How does this work?
Case For Here helps individuals and their families who are involved with the criminal justice system and at risk for deportation. The reasons this happens are myriad: Some people have been convicted of a crime or misdemeanor. Others have not filled out the proper paperwork unintentionally at are in violation of the law. Legal infractions can vary, but once they occur, the government can begin legal proceedings to deport them and any family members who are not U.S. citizens. This can mean that families may be disrupted and in some cases children or adolescents who have never left the U.S. face moving to a foreign country or being separated from their parent. Often the emotional or psychological impact on the litigant, their family and the community is minimized or ignored because there is no expert testimony to be heard in the case. Such expert witnesses are available, but evaluations can be very costly and impossible to afford for litigants.
That’s where we come in. Members of Case for Here volunteer to donate a set number of pro bono expert witness cases per year (We recommend 1 a month, but that’s up to you.)
Who will get my info?
Case For Here will never give out your contact info to anyone other than a lawyer. We ask the legal counsel who contact us to contact our volunteer witnesses directly, do give you some details about the case, so you can both determine whether it is a good fit for you and them. If either party thinks it isn’t, no problem, just tell them that, and they will ask us for another referral.
What is the time commitment?
This varies depending on experience, case complexity and other factors. On average we have found it take 4-6 hours per case to interview the family, write the report, and testify if asked. Unlike what you may have seen on television, judges are often very accommodating in our experience, and will allow you to call in and testify on phone in deference to your schedule in most cases.
Do you offer translation services?
Unfortunately we don’t, but if you speak another language, please let us know when you register! If you know people who are interested in offering translation services, please send them our way as well.
Can I charge insurance for these services?
We are committed to making this service available regardless of cost, so we ask that you not charge clients or their insurance for this service.
I am not a therapist, can I still help?
Yes! We are in need of techies who can do data entry, web design and social sharing, translators in each state, and new needs are always arising. If you or anyone you know has those skills, fill out the directory form below and note that they are only looking to volunteer that way.
I have colleagues who want to get involved, how do they do that?
Drop Mike an email at the email below, and he’ll take it from there.
How do I get started?
That’s the easiest question! Just click here to be taken to our questionnaire that will guide you through giving us the contact info we need to know.
Still have questions, drop us a line!
Mike Langlois, LICSW
Case For Here
Teaching Associate in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
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