Pisgah Legal Says Goodbye to Our Friend Karl Straus

On September 6, we lost a dear friend, advocate and champion for justice.

Karl H. Straus was an Asheville attorney, community leader, philanthropist, and a founder of Pisgah Legal Services. In addition to serving as a PLS Board Member and Board Chair, Karl generously started the first endowment fund for Pisgah Legal Services at The Community Foundation of WNC.

Pisgah Legal’s “Board Emeritus Award” was inspired by Karl’s unprecedented service on the Board of Directors during multiple terms where he helped establish, sustain and expand the legal aid program.

We offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues at Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore, P.A.

Obituary for Karl H. Straus

2017 Poverty Forum Tickets Now On Sale

We are very excited to welcome Matthew Desmond as the 2017 Poverty Forum speaker. Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning book,

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, tells compelling stories of vulnerable people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and argues that a loss of housing isn’t merely a symptom but is a direct cause of poverty.

The Poverty Forum this year brings attention to the housing struggles faced by low-income people living in our mountains to encourage activism and to generate ways we can work together to make our communities stronger.

Tickets are on sale here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Volunteer Attorneys Needed to Partner with Pisgah Legal Services & Buncombe County on Expungement Project

Buncombe County has asked Pisgah Legal Services to collaborate to launch a new Expungement Project to help very low-income county residents to file for an Expunction, a Motion for Appropriate Relief, or a Certificate of Relief.

The County and Pisgah Legal Services expect that this project will remove barriers to employment, housing, and education, and improve the lives of hundreds of local individuals and families. While opportunities to expunge a criminal record are limited in North Carolina, removing barriers and alleviating collateral consequences for those who are eligible remains vital, life-changing work.

Pisgah Legal Services is recruiting volunteer attorneys to assist very low-income clients with Expungements, Motions of Appropriate Relief, and Certificates of Relief. A Certificate of Relief does not clear a criminal record, but it provides significant relief to an eligible applicant by, with exception, removing mandatory collateral sanctions, providing protection for an employer against a negligent hiring claim or a landlord from a negligent leasing claim.

Pisgah Legal Services will refer applicants who do not meet our strict income requirements to attorneys on our list of volunteer attorneys as potential paying clients.

Please contact Latoya Gardner, Expungement Project Coordinator at PLS, for more information or to sign up to receive referrals: 828-407-4495 or latoya@pisgahlegal.org.

If you know of low-income individuals with a criminal record who may be eligible for this assistance, they should call 828-253-0406 to apply for help.

We hope you will join us in helping to improve the lives of low-income people in our community!