O'Malley, Bell to honor pro bono attorneys

Gov. Martin O'Malley will join Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Court of Appeals at a ceremony Tuesday honoring nearly 800 lawyers who provided free legal services to Maryland homneowners who were facing foreclosure.

U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, D-4th, will also speak at  the State House event for the Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project.

The project, established at Bell's urging in 2008, has provided free legal advice to more than 2,400 Maryland homeowners at more than 110 workshops.  Partners in the project have placed more than 1,375 foreclosure cases with volunteer attorneys.

The reception will be one of the last public events as chief judge for Bell, who is retiring.

Bell released a statement praising the bar's response to his call.

"This effort is the single most successful pro bono initiative in our state’s
history," he said.  "We far exceeded our expectations in engaging the bar with the goal of both preventing the loss of homes where possible and helping homeowners transition from homes they can no longer afford. The project has become a model nationwide.”



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