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BBF President Lisa Goodheart (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.) and Gene Benson (Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions) discussed the City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board case at last Friday’s brown bag.
The Claflin Center was packed last Friday for the Environmental Public Service Committee’s brown bag program called “Learning From City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board: Environmental Justice Strategies and Collaboration.” If you’re not familiar with the case, here’s why it’s such a big deal:
The case involved multiple appeals from a decision of the EFSB regarding the siting of a fossil-fuel powered power plant on the Brockton-West Bridgewater line. The case raised new issues of the application of the Commonwealth’s Environmental Justice Policy to administrative decisions. Although the SJC ultimately upheld the EFSB’s decision, its decision included language suggesting that state agencies will have to think hard about how they approach decisions affecting environmental justice communities in light of the policy.
We reach out to panelist Gene Benson (Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions) to learn more about the important role of attorneys in pro bono environmental justice efforts. Here’s his take:
“There is a great need for lawyers to assist environmental justice community residents pro bono. Working with low income community residents is a terrific experience and an opportunity for environmental lawyers to use their special expertise and experience to help people achieve a safe and healthy environment. The Massachusetts Environmental Justice Assistance Network, co-founded by the BBA and ACE, does a great job connecting lawyers with lower income community residents needing assistance.”
For more on assisting low-income residents in need, read BBA President Julia Huston’s blog, Let the Record Show.
The post Environmental Brown Bag Draws Big Green Crowd appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
Attorneys Thomas Beauvais and Danielle Spang walked attendees through the ins and outs of representing debtors at last week’s training.
Facing a debt collection suit can be overwhelming, particularly if a debtor doesn’t fully understand his or her rights and has no legal representation. The BBA and Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) are working to change that by training attorneys to represent debtors in pro bono cases.
Last week, panelists Danielle Spang (Law Office of Danielle Spang) and Thomas Beauvais (Thomas Beauvais, Attorney at Law) walked the attendees through the following topics:
Attorneys who attended the training are now prepped to volunteer for VLP’s Discovery Clinic, putting their learning into practice and providing an essential legal service to someone facing a difficult time.
Beyond the Billable reached out to Danielle to hear more about last week’s training. Here’s what she had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned from the training?
“I hope attendees learned some of the issues that parties litigate in collection cases, and the value a volunteer attorney can provide to a debtor-defendant in the discovery process.”
Why should attorneys volunteer for VLP’s Discovery Clinic?
“Attorneys should volunteer for VLP’s Discovery Clinic because it is a minimal time commitment (usually 1-2 hours), that provides a great benefit to debtor-defendants by assisting them in requesting the plaintiff’s information and documents, ensuring they do not default for failing to answer requests, and explaining their obligations in answering discovery.”
The post BBA Teams Up with VLP for Debt Collection Suits Training appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
Adrienne Walker (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) and Doug Rosner (Goulston & Storrs PC) prepped the volunteers for their upcoming Financial Literacy sessions at Tuesday’s training.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak can sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
A good way to help people get – and stay – on solid financial footing is to teach them the basics before they start making the big purchases in life. On Tuesday night volunteers gathered at 16 Beacon to get the inside scoop on teaching high school students how to make smart financial decisions through this year’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.
Financial Literacy Committee Co-Chair Doug Rosner (Goulston & Storrs PC) and Veteran Volunteer Adrienne Walker (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) walked volunteers through each of the classroom sessions and gave the group tips on activities to engage the students. This year, volunteers will be heading out to 11 high schools in Eastern Massachusetts to teach on topics including personal finance and budgeting, using credit, and buying a car.
Did you miss the training but still want to get involved? Please contact Katie D’Angelo at email@example.com for a video of the training session. Volunteer sessions are filling up at lightning speed. Click here to sign up.
The post Volunteers Trained for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program appeared first on Beyond the Billable.