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Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook

The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) and Louisiana Appleseed unveiled their new joint publication Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook in 2014.

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Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook

The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) and Louisiana Appleseed unveiled a joint publication, the Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook, in 2014. The Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook covers all the basic legal requirements of charter governing boards, from the fundamentals of charter school law and the governing board’s role, to open meetings laws and code of ethics. Copies of the handbook have been made available to every charter governing board and charter school in the State of Louisiana. Louisiana Appleseed volunteers have held numerous seminars on this topic for board members and lawyers throughout the state.

Click here to see the handbook and 2015 updates.

In 2016, LAPCS and Louisiana Appleseed will unveil another joint publication, the Louisiana Charter School Leader Legal Handbook. The new handbook will cover basic legal requirements that may be of interest and use to charter school leaders.

For more information, please call 504-561-7304.

Project partners: The Booth-Bricker Fund, The Frost Foundation Ltd, Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, Pro Bono Publico Foundation, RosaMary Foundation, Alvin Miester of Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein and Hilbert LLC, Adams and Reese LLP, New Schools for New Orleans, Jones Walker, Akin Gump, Board on Track and Baker Donelson.

2014 Handbook Download

Publication(s) Available

Disaster Training Manual

Immediately following the 2005 hurricanes, the Louisiana State Bar Association and its partners developed a manual for pro bono attorneys.

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Disaster Training Manual

Immediately following the 2005 hurricanes, the Louisiana State Bar Association and its partners developed a manual for pro bono attorneys. This Disaster Training Manual, which is made available to attorneys when disasters strike, enables attorneys to provide access to legal representation for thousands of Louisiana residents, especially the poor, who face legal challenges while recovering after a disaster. Louisiana Appleseed volunteers review and update the manual yearly to ensure that information is current, making the manual readily accessible for those who might need it.

Project Partners and Volunteers: Louisiana State Bar Association, Sher Garner, Andrew Capitelli, Milling Benson Woodward, LLP and Emma Mekinda

Volunteer Manual Download

Language Access in Louisiana Courts

Developing standards for courtroom interpreters is an essential step in ensuring equal access to the justice system, regardless of limited English proficiency.

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Language Access in Louisiana Courts

Developing standards for courtroom interpreters is an essential step in ensuring equal access to the justice system, regardless of limited English proficiency. Louisiana Appleseed volunteers from law firm Phelps Dunbar prepared an analysis of other states’ interpreter standards and drafted a model court rule for the Louisiana Supreme Court’s consideration, as well as a model Code of Professional Responsibility.

Louisiana Appleseed and the Language Access Coalition advocated for adoption of this rule, with the support of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Louisiana Public Defender Board. The Louisiana Supreme Court ordered the adoption of a Code of Professional Responsibility for Language Interpreters, which became effective on September 1, 2012.

Click to view the Louisiana Supreme Court Order

Code of Professional Responsibility for Language Interpreters 

Louisiana Appleseed also advocated for the Louisiana Supreme Court joining the National Consortium for Language Access in Courts. In early 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court became a member.

Louisiana Appleseed continues to advocate for state-wide interpreter standards to ensure equal access to the justice system, regardless of limited English proficiency. Louisiana Appleseed has been appointed to the Access to Justice Commission, serving on the Commission’s Language Access Subcommittee. The subcommittee is developing a plan for outreach and advocacy.

Project Partners: Phelps Dunbar, Carver Darden, Fowler Rodriguez, Louisiana Language Access Coalition, Louisiana State Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers Association

Publication(s) Available

Enabling Owners of Heir Property to Clear Title, Preserve Wealth and Recover from Disasters

Since 2007, Louisiana Appleseed volunteers have been working on heir property and title issues in Louisiana through legislative advocacy and community education initiatives.

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Enabling Owners of Heir Property to Clear Title, Preserve Wealth and Recover from Disasters

Since 2007, Louisiana Appleseed volunteers have been working on title issues involving inherited property in Louisiana. It has done so through legislative advocacy and by educating community members and policy makers about the serious consequences that happen when people do not take the necessary legal steps to transfer title to homes and land into the name of the person who inherited the property. To learn about Louisiana Appleseed’s heir property accomplishments and about what happens when residents lack clear title to inherited property, please click here.  Please also visit http://www.floodproofla.org/for more information about our Flood Proof: Free Legal Help for Homeowners with Title Problems project.

 

Project partners: Alabama Appleseed, First American Title, Georgia Appleseed, Louisiana Bar Foundation, Louisiana Civil Justice Center, South Carolina Appleseed, Stanley Ray Trust, Texas Appleseed, Adams and Reese LLP, Jones Walker, The Pro Bono Project, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, LSU Law Center, Southern University Law Center, Louisiana Association of Volunteers Active After Disasters, Malcolm Meyer, Patty McMurray and numerous community groups.

Initiatives Download
Affidavit Download
Drafting Affidavits Download
Protect Your Property - English Download
Protect Your Property - Spanish Download
Protect Your Property - Vietnamese Download

Publication(s) Available

Ensuring Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Louisiana Appleseed and its partners worked with school liaisons to identify and address the gaps that prevent homeless children from receiving an adequate education.

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Ensuring Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Louisiana Appleseed and its partners worked with school liaisons to identify and address the gaps that prevent homeless children from receiving an adequate education. They designed a community education piece – a bookmark for state-wide distribution – to educate students and their families about their rights under the McKinney-Vento Act, which ensures that children are not inadvertently excluded from the school system. The bookmark is available in both English and Spanish.

Project Partners: Judge Jay Zainey’s HELP Program, UNITY New Orleans, Ozanam Inn, Cowen Institute, Barrasso Usdin, Louisiana Department of Education, Orleans Parish School Board

Bookmarks in English Download
Bookmarks in Spanish Download

Preventing Teen Dating Violence through Education

Approximately, 1 in 5 teenage girls has experienced physical and/or sexual violence in a dating relationship. Prevention, therefore, is key.

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Preventing Teen Dating Violence through Education

Approximately, 1 in 5 teenage girls has experienced physical and/or sexual violence in a dating relationship. Females ages 16-24 are the group most-highly victimized by abuse. Prevention, therefore, is key; there must be an effort to reach Louisiana youth. Louisiana Appleseed’s focus has thus been to encourage schools to teach about relationship abuse, as well as healthy relationships. Louisiana Appleseed hosted a roundtable discussion of stakeholders and formed a task force to address prevention issues. It achieved milestones in 2010 and 2014 when the Governor signed into law bills that mandate education regarding dating violence prevention in public schools. (Act 321 – 2010 and Act 506 – 2014)

La. R.S. 17:81(T) requires that Louisiana public schools include in their health education curriculum (grades 7-12) information about relationship abuse, including warning signs and how to seek help. We are working with education administrators to emphasize their duty to provide instruction to students. The schools are also required to provide instruction to all school employees having contact with students about the definition of dating violence, dating violence warning signs, and the proper ways to address suspected or reported dating violence involving students.

Project Partners (past and present): Kean Miller LLP, Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Louisiana Department of Education, Jeannine Sullivan (Louisiana Appleseed Legal Fellow), Prevention Task Force Members, Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools.

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For a copy of the law, please click here.

T.(1) Each school year the governing authority of each public school shall provide to students in grades seven through twelve enrolled in Health Education age and grade appropriate classroom instruction relative to dating violence.

(2) Such instruction shall include but need not be limited to providing students with the following information:

(a) The definition of “dating violence”, which is a pattern of behavior where one person threatens to use, or actually uses, physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to control his or her dating partner.

(b) Dating violence warning signs.

(c) Characteristics of healthy relationships.

(3) The governing authority of each public school enrolling students in grades seven through twelve shall:

(a) At the beginning of each school year, provide instruction to all school employees having contact with students in such grades relative to the definition of dating violence, dating violence warning signs, and how to properly address suspected or reported dating violence involving students, including but not limited to counseling and notification of law enforcement, and provide information relative to dating violence to the parents of students in such grades.

(b) Include in student codes of conduct the definition of dating violence, dating violence warning signs, and instructions for reporting or seeking help relative to dating violence.

(c) Collect data relative to the number of incidents of dating violence reported to school employees and the actions taken by school employees to assist victims of dating violence.

(4)(a) In the spring of each school year, each local superintendent shall make an oral report at a meeting of the school governing authority that shall include but need not be limited to the compliance of each school with the requirements of this Section, aggregate data relative to dating violence, and any recommendations for reducing dating violence among students.

(b) For the purposes of this Paragraph, for a charter school, the “local superintendent” shall mean the chief executive officer of the school or other employee holding an equivalent position.

CLICK HERE FOR ACT 321 (2010)

CLICK HERE FOR ACT 506 (2014)

Earning CLE Credit for Pro Bono Representation

Effective May 1, 2015, every lawyer who does pro bono work can earn up to three hours of CLE credit each year, under an order signed by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

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Earning CLE Credit for Pro Bono Representation

Effective May 1, 2015, every lawyer who does pro bono work can earn up to three hours of CLE credit each year, under an order signed by the Louisiana Supreme Court. This Order followed a proposal by Louisiana Appleseed.  Volunteer attorneys from Adams and Reese LLP—Martin Stern, Jeff Richardson and Ron Sholes—worked together with retired Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Harry T. Lemmon, on this project for Louisiana Appleseed.

Under the new rule, attorneys who provide pro bono legal representation can earn one hour of CLE credit for every five hours of pro bono representation, up to a maximum of three hours of CLE credit per year.  The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Committee issued the forms needed to claim credit for “uncompensated pro bono legal representation to an indigent or near-indigent client or clients.” To be eligible for credit, “the matter must have been assigned by a court, a bar association, or a legal services or pro bono organization that has as its primary purpose the furnishing of such pro bono legal services.”

Entities wishing to qualify as a pro bono organization under the rule must complete the Application for Approval as a Qualifying Pro Bono Organization. In order to earn credit for pro bono representation, attorneys who perform pro bono legal work must complete the Application for CLE Credit for Pro Bono Representation.

Click below for the forms.

http://www.lascmcle.org/pdf/ProBonoCLE.pdf

http://www.lascmcle.org/pdf/ProBonoOrganization.pdf

Project Partners/Volunteers: Supreme Court Justice Harry T. Lemmon (ret.) and Adams and Reese.

Publication(s) Available

FOOD POLICY – Feed More for Less

Public schools across Louisiana are now able to provide free meals to all students under the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs through Provision 2 and the Community Eligibility Option.

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FOOD POLICY – Feed More for Less

Public schools across Louisiana are now able to provide free meals to all students under the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs through Provision 2 and the Community Eligibility Option. Until recently, Louisiana schools were unable to take advantage of Universal Meal Programs without losing their ability to count students eligible for at-risk funding. Louisiana Appleseed and its community partners worked with the Louisiana Department of Education to amend the policy by which it determines the at-risk count for schools wishing to participate in Universal Meal Programs. The updated policy ensures that schools opting for programs such as Provision 2 and the Community Eligibility Option will be able to provide free meals to all their students while simplifying their paperwork, streamlining meal service, decreasing school food service costs and, most importantly, promoting good nutrition and helping improve student performance.

Louisiana Appleseed volunteer, Allison Berger Tiller, wrote a handbook to inform schools about these programs and to help them determine if taking advantage of Provision 2 and the Community Eligibility Option is the right choice for their students. It is intended to provide schools with the pertinent policy information they need to assist them in making an informed decision. The easy guide has been printed and a helpful website developed through the generosity of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. Special thanks to the Pennington family foundation for additional funding. To learn more about this initiative, please visit http://feedmoreforless.com/ or click here for the guide.

To date, 341,000 Louisiana students in 741 schools have received lunch under the Community Eligibility Program, for which Louisiana Appleseed volunteers successfully advocated. Louisiana has 72.6% adoption by eligible schools (15th in the nation) and 78% by eligible school districts (7th in the nation). Louisiana had the second largest increase in CEP adoption in 2016-17.   

If you are interested in obtaining a hard copy of the guide or have any questions about this project, please call Louisiana Appleseed at 504-561-7304.

Other Food Policy Partners         

Louisiana Appleseed also works with the Louisiana Food Bank Association and the Food Research Action Center on issues related to food policy.

Project Partners: Food Research Action Center, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Pennington Family Foundation, Louisiana Food Bank Association, Allison Tiller, and Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC.

Feeding More for Less Guide Download

Publication(s) Available

Custody Affidavits and School Enrollment

Appleseed created a pamphlet to educate public schools about the use of custody affidavits, ensuring that students across Louisiana are able to enroll in school.

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Custody Affidavits and School Enrollment

Louisiana Appleseed, in partnership with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Program and the Louisiana Department of Education, created a pamphlet to educate public schools about the use of custody affidavits, ensuring that students across Louisiana are able to enroll in school. Attorney volunteer Ian Ellis initially drafted an extensive white paper wherein he examined Louisiana law related to custody affidavits’ effect on school enrollment. Work is ongoing on this project.

Click here for the pamphlet.

Should you have questions about custody affidavits and school enrollment, please contact the Louisiana Department of Education, Office of Student Programs at 225-342-3488.

Custody Affidavits & School Enrollment Download

Abuse of Court System by Debt Buyers

Appleseed volunteers researched and wrote a white paper about the abuse of the judicial system by debt buyers.

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Abuse of Court System by Debt Buyers

Appleseed volunteers researched and wrote a white paper about the abuse of the judicial system by debt buyers. The white paper also included proposed solutions to the problem.

An article about the issue appeared in the February/March edition of the Louisiana Bar Journal. Volunteers also have appeared on radio shows to discuss this issue.

Click here for the article

Louisiana Appleseed, its volunteers and partners continue to work on this project.

Project Partners: Barrasso Usdin, Amy Duncan, Louisiana Civil Justice Center, Louisiana State Bar Association, and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Publication(s) Available

Basics of In Forma Pauperis education pamphlet

The United States judicial system, including the courts of Louisiana, grants all persons the privilege of receiving access to justice regardless of whether the litigant is impoverished.

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Basics of In Forma Pauperis education pamphlet

The United States judicial system, including the courts of Louisiana, grants all persons the privilege of receiving access to justice regardless of whether the litigant is impoverished. The legislature enacted the IFP provisions of Louisiana’s Code of Civil Procedure to ensure this privilege for its citizens.

At the request of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Policy Committee, Louisiana Appleseed volunteer Ashley Gonzalez completed a white paper on in forma pauperis (IFP) issues. Courts can give an IFP designation to individuals who are unable to pay the normal costs associated with a civil lawsuit or criminal defense. An educational pamphlet was created as a result of Ms. Gonzalez’s white paper. It is used to educate the public, lawyers, clerks of court, and members of the judiciary about IFP issues and to help them avoid common IFP challenges.

Ms. Gonzalez also educated Fellows of the Louisiana Bar Foundation on this topic in 2015 as part of the LBF’s Fellows Project.

Project Partners (past and present): King Krebs, Louisiana State Bar Association, and Louisiana Bar Foundation

Click here for article in the Louisiana Bar Journal.

(page 200)

See Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Articles 5181-5188.

 

Education Pamphlet Download