Client came to see Legal Aid about a conservatorship over her sister. Her sister was in a nursing home and her doctors had stated that it would be long term. She was unable to care for herself and was a threat to herself. Her sister’s doctors stated that her sister was incompetent and needed a conservator. A pro bono attorney assisted this client with obtaining a conservatorship so that she could be sure her sister obtained all the necessary medical assistance she needed. The client had this to say about her attorney’s assistance; “My pro bono attorney was a tremendous help. She made herself available to address each concern as questions arose. She is a kind and thoughtful person. At a time of great difficulty she provided guidance and closure in gaining conservatorship for a loved one who needed assistance so badly.” Pro bono attorney Marcia McMurray and pro bono attorney Jim Bilbo served as Guardian Ad Litem.
"Rachel" was as a server at a local restaurant, working between 70 and 80 hours per week. She came to Legal Aid when the restaurant closed and the owners failed to deliver her last paycheck. Rachel estimated that the restaurant owed her about $1,000. We referred the case to Betsy Beck and John Rayson, who discovered that the employer had been paying Rachel for a 40-hour week, regardless of how much time she worked. Rachel did not know that was illegal. Betsy and John filed suit against the restaurant’s owners in Blount County and succeeded in collecting Rachel’s back wages totaling $3,177.
"Jak" immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe, and he is not yet fluent in English. When he originally arrived in Tennessee, he used an international driver’s license. But when it expired, he discovered that the Tennessee Department of Safety would not let him use a translator (even at his own expense) when he took the driving test. Tennessee law allows a translator only for people who speak Spanish, Korean, or Japanese, which did not help Jak. We referred the case to Melinda Meador, who persuaded the Department to permit Jak to take the test with a translator.
“Mary” came to Legal Aid to seek assistance with a water damage problem to her home and property which was a result of construction done by the City. Mary had photos of an extensive amount of water damage along with mold & mildew. We referred the case to attorney Heidi Hoffecker who along with a Legal Aid staff attorney did research to determine if she could file. The city denied responsibility and a lawsuit was filed. After several years of discovery and negotiations, a settlement was finally reached. The city agreed to make repairs to the property and to bear the expenses associated with such repairs – packing, moving, and storing the client’s personal property while the house is vacated, hotel accommodations; moving back in and unpacking of their property.
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