b'SERVING THOSE WHO SERVEDJohn, a homeless veteran in his 60s, spent 10that I am. I think it is my responsibility to give months in two medical rehabilitation facilitiesback by helping any veterans who may need it. afterenduringafootamputation,adjustingtoTheyve sacrificed for us, and I now enjoy being his changed body and re-learning how to handleable to help them in any way I can.routine life tasks. Shortly after discharging him,Duringthemeeting,Clancywasimpressed thesecondrehabcenterdemanded$37,000by Johns resilience and attitude in light of his for his treatmentthousands more than Johnsmisfortunes. Before the amputation, John livedIn this matter, the modestassets,whichwerenonexistentexceptwith his brother for a while until a family disputeMintz team helped for a small, recent inheritance from his father.prompted him to move into transitional housingthis veteran get Intimidatedbytherehabcentersattorneysprovided by a Massachusetts program that serves litigationthreats,Johnverballyagreedtopayhomelessveterans.Afterleavingtherehabhis life back when $15,000plus$400permonthfromhisSocialcenter, John moved into an apartment complexa heartbreaking Securitycheckeventhoughitwasillegalforfor homeless veterans. medical situation the rehab center to ask thisuntil his paymentsAfter urging John not to sign anything related to totaled $31,000.John was weighed down withthe dispute or send any money to the collectionturned into a thisdebt,constantlyworryingabouthowheattorney,ClancyreferredthemattertoMintzterrible financial would repay it. attorney Peter Biagetti and former Mintz attorneysituation. VLS and Shortly after his conversation with the attorney,MattMaguire.PeterandMattrecognized however,Johnsoughthelpatamonthlylegalimmediately that the rehab centers lawyer hadthe veterans it clinic run by the Veterans Legal Services at themadestatementsandthreatsviolatingfederalserves are fortunate Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans HospitalandstateconsumerdebtlawsandthatJohnsto have Mintz in in Bedford, Massachusetts.With assistance frompurported agreement to turn over money from outsideprobonoattorneys,Boston-based VLShis Social Security checks was unenforceable. Intheir corner. provideslegalservicestoabout800veteransa letter to the attorney and in follow-up telephone each year on a broad range of matters, includingnegotiations,theydetailedtheseviolations,ANNA S. RICHARDSON, ESQ.bankruptcy,securingaccesstosocialsecurityquickly convincing the rehab center to drop itsCo-Executive Director and public benefits, divorce, child support andclaims. When he heard the news, John cried tears& Chief CounselVeterans Legal Servicescustody, domestic violence, and housing issues.of joy and relief. The clinic started in 2015, and Mintz attorneysAlthoughpleasedthatheandhiscolleagues now help staff it every other month. couldresolvethecasequicklyandfavorably, Inaone-on-onemeetingattheclinicinPeter was disturbed that it took the involvement January2019,JohntoldhisstorytoMintzof a large law firm to counter exorbitant demands attorney Clancy Galgay, who manages the firmsmade on an indigent veteran.relationship with VLS and regularly volunteers atItwassatisfyingtohelpdojusticeinan the clinic. Although hes not a veteran, Clancysindividual veterans case, but it only made me father and brother both served in the Marines,more frustrated as a citizen that we dont have which has given Clancy an appreciation for theprotections in place to keep our veterans from sacrifices of veterans and the challenges manyeven getting into this kind of a fix, Peter said.face when they return home. I feel very grateful for all that Im afforded through the sacrifices of our veterans, and Im lucky to be in the position PERSPECTIVES // Mintz Pro Bono Journal 15'