Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent DefendantsDivision for Legal Services
Legal Services Now
Joint bulletin produced by the Division for Bar Services and the Division for Legal Services

January 14, 2008 - Issue #61

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Funding News
Arrow Image  Alabama Increases Pro Hac Vice Fee to Fund Legal Services - In November 2007, the Alabama Supreme Court amended its pro hac vice rule, increasing the fee from $100 to $300. The estimated annual revenue increase of $120,000 will go to the Alabama Law Foundation for distribution to programs providing legal services to the poor. Alabama becomes the seventh state to utilize pro hac vice as a means of increasing access to justice for its low income residents, joining Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. For more information about the Alabama rule change, contact , Executive Director, Alabama Law Foundation, or call 334/517-2250. For additional information about pro hac vice rule amendments as a funding source for legal services, contact , ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives, or call 303/329-8091.
Arrow Image  Maryland and Louisiana Adopt IOLTA Interest Rate Comparability – On December 3, 2007, in Maryland and on January 3, 2007, in Louisiana, the highest court in the state approved revisions to its IOLTA rule to include interest rate comparability. This revenue enhancement strategy requires that lawyers place their IOLTA accounts only in a financial institution that pays those accounts the highest interest rate or dividend generally available at the institution to other customers when IOLTA accounts meet the same minimum balance or other qualifications. Both rules will become effective on April 1, 2008. With the addition of Maryland and Louisiana, there are now 18 states that have adopted comparability. For additional information about this and other IOLTA revenue enhancement strategies, contact , Counsel, ABA Commission on IOLTA, or call 312/988-5771.
Pro Bono News
Arrow Image  Missouri Adopts Rule Encouraging Lawyers to Provide Pro Bono Service Following a Major Disaster – The Supreme Court of Missouri adopted Rule 4-6.6, effective January 1, 2008, entitled “Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disaster.” The Rule permits out-of-state lawyers to provide pro bono legal assistance to help disaster victims in Missouri. The rule is modeled on the recently adopted ABA Model Court Rule, which was endorsed by a resolution of the Conference of Chief Justices urging “[t]he highest court of each state that has not already done so to consider adopting a rule setting forth an orderly manner for the provision of legal services following determination of major disaster, and commendi[ing] the ABA Model Court Rule on this subject as the foundation upon which to create such a rule.” For more information on Missouri’s new rule, contact , Director, ABA Center for Pro Bono, or call 312/988-5773.
Arrow Image Hawaii Adopts Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting – The Supreme Court of Hawaii amended Rule 17(d), effective December 1, 2007, to require annual mandatory reporting of pro bono service hours by members of the Hawaii State Bar. Hawaii becomes the sixth state to mandate the reporting of pro bono hours, joining Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi and Nevada. For more information about state pro bono reporting requirements see http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/reporting.html, or contact , or call 312/988-5773.
Arrow Image Legal Services Corporation Issues Program Letter on Enhancement of Private Attorney Involvement – On December 20, 2007, the Legal Services Corporation sent a Program Letter to its grantees providing guidance on the development of enhanced private attorney involvement. The purpose of the Program Letter is to provide ideas for LSC-funded programs on resources and innovative approaches available to integrate more effectively private attorneys into the provision of high quality civil legal assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. The letter is available on the LSC website at http://www.lsc.gov. For more information about how to expand pro bono in your community, contact , or call 312/988-5773.
Washington Update

On December 30, 2007, the President signed into law H.R. 2764, (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) which includes $350.5 million for the Legal Services Corporation. P.L. 110-161. This represents a split of the difference between the Senate-passed $390 million and the President’s requested $311 million. The House had approved $377 million.

While the appropriations bill that included LSC funding passed the Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, it became clear that there would not be enough votes to override a promised veto. The same situation applied to the 11 other outstanding FY 2008 appropriations bills, and Congress was forced to compromise with the President and enact this omnibus bill. As a result, LSC for FY 2008 will receive only a $2 million increase instead of the expected $29-42 million increase.

The FY 2009 appropriations process begins soon, and LSC funding will continue to be a primary focus of the ABA’s legislative agenda and ABA Day in Washington, April 15-17, 2008. Please plan to participate and encourage other state/local bar and Access to Justice Community colleagues to do the same. Register now (and no later than) March 15, 2008 at http://www.abanet.org/poladv/abaday08/. For more information, please contact , Director Grassroots Operations/Legislative Counsel, or call 202/662-1764.

For more information about specific items, contact the contact person listed for that item. To contribute items to future issues of LEGAL SERVICES NOW, or for general information about this bulletin, contact , call 312-988-5771, or fax 312-988-5483.
Updated: 1/14/2008

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