Wednesday, September 23, 2015

October 2: Webcast - Representing the Pro Bono Client: Advocacy Skills for Administrative Hearings 2015 (Free)

The need for pro bono assistance with administrative hearings has never been higher. Program changes and budget cuts have created a “perfect storm” for public assistance recipients. Several significant changes to key benefits programs have occurred in recent years, imposing new complex rules. At the same time, county staff has shrunk, and experienced workers have retired, increasing the occurrence of administrative errors and problems with clients’ receipt of the benefits to which they are entitled.
On the unemployment insurance front, while the number of applications has overall declined, we have yet to see a reverse of the recession-based trend of employers challenging most unemployment insurance benefit applications. Likewise, workers who depend on occupational licenses and related clearances for their livelihood are often denied because of a prior criminal record. Meanwhile, low-wage workers are experiencing wage theft at unprecedented rates, and relying on the Labor Commissioner more than ever before to recover their unpaid wages.
Legal aid services have also suffered funding problems and staffing cuts, with reduced ability to represent clients in these cases. Unfortunately, many individuals who are entitled to desperately-needed benefits but have had their benefits improperly denied, lowered, or terminated, or who are able to pursue gainful employment but are denied the necessary license and/or clearance or are not paid according to basic wage and hour laws cannot make it through the administrative hearing process on their own. As a result, low-income families face the very real possibility of hunger, homelessness, and overall family instability.
This training is designed to help mitigate the crisis faced by low-income families everywhere by providing attorneys with a basic understanding of common issues and strategies in providing pro bono assistance with administrative hearings. The program will focus on California law, but will also cover many topics such as due process and other rights that apply nationwide; therefore, advocates from other forums would benefit from the information and attending the program.
What You Will Learn:
  • An overview of administrative hearings low-income clients most frequently need, involving:
    • State public benefits, including Social Services claims andUnemployment Insurance claims;
    • Federal public benefits, including Supplemental Security Income;
    • Professional licensing, including nursing licenses and Department of Social Services clearance; and
    • Unpaid wages, and other wage and hour-related rights.
  • Best practices and common advocacy strategies and procedures for administrative hearings, including:
    • Obtaining evidence
    • Drafting position statements/hearing briefs
    • Presenting your case at hearing
  • Rehearings and further appeals
  • California law and practice specifics
Title:
Representing the Pro Bono Client: Advocacy Skills for Administrative Hearings 
When/Where:
October 2, 2015
9:00 AM Pacific
San Francisco, CA
Also presented in-person in San Francisco.
Speakers:
  • Co-Chairs:
    • Carole Vigne ~ Staff Attorney and Director, Wage Protection Program, Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center
    • Steven Weiss ~ Staff Attorney and Regional SSI Advocacy Coordinator, Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Lauren Hansen ~ Staff Attorney, Public Interest Law Project
  • Travis Silva ~ Equal Justice Works Emerson Fellow, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Program Attorney: Christina Thompson ~ Program Attorney, Practising Law Institute.
Credits:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
By:
Practising Law Institute
Cost:
Free
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