Time: Wed Sep 03 13:39:26 1997
	by usr05.primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id HAA01741;
	Wed, 3 Sep 1997 07:47:43 -0700 (MST)
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 1997 07:47:43 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Legal Help Goes Online

>Journal Newspapers
>Legal Help Goes Online 
>At nonprofit library
>Associated Press
>BALTIMORE - Do-it-yourselfers who have taken up a wrench to fix the plumbing
>or their cars can now try a new field: law.
>Since The People's Law Library of Maryland went online in January, thousands
>of people have sought answers about legal matters or advice on how to
>represent themselves, said site founder Richard Granat.
>The nonprofit library includes information on a wide range of topics, from
>divorce to employment law to landlord-tenant issues. The site also includes
>a discussion group in which lawyers answer specific questions.
>``It's a neat tool. I think more people need to know about this,'' said
>Steve Kondrchek, a former Elkton resident who said he won a child support
>wrangle without having to hire an attorney.
>After his eldest daughter came to live with him in Indiana, Kondrchek said
>he wanted to reduce his child support payments to his ex-wife. Through the
>law library Web site, he was able to fill out the proper forms and got a
>credit for overpaying child support from the time his daughter came to live
>with him.
>Granat also founded another Web site, the Divorce Law Information Center,
>that sells divorce ``kits,'' which include all the necessary forms from a
>number of states and directions on filling them out.
>``In Maryland, it's easy to represent yourself [in divorce cases] if you
>have these forms,'' said Granat, an adjunct professor at the University of
>Maryland School of Law and head of the Center for Law Practice Technology in
>Kimberly Nolan said she found the site extremely useful. She searched the
>People's Law Library for information on how to divorce her husband, who left
>without a trace six months ago.
>Nolan, an administrator at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said she
>couldn't afford a lawyer's help because her husband left her deep in debt.
>Through the Web site she learned that after two years, she can file for
>divorce herself without having to serve papers to her husband. And she
>learned this for free.
>Another source is the American Pro Se Association's Web site, which contains
>instructions on how to answer complaints, serve a summons and other legal
>This site has resources tailored mostly to New Jersey, New York,
>Pennsylvania and California laws.
>The American Bar Association doesn't discourage these legal information
>sources, said William Hornsby, staff counsel for the ABA.
>Hornsby said some regions had problems with for-profit services that were
>dispensing bad advice. So, districts such as Maricopa County, Ariz., and
>Ventura County, Calif., formed their own legal resource centers to ensure
>the advice being given followed the law.
>These counties also have Web sites that allow users to download copies of
>forms, and even give directions on how to calculate child support.
>Do-it-yourselfers should confine their legal work to uncontested matters,
>Hornsby said, which are often much less complicated.
>But some experts think even the simplest matters should be left to
>The Maryland State Bar Association always recommends that people seek help
>from a lawyer, said Janet Eveleth, the association's director of
>``It may appear simple when they're looking into [representing
>themselves],'' Eveleth said. ``But they may make mistakes that come back to
>haunt them.''
>People who can't afford legal fees should look to nonprofit groups for pro
>bono lawyers who can serve specific needs, Eveleth said.
>The Internet addresses for the People's Law Library of Maryland is:
>www.peoples-law.com The Divorce Law Information Center is:
>www.divorcelawinfo.com. American Pro Se Association is at:

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night
email:   [address in tool bar]       : using Eudora Pro 3.0.3 on 586 CPU
website: http://www.supremelaw.com   : visit the Supreme Law Library now
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best
             Tucson, Arizona state   : state zone,  not the federal zone
             Postal Zone 85719/tdc   : USPS delays first class  w/o this

As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal.
[This text formatted on-screen in Courier 11, non-proportional spacing.]


Return to Table of Contents for

Supreme Law School:   E-mail