All posts in Pro Bono

Earle Hagen Golf Tournament September 21, 2015 – Porter Valley Country Club


Public Counsel is having our annual Earle Hagen Memorial Golf, Tennis &  Poker Tournament at Porter Valley Country Club on Monday, September 21, 2015.

We would greatly appreciate everyone’s help in making this event a success!   We will also be honoring Jim King for his leadership in organizing the Tournament and hisextraordinary pro bono contributions throughout his legal career. His family was very touched and will be accepting the award on his behalf.    Read more…

November 20, 2014 – 2014 William J. Lazarow Awards Reception

Public Counsel’s
Debtor Assistance Project

2014 William J. Lasarow Awards Reception

Recognizing Outstanding Pro Bono Service

The Roybal Federal Building
Main Lobby & Reception Hall
255 East Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday, November 20, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Insutrctional Packet: Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

Please find attached a copy of DAP’s Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Instructional Packet.

Individuals can now apply for a total and permanent disability discharge of their federal student loans if they have been declared disabled by any of the following:

1) Social Security Administration;
2) Department of Veteran’s Affairs; or
3) Physician.

*Please note that individuals applying for this type of relief do not need to file for bankruptcy*

General Quаlіfісаtіоnѕ аnd Aррlісаtіоn Prосеѕѕ fоr TPD
Please nоtе: If you rесеіvеd nоtіfісаtіоn thаt you аrе eligible for TPD, you wіll nоt need tо provide ѕuрроrtіng dосumеntаtіоn showing thаt уоu are tоtаllу аnd реrmаnеntlу disabled, you can even add on to this by getting a Long Term Disability Claim.

If you have nоt rесеіvеd nоtіfісаtіоn that уоu are еlіgіblе fоr TPD and wоuld lіkе tо be considered, you muѕt рrоvіdе documentation from оnе оf three ѕоurсеѕ:

1. Thе U.S. Dераrtmеnt оf Vеtеrаnѕ Affаіrѕ (VA)
Wе rесеntlу established a рrосеѕѕ wіth thе VA to іdеntіfу vеtеrаnѕ whо are eligible fоr a TPD dіѕсhаrgе. If identified уоu, wе wіll ѕеnd you a nоtісе аnd іnfоrm you thаt уоur loans wіll bе dіѕсhаrgеd іn 60 days unlеѕѕ you request tо not rесеіvе a dіѕсhаrgе. However, іf уоu’rе a disabled veteran whо has nоt уеt rесеіvеd nоtісе thаt you’re еlіgіblе fоr TPD, you still qualify for a TPD discharge bу providing documentation from thе VA thаt ѕhоwѕ уоu have rесеіvеd a VA dіѕаbіlіtу dеtеrmіnаtіоn because уоu (1) have a ѕеrvісе-соnnесtеd disability thаt is 100% disabling; оr (2) are totally dіѕаblеd based on an іndіvіduаl unemployability rаtіng.

2. Thе Sосіаl Security Admіnіѕtrаtіоn (SSA)
If you’re еlіgіblе for Social Security Disability Inѕurаnсе (SSDI) оr Suррlеmеntаl Security Inсоmе (SSI), уоu саn ԛuаlіfу fоr a TPD dіѕсhаrgе if уоu рrоvіdе a copy оf уоur SSA notice оf award оr Benefits Planning Quеrу ѕhоwіng that your nеxt ѕсhеdulеd dіѕаbіlіtу rеvіеw wіll bе five to ѕеvеn уеаrѕ or mоrе frоm thе dаtе of your lаѕt SSA dіѕаbіlіtу dеtеrmіnаtіоn, a social security disability lawyer can be able to provide you further information.

3. A рhуѕісіаn
A Dосtоr оf Medicine (M.D.) оr dосtоr оf оѕtеораthу/оѕtеораthіс mеdісіnе (D.O.), who is licensed to рrасtісе іn the U.S., can сеrtіfу Sесtіоn 4 of your TPD dіѕсhаrgе аррlісаtіоn bу dосumеntіng that уоu are unable tо engage in аnу ѕubѕtаntіаl gаіnful activity due to a рhуѕісаl or mental impairment that:

Cаn be еxресtеd tо result іn death;
Has lasted for a соntіnuоuѕ реrіоd оf at lеаѕt 60 months; оr
Cаn bе еxресtеd tо lаѕt fоr a continuous period оf at lеаѕt 60 mоnthѕ.

If you’re a vеtеrаn whоѕе TPD discharge аррlісаtіоn іѕ аррrоvеd bаѕеd оn dосumеntаtіоn from thе VA, уоu aren’t ѕubjесt to a роѕtdіѕсhаrgе three-year mоnіtоrіng period listed above, we recommend getting in contact with disability attorneys for further information.

Instructional Packet: Reopening Case to File Post Financial Management Course Certificate

Dear colleagues,

I have attached a copy of our recently revised instructional packet for debtors seeking to reopen cases that the court closed without a discharge because the debtors did not submit the financial management course certificate and/or Form B23. This version of the packet includes updated instructions, forms, and service information for judges.


Christian Cooper

Staff Attorney
Consumer Law Project & Debtor Assistance Project

Public Counsel
610 S. Ardmore Ave. | Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 637-3825 | fax (213) 385-9089 |


Third Annual Leslie Cohen Law 5k Benefiting Public Counsel’s Debtor Assistance Project

Team Simon Resnik Hayes at the Third Annual Leslie Cohen Law 5k benefiting Public Counsel’s Debtor Assistance Project on Saturday, April 26, 2014.


Job Announcement — National Consumer Law Center — Public Interest Consumer Attorney

The National Consumer Law Center is seeking an attorney to specialize in consumer issues affecting low-income Americans, particularly abusive debt collection practices. As a member of NCLC’s advocacy staff, the attorney will develop and implement strategies that help combat exploitive practices in the marketplace. The position includes research and writing as well as policy and systemic advocacy. The opening is in NCLC’s main office in Boston. Some travel will be required. Information attached.

If interested, please send a cover letter, your résumé, a short legal writing sample, and three references via email to: Please reference “Consumer Attorney” in the subject line of your email.

Applications should be submitted by April 15, 2014, but will be accepted until the position is filled.  Please do not mail or fax your application.

Third Annual LCL 5k Benefiting Public Counsel Debtor Assistance Project


I hope you can make it to the Third Annual LCL 5k Benefiting Public Counsel Debtor Assistance Project (“DAP”) and Samohi Cross Country/Track program, happening on April 26 at 8 am!

The race starts and ends at the same place as last year: Reed Emerson Park at the corner of 7th and California in Santa Monica.  This is the only 5k in north Santa Monica on a beautiful course along Ocean Ave. and San Vicente.

Discount for past participants: Past participants use code LCLLOYAL10 to get 10% off your registration through February 15.

When you register, you have the option of choosing individual or team registration. Either way, you are eligible for an individual AG medal if you place top 3 in your division. Register with a team to also qualify for the Fastest Team award. You can join an existing team or create a new team. Get pumped at the start and celebrate your finish with music from our DJ, and post-race snacks for all participants, including some surprises! Medals will be given to the top 3 finishers in each age group. Prizes will be awarded to top overall male, top overall female, overall fastest team, and fundraising champions. We will also have tech race shirts for all advance registrants, Bonk Breaker Bars and snacks at the finish! Enjoy a very special morning while benefiting Public Counsel’s Debtor Assistance Project and the Samohi sports program.

To register or make a donation, copy and paste this link into your browser:

Public Counsel’s President/CEO Hernán Vera appointed to the Board of Trustees by California Supreme Court

Just wanted to share the good news with everyone that Public Counsel’s President/CEO Hernán Vera was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees by California Supreme Court.


Five new board members also took the oath of office at the same time. Miriam Aroni Krinsky and Hernán Vera, both of Los Angeles, were appointed by the California Supreme Court.

Earle Hagen Memorial Golf Tennis & Poker Tournament



Jonathan Brown, Esq.; Roksana D. Moradi, Esq.; Troy Freeman, Esq.; Hernan Vera, CEO/President of Public Counsel

Earle Hagen Memorial Golf Tennis & Poker Tournament

The Earle Hagen Memorial Golf Tennis & newly added Poker Tournament will take place at Porter Valley Country Club on Monday, September 30, 2013. Flyer attached.

This year, we have a new and exciting event that was just added this week — the “2013 Earle Hagen Inaugural Texas Hold’Em Tournament.” Perfect for anyone who would rather not brave the heat that day. Flyer attached.

All net proceeds from the Earle Hagen Memorial Golf & Tennis Tournament will go towards the support of Public Counsel’s Debtor Assistance Project (“DAP”).

As you know, Public Counsel’s DAP has helped thousands of individuals to navigate the bankruptcy system when they are no longer able to support their families while struggling under crushing debt loads, as well as assist innocent victims of fraud.

Individuals like Ajamu Azibo, who was the unfortunate victim of both identity theft and “bankruptcy hijacking.” Mr. Azibo visited the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk for assistance to find out how a bankruptcy could be fraudulently filed in his name without his knowledge, and what he could do to fix the situation. He was confused, and also concerned about what effect the filing might have on his job. Fortunately, Public Counsel was there to help. Public Counsel successfully represented him in an expungement motion, and his case was featured on public radio station 89.3, KPCC-FM. KPCC reporter Ruxandra Guidi interviewed Mr. Azibo, and his story aired on KPCC. Mr. Azibo is only one example of a client Public Counsel’s DAP is able to assist due to your continued support. Information attached.

Public Counsel’s DAP provides greatly needed pro bono legal services to over 4,000 individuals and families every year by:

-providing counsel and advise at the Los Angeles Self Help Desk;
-guiding pro se litigants in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process at monthly Chapter 7 clinics;
-advising pro se litigants regarding their rights at monthly reaffirmation hearings in the Los Angeles and Woodland Hills divisions;
-representing consumer debtors in Chapter 7 pro bono cases; and
-defending consumers against non-meritorious non-dischargeability complaints.

Flyers re the event can be viewed on

I would greatly appreciate your assistance in forwarding this information to friends and colleagues interested in being a part of this great event. Also, if you would like to be a Tee sponsor, you can contact Jim King at (818) 242-1100 or via email at Information attached.