SLO County attorneys help the poor

August 26, 2013

San Luis Obispo County’s pro bono system of legal services to the poor is more robust than those services in Santa Barbara County. [PacificCoastBusinessTimes]

lawThe California State Bar Association recommends lawyers spend at least 50 hours a year providing legal services to the poor.

In San Luis Obispo County, the local bar associations has programs set in place to help the poor with civil issues. In addition, many local attorneys also offer free legal assistance.

San Luis Obispo based attorney Neil Tardiff operates the SLO Law Line with interns fielding calls and attorneys providing legal help to the poor.

Tardiff has reached out to the more than 800 local attorneys. Of those, approximately 100 local attorneys now provide provide pro bono work to the poor through the SLO Law Line.

Some local firms, such as the firm of Andre, Morris & Buttery, have enacted formal policies to help encourage their legal staff to take on pro bono work.

In some cases, attorneys can request reimbursement for providing legal assistance to the downtrodden. Laws permit attorneys who undertake cases on behalf of the poor to request attorney’s fees if they win the case. If they lose, they would get nothing.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered the city of San Luis Obispo to pay $133,880 to attorneys Saro Rizzo and Stew Jenkins for work they provided to the homeless in a civil case regarding sleeping in vehicles. Rizzo and Jenkins donated  their services while defending their homeless clients in criminal court, which at their regular rate would have come to approximately $60,000

 


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7 Comments

  1. blondehare says:

    Monica Rosecrans, Director

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service

    of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association

    San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

    (805) 541-5502 (phone)

    (805) 541-5506 (fax)

    lris@slobar.org (email)

    For three years I have tried to get a lawyer in this county. Not one reply. I believe due to Adam Hill and Roy Ogden.Who do I report this to.?

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. freshair says:

    AB-5 Homeless Bill of Rights:

    (In Commitee Process as of April 24, 2013)

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB5

    (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  3. Mr. Holly says:

    But i bet they bill for the 40 or 50 hrs.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  4. dogeatdog says:

    Lawyers may not be the most liked people in the world, but what happens if you get falsely accused of a crime? Are you going to represent yourself?

    These people they are talking about have little to nothing and most of society does not want to see them or think about them. So when anyone mostly an atty steps forward to help them, Good on them.

    some one has to protect them from people like Dee Torres.

    So stop your lawyer bashing, try to think of something positive to say or don’t comment at all please

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
    • Jorge Estrada says:

      There are good lawyers, my brother in-law is a lawyer and great father/husband to my sister, but as a rule if you swim with trouble most begin to smell like trouble. The same goes for plumbers, yet we all agree they are sometimes needed.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  5. Jorge Estrada says:

    Lawyers are to be avoided at any cost. Having said that, know this, Lawyers are officers of the court, courts are funded by the State, States are subordinate to the Federal Government and all are in desperate need of money, your money.

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • r0y says:

      Which always made me wonder how Traffic Court is able to exist. What is the judge’s motivation to ever find someone NOT guilty of an infraction, when a good chunk of the fine goes to the very legal system (court fee) that is supposedly non-biased?

      (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down

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