Our September 2019 Advocate of the Month is Michael Letson. After working in LSA’s Florence office from 2005 until 2012, Michael re-joined LSA again in June of 2017. Michael’s work focuses on housing, consumer, domestic and elder law. Michael has served on a number of community organizations such as the Inner City Council (Lawrence County), North Alabama Children’s Policy Councils, and the Board of the Jackson House Foundation. A graduate of Miles Law School, Michael currently works in the Birmingham office.
In one case in September, Michael represented a husband and wife that were being evicted while the wife was under hospice care. The husband contacted our office because he had already lost in court and was scheduled to be set out the next day. Michael contacted the local Fair Housing agency as well as the Alabama Disabilities and Advocacy Program to work on the problem. With Michael’s help, the client was able to have the eviction set aside and secure housing while they dealt with some very serious issues.
Michael also helped an abuse victim get a divorce from a seriously abusive spouse. With LSA’s help, the client was able to move on and get a fresh start to life.
In another case, Michael helped a terminally ill client deal with a law suit involving debt collection. After receiving the case, Michael filed the paperwork necessary to challenge the alleged debt leading to the judge ruling that the client did not owe the debt. Thankfully, the client was able to stop worrying and focus on the more important things in the time the client had left.
In one final case, Michael helped a mother who was threatened with eviction after a rumor began circulating that her son had committed a crime. Although the landlord could produce no witnesses or proof of any wrongdoing, the District Court ruled that the family could be evicted. Michael appealed the case to the Circuit Court, where the landlord again only brought a witness who said they had heard from others that the son had committed a crime. This time the court correctly ruled that accusations alone were not sufficient to evict someone from his or her home.
This month and every month, we here at LSA are very proud of the work done by Michael and the Birmingham office. Way to go Michael!
By: Michael Forton, Director of Advocacy