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Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. Announces 2017 Excellence Award Winners

PLAN Excellence Award - photo

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) is honored to announce the 2017 Excellence Award winners as well as the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services. The exceptional individuals, groups and corporation receiving awards have demonstrated excellence in their efforts to expand access to justice for those who have nowhere else to turn for help when facing a critical legal problem.

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award winners will be formally honored at the PLAN Excellence Award Banquet on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Hilton Harrisburg in Harrisburg, PA.  The ceremony will feature a video tribute of each honoree highlighting their accomplishments. 

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Announces 2016 Excellence Award Recipients

Excellence Awards 2016

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards.  

Each year, PLAN requests nominations from across the Commonwealth and honors individuals, groups, and/or organizations that have established excellence and diligence improving the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Presents 2015 Excellence Awards

The Honorable Debra McCloskey Todd, Supreme Court of PennsylvaniaThe Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) honored the recipients of the 2015 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards on March 23, 2015 at the annual awards dinner held at the Hilton Harrisburg. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra McCloskey Todd served as the keynote speaker for the event.

Statewide Coalition Report Details Growing Crisis In Meeting Critical Legal Needs Of Low-Income Pennsylvanians

Coalition Urges Creation of New Commission

A report released by the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition on May 6, 2014 concludes that the staggering number of unrepresented low-income litigants in civil legal matters adversely impacts the quality of justice for all parties in Pennsylvania courts, negatively impacts the courts’ administration of justice and undermines the rule of law.

The report, which was released at a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recommends the creation of a first-ever Access to Justice Commission to serve as a vehicle for studying and implementing measures to expand access to justice in the state.

Judge Harhut Elected President of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. Board Of Directors

Judge Chester Harhut, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sam Milkes
Judge Chester Harhut, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sam Milkes

The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN, Inc.) has elected the Honorable Chester Harhut of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas in Scranton, PA as its President. He succeeds prominent Philadelphia attorney Gerald A. McHugh, Jr. of Raynes, McCarty. The Board also appointed Wesley R. Payne, Esq. of White and Williams, LLP in Harrisburg, PA as President-Elect; Thomas A. Tupitza of Knox, McLaughlin in Erie, PA as Treasurer; and client representative Marsha W. Mathis as Secretary.

Every county in Pennsylvania is served by a PLAN legal aid program, and in these difficult economic times, the need for legal aid has escalated considerably. Last year, legal aid helped nearly 10,000 clients who are faced with mortgage foreclosures and represented more than 12,000 domestic violence clients in protection from abuse proceedings

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Announces 2011 Excellence Award Recipients

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence AwardThe Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is proud to announce the recipients of its 2011 Excellence Awards.

The list includes a variety of civil legal aid professionals and friends of civil legal aid across Pennsylvania who are being recognized for their efforts in support of the clients served by the civil legal programs of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Comments on New Federal Poverty Data and Mortgage Foreclosure Data

Pennsylvania Legal Aid NetworkYesterday, September 16, 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau released its official 2009 statistics on poverty in this report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009.

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) notes the report is cause for concern for Pennsylvanians.

Nationally, nearly 57 million Americans are now poor enough to qualify for civil legal assistance. This is an increase of 3 million from 2008. Of the 57 million, 19.6 million were children. In just one year, the national poverty rate increased by a full percentage; from 13.2% in 2008 to 14.3% in 2009. The number of people in poverty in 2009 is the largest number in the 51 years for which poverty estimates have been published. The poverty rate for children rose even more dramatically.

The report reveals that children make up about 35% of the poverty population and people over 65 make up nearly 10% of the poverty population (those at or below 125% of the poverty level).

Also yesterday, RealtyTrac released its report on mortgage foreclosures in Pennsylvania which have increased by 15% over the same period two years ago and compared to one year ago. Pennsylvania’s foreclosure rate is growing at a higher rate than the national increase. “Pennsylvania’s legal aid programs are now reporting a 61% increase in new home ownership and mortgage foreclosure cases for clients facing loss of their homes this year, compared to last year,” said Sam Milkes, Executive Director of PLAN.

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Presents Excellence Awards to Advocates for Civil Legal Services to the Poor

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille will address members and friends of statewide legal aid community.

Video Tributes

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) will hold its annual Excellence Awards and Banquet on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, at the Harrisburg Hilton. The Pro Bono Office of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, is the premier sponsor of the event, which pays annual tribute to those who demonstrate exemplary commitment and achievements on behalf of poor and vulnerable people needing civil legal assistance throughout the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee Issues Evaluation Report on the Use of the Access To Justice Act Funds

HARRISBURG, PA – Today, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, a bicameral, bipartisan Committee of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, released a report on the use of the Access to Justice Act filing fee funds that support the provision of civil legal aid low-income Pennsylvanians and survivors of domestic violence. The report found that the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board, where the funds are distributed, and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), where the services are delivered, do an excellent job fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to properly administer the funds and that the actual provision of services with these funds is of high quality.

Former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Appointed To Board Of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network

Former Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. CastillePennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) has appointed former Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille to its governing board. The board took this action at its regular meeting of June 9, 2016.

Board President, James P. DeAngelo commented, “We are very pleased that Pennsylvania’s retired Chief Justice has agreed to join the Board of PLAN. Retired Chief Justice Castille has had a strong demonstrated history of supporting the provision of civil legal aid and access to justice for those who have nowhere else to turn. We are especially pleased he has agreed to join our board because he not only brings the prestige, knowledge and background of his prior office to the role but also his personal commitment to fairness for those facing major civil legal challenges, such as mortgage foreclosure, domestic violence, threatened eviction or loss of necessary utilities, loss of custody, and many other areas.”

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