Our January 2019 Advocate of the Month is Gabriel De Moske. Gabriel joined LSA in October 2018. Gabriel specializes in the practice areas of: housing, consumer protection, and third-party debt collection. Gabriel interned for the Huntsville Regional Office (2016) and volunteered for the Tuscaloosa Regional Office (2016-2018). He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies from St. Petersburg College (2014) and received a JD with a certificate in Public Interest Law from The University of Alabama School of Law (2018). While in Law School, De Moske received various awards, including: Pro Bono Excellence Award, Order of the Samaritan, and Outstanding Clinical Student Award. De Moske has 20 years of experience in managing restaurants and resorts, including eight years in St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He currently serves as Staff Attorney in the Tuscaloosa Office.
Among the people Gabriel helped in January was a client whose bank account was being garnished. Gabriel file a Motion to Quash based on the fact that the funds were the proceeds of a student loan. Although opposing attorney opposed it, the court released the garnishment. With Gabriel’s help, the client was able to retain almost $4,000 and continue her education.
In January, Gabriel also helped two clients seeking divorces get fresh starts. In one case, Gabriel helped a domestic violence victim get custody, child support and an order requiring the father to pay all unpaid medical bills. In another case, Gabriel helped a client get custody and alimony to start a new life.
Gabriel was also able to help an elderly man who was sued by a third-party debt buyer. The client came to LSA because he did not recognize the people suing him. With Gabriel’s help, the client was able to prove that the client actually did not owe the money in the case.
In January, Gabriel also helped a client seeking a Protection from Abuse order. With Gabriel’s help, the client finally feels safe and is willing to move forward with divorcing her abuser (which Gabriel is also helping the client with).
Gabriel also helped negotiate with Alabama Power after they shut off a client’s electricity for a bill that her deceased mother had failed to pay. Although Gabriel wasn’t able to have the entire bill set aside (because the client had lived in the house at the time the bill accrued), he was able to make payments spread out over 12 months so that power could be restored to the house.
Finally, in January, Gabriel also helped a mobile home owner who was being forced to remove his mobile home from the park where he had lived for 10 years. The client was being asked to remove his home by new owners within thirty days because they wanted to make changes. With Gabriel’s help, the client was able to stay in the property for several months and was able to secure a buyer and have the mobile home relocated. With Gabriel’s help, the client was able to protect the value of his single largest asset.
Although Gabriel has only been with LSA for a very short time, he is already proving that it doesn’t take years of experience to make a difference. With attorneys like Gabriel, LSA is continuing to ensure great representation for our clients. Thank you, and keep it up Gabriel!
By Michael Forton, Director of Advocacy