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.

Legal Assistance for Nonprofit

A non-profit with established 501(c)(3) status has requested the assistance of a volunteer attorney. In general, the non-profit's purpose is to ensure that health care be based on ethical principals including equality, informed consent, and self determination by the individual. They intend to accomplish this in part by challenging health care rationing, and advocating for medical information to be equally available to health care professionals and patients, especially those in the arena of long term care. The organization needs legal advice in regard to forming partnerships with advocacy groups and medical professionals, filing administrative actions, and supporting activities deemed in compliance with their overall mission. This organization has a website. If you would like to peruse the site before making a decision to assist please contact Volunteer Lawyer Program Coordinator, John Ellis at 401 421 7758 or Thank you very much.

Barrington, Individual Taxation – US Armed Forces Legal Services

The client received a letter in 2012, stating that he owed $900.00 in Rhode Island personal income taxes. The client informed RI Dept. of Taxation that he was living in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the time, and paid income taxes to both states, so RIDT dropped amount owed to $500.00.  The client feels that this amount is still incorrect and would like to have someone review the domicile/tax rules with him.  A preliminary meeting and one Administrative Hearing has already been held in regard to this issue. The client’s only income is a VA disability pension. 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