On April 21, fifty government lawyers in the greater Harrisburg area
participated in a six-hour CLE program jointly presented by the PBA Government Lawyers
Committee, the PBA Pro Bono Office and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic
"Tools and Tips for Pro Bono Attorneys: the PFA Case " covered topics such as
understanding domestic violence; the PFA Act; central Pennsylvania PFA practice and
procedures; dealing with practical issues in the representation of a client; dealing with
pro se opponents; and negotiation tactics.
Office of Inspector General Chief Counsel Steve Turner and PCADV Managing Attorney
Ellen Kramer Adler coordinated the project in cooperation with PBA Pro Bono Coordinator
David Trevaskis. Assisting in the presentation were representatives from the YWCA of
Greater Harrisburg's Domestic Violence Legal Clinic and the Dauphin County District
The attorneys attending the program agreed to take at least one PFA case on a pro bono
basis within the next 12 months, an important mobilization of resources for this vital
area of need.
"I was so excited to see participants from the training in observing cases the
next week," Turner noted in reflecting on the training. "This will help make a
difference for a lot of families in need."
General Counsel to the Governor Barbara Adams and Attorney General Tom Corbett jointly
authored a letter highlighting the seriousness of domestic violence as a societal problem
and invited their attorneys to attend the seminar. As a result, there was a waiting list
of more than two dozen attorneys for the workshop. Turner and the other organizers expect
additional workshops to be held.
The model effort of the Government Lawyers Committee has already had one additional
result - a condensed version of the program will be featured at the Oct. 19 Northeastern
Pro Bono Conference in Scranton.