Judge Harhut Elected President of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. Board Of Directors

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CONTACT: Christine Kirby, Development Director
Email: ckirby@palegalaid.net
Phone: 412-586-6137
Judge Chester Harhut, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sam Milkes
Judge Chester Harhut, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sam Milkes

The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN, Inc.) has elected the Honorable Chester Harhut of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas in Scranton, PA as its President. He succeeds prominent Philadelphia attorney Gerald A. McHugh, Jr. of Raynes, McCarty. The Board also appointed Wesley R. Payne, Esq. of White and Williams, LLP in Harrisburg, PA as President-Elect; Thomas A. Tupitza of Knox, McLaughlin in Erie, PA as Treasurer; and client representative Marsha W. Mathis as Secretary.

PLAN, Inc. is a client-centered organization that provides leadership, funding and support to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid for low income individuals and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) of civil legal aid programs. PLAN is the state’s coordinated system of organizations providing civil legal aid for those who have nowhere else to turn. PLAN’s nine independent, regional legal programs and six specialized legal resources programs represent over 100,000 clients yearly through a continuum of critically needed legal information, advice and representation for low-income individuals and families who face urgent civil legal problems that affect basic needs such as food, shelter, employment, consumer problems, health care and family safety.

Every county in Pennsylvania is served by a PLAN legal aid program, and in these difficult economic times, the need for legal aid has escalated considerably. Last year, legal aid helped nearly 10,000 clients who are faced with mortgage foreclosures and represented more than 12,000 domestic violence clients in protection from abuse proceedings. In addition to providing direct legal assistance, the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network also provides services such as telephone help lines, self-assistance strategies, community legal education, and web-based legal information and services through www.PALegalAid.net and www.PALawHelp.org.

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network’s mission is to provide leadership, funding, and support to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid. PLAN strives to carry out the principle of “Justice for All” by providing civil legal aid for those who have nowhere else to turn.

“Equal justice under the law is one of the most crucial elements in any vision of our country as a just society that is fair to everyone,” said Judge Chester Harhut, newly appointed President of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network’s Board of Directors. “The legal services system was established to assure equal justice to economically disadvantaged families. It enables low income citizens to exercise their rights in the greatest and oldest democracy in the world by enlisting lawyers to help them resolve or prevent serious non-criminal legal problems.”



 

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