Legal Aid Headlines

July’s News Roundup

By Kristin Parker

Here’s our take on the best legal aid headlines from July. And, don’t forget to visit In the News to catch any stories you may have missed.

AG fines used car dealer for deceptive practices targeting Spanish-speakers
Attorney General Bob Ferguson ordered Zein Automobiles, Inc. of Snohomish County to pay $250,000 to Spanish-speaking customers lured by deceptive advertising and sales practices. Northwest Justice Project first discovered the pattern of discrimination after receiving numerous complaints last year to its CLEAR Hotline and contacted the Attorney General’s Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit. (en Español)

Columbia Legal Services (CLS) scored several wins this past month, starting with a $1 million settlement in favor of Yakima farmworkers who sought to improve their working conditions. Also, in a follow up to a CLS case argued before the State Supreme Court last year, a federal judge ordered Sakuma Brothers Farm to pay $250,000 in legal fees. In another judgement in favor of CLS, a Yakima County court judge found that two Yakima hospitals did not adequately screen low-income patients for eligibility of charity care. In Seattle, the state agreed to notify some 900 Medicaid patients with Hepatitis C of a rule change that will allow them access to a costly but effective cure.

Op-ed by Rep. Adam Smith: The Case for Civil Legal Aid
Thanks to 9th District Congressman Adam Smith for speaking up for the need to fully fund civil legal aid in Washington State and across the country. More and more Washingtonians struggle with civil legal issues on their own, and without the assistance of a legal aid lawyer many are losing their homes, their jobs and their families. Congressman Smith joins the call to make legal aid funding a priority.

Portland’s best Foster Mom partnered with NWIRP to advocate for her kids
Last month, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) reported victory in helping to return a Somali minor held in the immigration detention center in Tacoma to his foster family in Portland. This follow-up story introduces the Portland woman whose extraordinary determination and compassion celebrate the best in the foster care system.

Demystifying Washington’s Civil Legal Aid Network
If you’ve ever struggled to explain Washington State’s complex network of legal aid practitioners and funding streams, bookmark this two-page spread, or better yet, print out a pdf copy and frame it behind your desk. Thanks to the Endowment for Equal Justice board member, Kay Frank, and Campaign for Equal Justice board member, David Burman, for giving a succinct lay of the land, explaining who does the work and where funding falls short.

Additional legal aid headlines:
July 22, 2016 –  Who is Anne Holton? Wife of Tim Kaine, Hillary’s VP Pick, Revealed

July 8, 2016 – One reason so many veterans are homeless? They can’t afford lawyers,

July 8, 2016 – Judge Holds WA in Contempt over Use of Jails as Mental Health “Waiting Rooms”,