The Florida Bar
CENTRAL FLORIDA BANKRUPTCY LAW ASSOCIATION TO RECEIVE STATEWIDE PRO BONO AWARD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2014
CONTACT: Francine A. Walker; firstname.lastname@example.org,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE: (850) 561-5666
The Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association is the recipient of the 2014 Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Award. The award, which recognizes a Florida voluntary bar that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis, will be presented at a Jan. 30 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida by Chief Justice Ricky Polston.
The Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association is a non-profit organization that supports the collegial and professional practice of bankruptcy law in the Orlando Division of the Middle District of Florida. This is done through continuing education and service to the bench, bar and community. CFBLA serves all bankruptcy practitioners in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Brevard counties.
The Bankruptcy Pro Se Assistance Clinic is a project of the association. Opening in July 2012, the clinic is the result of a partnership with the Orange County Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee. The clinic is located at the George C. Young Federal Courthouse in Orlando and is staffed by experienced bankruptcy attorney volunteers who offer free, on-site information and guidance to debtors and creditors who are representing themselves in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Lawyers meet one-on-one to help pro se litigants understand the bankruptcy process. They assist in preparing court documents and offer limited case specific advice. The CFBLA’s website (www.cfbla.org) also offers many forms and publications that may be needed in a bankruptcy case.
Since its opening, 93 attorney members of the CFBLA have volunteered their time to staff the clinic. They have consulted with nearly 400 pro se individuals and volunteered more than 500 hours. The Bankruptcy Pro Se Assistance Clinic receives an average 30 requests for assistance each week. More than 2,100 requests have been received since July 2012. CFBLA solicits volunteer attorneys on its website. They are asked to counsel pro se debtors and creditors during the clinic’s hours of operation. The minimum time commitment is one hour but they encourage at least a two-hour commitment. Each counseling session is 30 minutes. If a person needing help is unable to travel to the clinic to meet in person with an attorney, volunteer members of the CFBLA will offer assistance through email or telephone calls. Generally, the clinic is first come, first served with priority given to those persons who have requested an appointment in advance or to those on a deadline.
This year's awards ceremony, which also honors individual, circuit, law firm, young lawyer, and judicial pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida. The program will be broadcast taped-delayed at a later date. Check local cable listings for details and the Florida Supreme Court Gavel to Gavel Video Portal at http://wfsu.org/gavel2gavel.
EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."