The Shriver Center will be holding a free Advocacy in Action webinar, entitled Alternatives to Guardianship:  Preserving the Autonomy of Individuals with  Intellectual and Mental Health Disabilities, on May 7, 2014, from 2:00-3:15 Eastern.

Guardianship has long been the primary method of handling decision making for individuals with intellectual and mental health disabilities. But is it the best method? Join three experts in the field as they discuss guardianship and its alternatives.


Legal Services CoporationOn April 8, 2014 the White House, in conjuction with the Legal Services Corporation, held its third White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice in Wahsington, D.C.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Associate Attorney General Tony West, White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler and other leaders of the legal community gathered at the White House on April 8 for the Forum which featured a panel discussion on Public-Private Partnerships. One highlight of the forum was a speech by LSC Program Counsel for Technology Glenn Rawdon entitled, Everyone, Anytime, Anywhere, discussing the convergence of various constituencies and the use of technology to incress access to justice.


Pennsylvania Legal Aid NetworkRegistration is now open for the 2014 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Conference. The conference will take place on May 20 -21, 2014 at the Hilton Harrisburg.

The conference will feature many helpful workshops for legal services staff, board members and other friends of the legal services community. CLICK HERE to view the Conference at a Glance listing the workshops for the conference.


On April 15, 2014, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty will release a report entitled From Wrongs to Rights: The Case for Homeless Bills of Rights Legislation. A webinar discussing the report will also be conducted on April 15 from 2:00 pm -3:00 pm Eastern.

The report, co-authored with Professor Sara Rankin of Seattle University School of Law, describes the need for homeless bills of rights legislation, provides insight into the various models of the laws that have emerged, and offers homeless advocates with guidance on how to enact such laws in their own states.


Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe March edition of the Health Law PA News, a free monthly newsletter from the Pennsylvania Health Law Project has been published and is now available from the Project.

For prior editions or more information about the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, please see their website at


Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. CastilleDuring his final year on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille is making his last formal plea to lawyers to support the Commonwealth's civil legal aid programs by providing pro bono service through direct representation and financial contributions.

In a letter to Pennsylvania's approximately 70,000 registered lawyers, the chief justice joined with Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) President Forest N. Myers in calling on attorneys to make a personal commitment to provide pro bono service. The reminder of their ethical duty to provide public service is being widely distributed to the legal community by the courts and PBA.


The Federal Trade Commission has moved to close down a multi-million dollar telemarketing fraud that targeted U.S. seniors across the nation, scamming tens of thousands of consumers.

In some instances, the telemarketers who carried out the fraud impersonated government and bank officials, and enticed consumers to disclose their confidential bank account information to facilitate the fraud. The defendants used that account information to create checks drawn on the consumers’ bank accounts.


Specialized Unit Will Identify Trends to Prevent Fraud Nationwide

Visit www.SocialSecurity.govCarolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, has announced the establishment of a centralized fraud prevention unit in New York City to identify potential fraud and detect fraud trends that can be applied to disability cases nationwide. 

This unit consists of experienced disability examiners who are currently involved in the re-review of disability medical decisions resulting from recent indictments in Puerto Rico and New York City. Using their specialized experience, they will collaborate with Social Security systems personnel to help build data analytics to detect and prevent fraud at the earliest possible point in the disability decision-making process.


Gerald A. McHugh, EsquireOn March 26, 2014 the United States Senate confirmed President Obama's nomination of PLAN Board Member Gerald A. HcHugh, Jr. as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. McHugh is currently a partner at Raynes McCarty in Philadelphia where he focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, including medical malpractice, unsafe products, aviation disasters, civil rights, and workplace accidents.

Mr. McHugh is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, which limits its membership to 500 of the top trial attorneys from the United States, and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which restricts membership to the most highly regarded trial attorneys in the country.


The Practising Law Institute is offering a free webcast of a presentation being offered live in San Francisco entitled Representing the Pro Bono Client: Consumer Law Basics 2014 on May. 9, 2014 from 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm Eastern.

Volunteer lawyers are needed to help the many low income clients facing a wide assortment of consumer law matters who are unrepresented. Attend this program to learn the basics of consumer law so that you can competently represent a client in need and learn new advocacy skills.