, contracts, warranties, repossessions, wage garnishments, discrimination, and counseling on small claims court and bankruptcy procedures.
· Family law issues including divorce, adoption, custody, support, visitation, guardianship, restraining orders, defense in paternity suits, and modification of decrees. Most organizations limit divorce representation to certain types of situations or offer services primarily through self-help classes.
· Senior law problems including Medicaid, Medicare, guardianship defense, and issues involving nursing homes or other types of care facilities.
· Juvenile matters including expulsion and suspension from school and other disputes involving schools.

Some organizations handle a limited number of cases in the area of immigration law.

The Office of Legal Services was created in 1964 to organize legal aid programs in different states. The Office was subsequently replaced by the Legal Services Corporation -private, nonprofit organization that provides financial support to legal aid agencies through the distribution of grants. It also supports attorneys and staff through training, research, and technical assistance.

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Assistive Technology An Independent Life For Everyone

Not depending on others is very important for every human being. As technology progresses everyday and the development includes specially designed devices and equipment, everyone can now enjoy an independent life style. Even people with disabilities can have a better life, avoiding frustration or incapacity to communicate. Assistive technology is for a great help for those who need to feel secure when they are by themselves, even if they have certain disabilities. Our assistive technology products meet their needs and offer an alternative for a better life. Communication for example, is one of the biggest problems for people with disabilities, but our assistive technology products make it easier. Even if your problem is about hearing, seeing or moving around, the solutions we offer can solve any type of problem related to physical challenges.

We also offer you a great variety of products as furniture, software, workstations or switches, specially created for an independent living. You can enjoy assistive technology products in your own house and anywhere you go, avoiding frustrations and difficulties you were exposed to before. Assistive technology is even for people who suffer from Parkinson, Lou Getring’s Disease aka Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Multiple Sclerosis. All the products we recommend are easy to use, the technology being adapted to every special need. Now, deaf-blind people will be able to communicate between themselves or with other people because assistive technology makes it possible.

If you want to make your children’s life easier, now you can do it with the help of special communication software or CDs that contains all kinds of information about social activities. Eating out, shopping, transportation are some of the social activities children need to learn about before they go out. This and some other assistive technology products can help your children have a better, independent life, even if they have some disabilities. It’s important to mention that these teaching products are not only for children, but also for people who have found themselves, all of a sudden, in the undesirable situation of an accident that has affected their health.

Our furniture is designed for people who need better access in the kitchen, bathroom or in the bedroom and for those who need special workstations in their homes or offices. You don’t have to feel uncomfortable at your desk anymore, because now you have the perfect solution, easily accessible through an online order.

In one word, assistive technology is for those who want to raise the standard of living, for those who need to increase the quality of life because an independent living is now possible through technology. This is why our products come to meet your special needs, helping you achieve what you want.

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