CLS & Working with Pro Bono Attorneys

CLS & Working with Pro Bono Attorneys

Authorization for Release of Information

CLS obtains each client’s informed consent to allow CLS to talk to pro bono attorneys about the client’s case, and to allow the client’s pro bono attorney to talk to CLS about the case.

Bono Attorneys Contacting Attorneys to Refer Cases Contact methods may vary by CLS office or by pro bono attorney preference, and can include:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Blast emails sent to an attorney panel or to a group of attorneys
  • Posting of general case descriptions on the CLS website

The first step consists of a conflict check. CLS will provide the names of all parties in a case and request confirmation from the pro bono attorney that no conflicts exist, prior to discussing the details of the case. Case details will include information on deadlines, case status and history, client’s preferred outcome, contested issues, the specific pro bono work being requested, and resources available to assist the pro bono attorney. CLS will always respect a pro bono attorney’s schedule. An attorney is always free to decline a referral due to the demands of his/her schedule or other concerns. CLS strives to match the case referral to the attorney’s interests and specialties, and will provide mentors, resource materials, interpreters, and other assistance as requested by the pro bono attorney. Assisting Attorneys with Pro Bono Cases The eCenter is designed to provide basic assistance on common issues that arise in pro bono cases. CLS will:

  • Provide interpreters as needed for out-of-court work.
  • Assist with arrangements for mediation if needed.
  • Assist with some limited litigation costs.
  • Provide mentors or consultations on case issues as requested.

For case-specific issues, such as litigation costs, interpreter needs, unexpected complications, etc. please contact the local pro bono coordinator who will assist with these matters. CLS is your partner in your pro bono work. The attorney-client relationship exists between CLS, you and your client. All information is confidential. You can discuss your case concerns with CLS staff without concern about violating attorney-client privilege. CLS provides malpractice insurance coverage for deductibles and other expenses not covered by a pro bono attorney’s own malpractice insurance policy. If you do not have malpractice insurance coverage, please talk to your local pro bono coordinator to see if CLS can provide coverage for your pro bono work. The local pro bono coordinator will check with you regularly concerning the progress of your pro bono case. CLS is required to obtain information concerning the resolution of each pro bono case, including court documents, letters and other materials documenting the case outcome. You are also asked to report your time donations. CLS uses this information in reports to funders. You will also receive CLE credit for your pro bono time donations.

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