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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Gonzaga University School of Law

Complex case came down to 15 cows

 

For some of the best legal minds in Washington state, a complicated Spokane divorce that spanned two continents and a bloody civil war came down to this: 15 cows.

The missing herd was part of several legal arguments before the Division III Court of Appeals as justices contemplated custody of two children. In the end their mother, who relocated to Spokane from Sudan, retained custody.

“This saga spans southern Sudan to Spokane, and features a civil war, refugees seeking to escape Africa and a failure of consideration because the war prevented payment of the remaining cows owed the bride’s father,” Judge Kevin Korsmo wrote in an opinion released last week. “Against this chaotic backdrop, the facts and law are often unclear and in some dispute.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Economy spurs need for free legal aid

The sagging local economy has flooded local courts with people in financial trouble who can’t pay for what could help them most: an attorney to guide them.

Only a few local programs exist to help people who need lawyers, a need that has far outstripped the programs’ ability to find lawyers willing to work for little or no pay. As a result, court dockets are clogged with people trying – and failing – to wade through a complicated system of hearings and paperwork without legal help.

“It’s a pretty grim picture out there if you need a lawyer and can’t afford one,” said Al McNeil, an associate professor with University Legal Assistance, which provides free or low-cost legal services to low-income Spokane County residents and just celebrated its 35-year anniversary at Gonzaga University School of Law.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

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