Maryland Legal Services Corporation Announces 2012 Legal Services Awards

October 16, 2012 –The 2012 MLSC Legal Services Award recipients have been selected by the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s (MLSC) Board of Directors, and will be honored at MLSC’s annual awards reception, Celebrating Thirty Years, on Monday, December 3, 2012, 5:30-7:30 PM at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel.

The Robert M. Bell Medal for Access to Justice, named for the chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, was created in 2004 to honor members of the bench or bar who have displayed an extraordinary commitment to furthering access to justice for the poor. MLSC will present this esteemed award to Herbert S. Garten of Fedder and Garten, PA. Garten is the third recipient of the Bell Medal, as MLSC only bestows this honor “when warranted.”

Peter A. Holland of the Holland Law Firm will receive the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award for his significant contributions in the area of consumer law. This award is given annually to an attorney, usually in private practice, who has rendered extraordinary service by providing civil legal services to the poor or by improving the civil legal services delivery system for such persons.

The Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding public interest attorneys who are regularly involved in providing, promoting, or managing civil legal services. MLSC’s 2012 honorees are Brenda Bratton Blom, professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and Lisae C. Jordan, acting executive director of Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

This year’s William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award, for a non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the rights and legal needs of low-income persons, will be presented to John Wheeler for his exemplary service as an intake specialist and paralegal at the Maryland Disability Law Center for the past 30 years.

The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has been named as this year’s recipient of the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award for its long-standing leadership in access to justice initiatives. The Garten Award honors an entity or organization not regularly engaged in the delivery of legal services to low-income persons for its ongoing leadership in access to justice. MLSC annually solicits nominations for its legal services awards throughout Maryland’s legal community, including bar associations, legal services programs and other interested persons and organizations.

MLSC was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1982 to receive and distribute funds to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal assistance to low-income persons. From its inception, MLSC has made grants totaling over $164 million to help provide services in nearly 2 million legal matters for Maryland’s families in areas of family, housing, consumer, employment, health care and other civil legal matters.

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