Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 5

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR MEMBERS
We Need Your Help
in This Time of Crisis
I
n 2020, as the pandemic raged and thousands of
people lost their jobs and fell behind on their rent,
the legal services community warned of an
impending eviction and homelessness crisis. With
both the federal and D.C. eviction moratoria now
lifted, that crisis is upon us.
Pre-pandemic, landlords filed approximately 30,000 eviction cases each
year in D.C. Superior Court. With the resumption of eviction filings, that
number may soon skyrocket.
Worse yet, oftentimes people facing eviction also carry the weight of
other grave challenges in their lives, such as job loss, crushing debt,
child custody battles, or domestic disputes. Navigating the court system
becomes another burden, and all too often one borne alone: Close to
90 percent of District tenants appear in eviction proceedings without
the assistance of counsel.
" [S]tate courts are on the front lines of this crisis, " U.S. Attorney General
Merrick B. Garland wrote in his pro bono call to action to the legal community
shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal eviction
moratorium. Only lawyers, with our specialized skills and training, can
deliver more fulsomely on our nation's promise of access to justice for all.
There are many ways D.C. Bar members can answer this call. Some can
be undertaken with just a few mouse clicks, others involve more time,
but all are crucial as the District and its courts face unprecedented tribulations.
Please consider taking one or more of the following actions.
Get trained now. Pro bono service starts with training. The D.C. Bar Pro
Bono Center provides training, mentorship, malpractice insurance, and
other support to ensure attorneys new to housing law can serve their
pro bono clients confidently and competently. Visit dcbar.org/Pro-Bono/
Resources-and-Training for a list of training opportunities, or reach out to
ProBonoTraining@dcbar.org for questions.
Contact your firm's or agency's pro bono coordinator. The Pro Bono
Center connects tenants living on low incomes with counsel through its
Advocacy & Justice Clinic, a partnership among District law firms and the
Federal Government Pro Bono Program. The Clinic assists clients with
civil legal problems such as serious housing code violations, public
benefits denials, and child custody matters. It also provides training,
mentorship, and other resources to help pro bono attorneys serve their
neighbors.
Lawyers in private practice can learn how their firm can get involved and
commit to representing between 5 and 15 clients over the next 12
months by emailing Pro Bono Center Associate Director Vanessa BattersThompson
at VBatters-Thompson@dcbar.org. Federal government
lawyers should contact Laura Klein, chair of the Federal Government Pro
Bono Program, at Laura.F.Klein@usdoj.gov.
Individual attorneys also may apply if they have at least two years of litigation
experience and commit to representing a pro bono client
through their case's completion. To find out more about the application
process, visit dcbar.org/pro-bono/what-we-do/advocacy-justice-clinic.
The Pro Bono Center also partners with the Housing Right to Counsel
Project, a collaborative effort between law firms and District legal
services providers, to offer free representation to people facing eviction
from subsidized housing. Reach out to Housing Initiative Attorney Lauren
King at LKing@dcbar.org for more information.
Make a financial contribution. Contributing to the Pro Bono Center
takes just a few moments and facilitates its ability to help more than
20,000 D.C. residents every year. The Center is the largest provider of
pro bono legal services in the District and is supported exclusively by
voluntary contributions. Your donation transforms lives. Visit dcbar.org/
pro-bono to donate.
Plan for the next crisis. Although eviction is the immediate concern,
we know that housing problems often trigger matters relating to family
law and bankruptcy, among others. Volunteers at the Pro Bono Center's
Advice & Referral Clinic provide free legal assistance to those requiring
only brief services (not full representation) to address such legal
problems. Find out how your law firm, agency, voluntary bar association,
or corporate legal department can participate by contacting Managing
Attorney Erik Goodman at egoodman@dcbar.org.
Some of you may doubt your capacity to handle legal problems outside
your regular practice area(s). We ask you to put those feelings aside for a
moment and consider the anxiety and fear that people facing eviction
must feel while trying to navigate landlord and tenant court alone.
Your legal judgment and skill can make a difference. With the Pro Bono
Center's expert support, you will have all the tools you need to serve
and empower a neighbor facing eviction or another hardship.
Time and again we have declared our commitment to promoting access
to justice and enhancing the delivery of legal services to those in need.
This crisis demands that we act on those ideals, renew our strong pro
bono culture, and redouble our efforts.
Chad Sarchio
D.C. Bar President
Darryl Maxwell
D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Acting Executive Director
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021
* WASHINGTON LAWYER 5
http://www.dcbar.org/pro-bono/what-we-do/advocacy-justice-clinic http://www.dcbar.org/pro-bono http://www.dcbar.org/pro-bono http://www.dcbar.org/Pro-Bono/resources-and-trainingc http://www.dcbar.org/Pro-Bono/resources-and-trainingc

Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Letter to Members
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Taking the Stand
ABA Delegate’s Corner
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Speaking of Ethics
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 4
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Letter to Members
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 18
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 26
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 30
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - ABA Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 43
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 52
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 55
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover4
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