Pro Bono Cases of the Month
Pro Bono Cases of the Month reflect one or more of the many requests for help from clients in desperate need through the Rhode Island Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP), Elderly Program or U.S. Armed Forces Legal Services Project. VLP, funded through a grant from Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc. and the Rhode Island Bar Foundation, provides pro bono legal services to qualified low-income Rhode Islanders. Participating attorneys provide legal assistance, at no charge. The client’s income must qualify under federally regulated guidelines to receive pro bono assistance, and the case must fall under one of the areas of law handled by the VLP. Clients may be responsible for filing fees, court costs and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Family Law

The client/mother of two children (14 and 12 years old) was divorced in 2012 from the children's father. After the divorce the father moved to Georgia. In the summer of 2013, the children visited with the father and decided that they wanted to stay and go to school in GA. The client agreed to let the children stay as long as the father agreed to communicate about the children and allow the client opportunities to visit. The client says that the father has not communicated with her and she has not been given the opportunity to visit with the children. The client has a RI court order for placement of the children. As far as she knows the father has not filed any motions in GA. She would like assistance to resolve the visitation and communication issues. If you would like to assist with this case, please contact Volunteer Lawyer Program Coordinator, John Ellis at 401 421 7758 or Thank you very much.

Cranston, Collections/ID Theft – US Armed Forces Legal Services

The client was solicited by Barclay Bank with a 2% interest credit card rate and transferred her BOA credit card to them. Upon receiving further clarification, and a card from Barclay Bank (which included checks), the client realized that her interest rate would actually be 9% and called them to cancel the card. At the time of the call, the client was told to send the card and checks back to the attention of a particular individual. Upon receipt, someone within Barclay then fraudulently cashed a check for 18K (the client has a copy of check.) The client has filed a complaint with the AG/CFP Bureau, but continues to get collection calls from Barclay. The client is a Korean War Veteran widow. If you are interested in learning more about and/or taking this case through the US Armed Forces Legal Services Project, please contact Elisa King, Program Coordinator at (401) 521-5040 or via email at