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Attorneys to field questions on radio program

April 28, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A panel of three attorneys will answer legal questions Monday morning from local radio listeners and offer legal advice in recognition of national Law Day, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michele Ferris Hansen said.

Washington County Bar Association members Hansen, local defense and civil attorney Michael Wilson, and local private attorney Margaret Lynn Williams, will take questions about lawyers and legal proceedings on an "Ask the Lawyer" program from 9 to 10 a.m. on WJEJ AM-1240.

Washington County listeners may call 301-739-2323 and those outside of the area may call 1-800-265-0057 to ask questions, Hansen said.

The panel of attorneys "comes from diverse backgrounds" and is able to answer questions from prosecution to defense to civil litigation.

Williams, of Barton, Williams & Wilkinson, said the local Bar Association has about 80 active members. It has always recognized national Law Day, but has not held a formal activity to go along with it for several years.

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"We're hoping this will encourage listeners to seek out legal opinions and not be intimidated," Hansen said.

Wilson, who works with Department of Social Services matters and is also a defense attorney, helps people at Washington County Courthouse who arrive to handle family law matters without an attorney or "pro se."

Every Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., he helps people fill out forms and file paperwork in divorce, custody, child support, guardianship and domestic cases.

Wilson said attorneys "have an obligation to provide pro bono services."

National Law Day was established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to "strengthen our great heritage of liberty, justice and equality under law" and in 1961, May 1 was designated as its official day of recognition, according to American Bar Association information.

Hansen said there is a statewide hot line that anyone can call Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. that provides free legal information about family law and domestic violence cases.

That hot line is 1-800-845-8550, she said.

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