News Releases

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News releases regarding important events and development involving legal aid in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network are listed below:


05/06/2014

Coalition Urges Creation of New Commission

A report released by the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition on May 6, 2014 concludes that the staggering number of unrepresented low-income litigants in civil legal matters adversely impacts the quality of justice for all parties in Pennsylvania courts, negatively impacts the courts’ administration of justice and undermines the rule of law.

The report, which was released at a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recommends the creation of a first-ever Access to Justice Commission to serve as a vehicle for studying and implementing measures to expand access to justice in the state.

07/05/2013

Decision of Judges Panella and Gantman Strikes the Right Balance

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision in the case IN RE: S.H., O.H., and N.H., Docket No. 2209 EDA 2011. The three judge panel (Judge Stevens dissenting) ruled that a father has the ability to show he should have custody of his children when it is in their best interests, even when an order of "permanent custody" has been issued in the case under the Juvenile Act.

03/20/2013

Pennsylvania Legal Aid NetworkHARRISBURG, Pa., March 20, 2013 --- The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) will honor ten recipients of the 2013 Excellence Awards at its annual awards banquet on Wednesday evening, March 20, 2013 at the Harrisburg Hilton.  Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Yvette R.

06/04/2012
Judge Chester Harhut, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sam Milkes
Judge Chester Harhut, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sam Milkes

The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN, Inc.) has elected the Honorable Chester Harhut of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas in Scranton, PA as its President. He succeeds prominent Philadelphia attorney Gerald A. McHugh, Jr. of Raynes, McCarty. The Board also appointed Wesley R. Payne, Esq. of White and Williams, LLP in Harrisburg, PA as President-Elect; Thomas A. Tupitza of Knox, McLaughlin in Erie, PA as Treasurer; and client representative Marsha W. Mathis as Secretary.

Every county in Pennsylvania is served by a PLAN legal aid program, and in these difficult economic times, the need for legal aid has escalated considerably. Last year, legal aid helped nearly 10,000 clients who are faced with mortgage foreclosures and represented more than 12,000 domestic violence clients in protection from abuse proceedings

03/27/2012

Pennsylvania Legal Aid NetworkThe Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) will honor ten recipients of the 2012 Excellence Awards at its annual awards banquet on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at the Harrisburg Hilton. The Honorable John E. Jones III, United States District Judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania will be the featured speaker.

03/24/2011

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network presented its 2011 Excellence Awards at the annual awards dinner on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers.

The list of recipients includes a variety of civil legal aid professionals and friends of civil legal aid across Pennsylvania who were recognized for their efforts in support of the clients served by the civil legal programs of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.

01/28/2011

On February 24, leaders of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, county bar associations and civil legal aid programs will meet at an invitation-only reception in University Park to discuss pro bono opportunities and successes across the state.

Titled “Partnerships for Pro Bono,” the reception will be hosted by the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), with the sponsorship of the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and the Pennsylvania Bar Association and will be held just before the start of the Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) annual conference.

01/25/2011

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence AwardThe Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is proud to announce the recipients of its 2011 Excellence Awards.

The list includes a variety of civil legal aid professionals and friends of civil legal aid across Pennsylvania who are being recognized for their efforts in support of the clients served by the civil legal programs of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.

10/18/2010

Yvette LongPLAN Board member Yvette Long was presented with the prestigious Mary Ellen Hamilton Award  by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association at its awards luncheon during the NLADA Annual Conference on November 12, 2010.

The Mary Ellen Hamilton Award, given biennially, honors a legal services client or low-income community leader who, on a compensated or volunteer basis, has provided extraordinary service or support to the delivery of legal assistance to low-income people.

09/17/2010

Pennsylvania Legal Aid NetworkYesterday, September 16, 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau released its official 2009 statistics on poverty in this report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009.

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) notes the report is cause for concern for Pennsylvanians.

Nationally, nearly 57 million Americans are now poor enough to qualify for civil legal assistance. This is an increase of 3 million from 2008. Of the 57 million, 19.6 million were children. In just one year, the national poverty rate increased by a full percentage; from 13.2% in 2008 to 14.3% in 2009. The number of people in poverty in 2009 is the largest number in the 51 years for which poverty estimates have been published. The poverty rate for children rose even more dramatically.

The report reveals that children make up about 35% of the poverty population and people over 65 make up nearly 10% of the poverty population (those at or below 125% of the poverty level).

Also yesterday, RealtyTrac released its report on mortgage foreclosures in Pennsylvania which have increased by 15% over the same period two years ago and compared to one year ago. Pennsylvania’s foreclosure rate is growing at a higher rate than the national increase. “Pennsylvania’s legal aid programs are now reporting a 61% increase in new home ownership and mortgage foreclosure cases for clients facing loss of their homes this year, compared to last year,” said Sam Milkes, Executive Director of PLAN.