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Volunteer attorney drafted Special Needs Trust for the disabled sister of a Marine scheduled to deploy

April 17, 2014

A Marine was scheduled to deploy to a combat zone. He named his disabled sister as his primary beneficiary in the event of his death in his will and Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. However, the Marine needed pro bono assistance to draft a Special Needs Trust, so his disabled sister would not lose eligibility for public benefits, such as Supplement Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, in the event of his death. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project located an attorney who volunteered to work with the Marine to draft a Special Needs Trust.

Volunteer Attorney Helps Marine with Sibling Custody Case

March 4, 2014

A Marine needed help with an uncontested custody matter involving her siblings. The young Marine’s parents found themselves in a very difficult financial situation, and the Marine was voluntarily appointed as the sole managing conservator of her siblings while their parents reestablished financial stability. After caring for her siblings for a couple of years, their parents regained financial footing and were ready to provide stable housing for their children. The Marine could not afford an attorney and she was uncertain about how to handle this transition pro se. She visited a military legal assistance attorney, who referred this case to the Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who successfully helped the Marine obtain a court order to return custody to their parents.

Volunteer attorney helped establish guardianship so servicemember’s surviving children could benefit from SGLI funds

February 19, 2014

A Coast Guard member killed in a helicopter accident had named his two children as beneficiaries of his Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy. However, the Office of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance could not release the funds to the servicemember’s former wife, who was raising the children, unless she was appointed as the children’s guardian. The Military Pro Bono Project connected the servicemember’s former wife with a volunteer attorney, who successfully helped her be appointed as the children’s guardian so that the funds could be used for the children’s benefit.

Volunteer attorney helps soldier maintain active participation in his son’s life

January 31, 2014

An Army servicemember received a divorce decree that did not address child custody and support due to the ex-wife’s failure to appear in court. His child resided with his ex-wife, and he was unaware of his son’s whereabouts. The soldier feared that he would never see his son again, so he contacted a military legal assistance attorney who referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who helped the solder establish a favorable, detailed visitation order, ensuring that he would participate in his son’s life.

Intellectual property rights infringement claim dropped for servicemember with the help of a pro bono attorney

January 21, 2014

A Navy servicemember needed pro bono help with an intellectual property rights infringement claim for which he had received notice from his internet service provider. The opposing party claimed that the servicemember had downloaded movies without paying. However, the servicemember denied downloading any movies, and believed that someone had hacked into his wireless internet account to download them without his permission. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project connected the servicemember with a volunteer attorney who successfully helped get the claim dropped.

Volunteer attorneys in two different states worked together to secure child custody for a servicemember

January 2, 2014

Two volunteer attorneys—one in California and one in Virginia—worked together to secure child custody for a Navy servicemember. The servicemember needed help to finalize a divorce and custody order in Virginia. He had been separated from his wife for quite some time, and his daughter lived with him in Virginia. After the ABA Military Pro Bono Project located a volunteer attorney to assist him in Virginia, his wife filed for custody in California. The Project then located a second volunteer attorney in California, who helped dismiss the California case. Ultimately, the Virginia attorney finalized the divorce and successfully obtained an order providing the servicemember with sole custody of his daughter.

Volunteer attorney successfully helps drop suit against a Marine by a homeowners association

December 10, 2013

A Marine attempted to sell his home after he received orders to deploy. However, he was unable to sell his home, so he surrendered his home to the mortgage company without a formal foreclosure. Later, while the Marine was deployed overseas, his wife received harassing phone calls about unpaid dues from the homeowners association of their former residence. After explaining the Marine’s situation to the association, the Marine’s wife was assured that any dues and fees that accumulated after the surrender would be waived. However, despite these assurances, the association sued the Marine for these fees. The Marine contacted a military legal assistance attorney who referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project connected the Marine with a volunteer attorney who successfully negotiated with the homeowners association to drop the suit.

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