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The Alaska Legal Services Corp. turns 40: An historical Timeline

1966

ALSC Articles of Incorporation filed September 15, 1966.

1967

William Jacobs hired as ALSC's first executive director. Dickerson Regan, father of current Bethel ALSC supervising attorney Mark Regan, hired as first ALSC staff attorney in Juneau office.

1970

ALSC attorney David Wolf succeeds in getting a preliminary injunction against pipeline permit issuance based on Native land claims in Allakaket v. Hickel, paving the way for ANCSA.

First Alaska Supreme Court decision with an ALSC attorney; Irwin Raven of ALSC's Ketchikan office represents the appellant in Cadzow v. State, a criminal appeal. ALSC's client loses. (But ALSC goes on to win the next seven Alaska Supreme Court decisions for its clients).

Richard Buckley replaces William Jacobs as executive director but only lasts two months because wife won't leave San Francisco.

Phil Byrne becomes executive director.

1971

ALSC attorneys John Hedland and Chris Cooke establish invalidity of racially imbalanced juries in Alvarado v. State.

Phil Byrne prevails in Alexander v. Anchorage, establishing right to counsel for loitering charge.

David Wolf becomes executive director.

1972

ALSC attorneys Spike Stein and Frank Flavin establish invalidity of Alaska's attachment procedures in Etheridge v. Bradley.

ALSC attorneys Hugh Fleischer and Michael Adams prevail in Carle v. Carle, overturning custody award based on invalid cultural assumptions.

Jewell Hall joins staff of ALSC's Anchorage office.

1973

Frank Flavin becomes executive director.

1974

Legal Services Corporation established by Congress as private, non-profit corporation.

ALSC attorneys Chris Cooke and Brock Shamberg establish invalidity of small claims summonses in rural Alaska in Aguchak v. Montgomery Ward.

Art Peterson is elected to ALSC board of directors.

1975

ALSC attorney John Reese unsuccessful in establishing constitutional right to school in community of residence in Hootch v. Alaska School System; however, litigation leads to legislative settlement of issue.

Upon departure of Frank Flavin (to be Ombudsman), Loyette Goodell becomes executive director

1977

Upon departure of Loyette Goodell (to be executive director of Bar Association), Jim Grandjean becomes executive director

1979

Flores v. Flores finds right to appointed attorney for indigent parent when ALSC represents other parent.

Gordon Jackson becomes executive director.

Brad Brinkman of Juneau represents applicant in first CFECcase (of an eventual 55) to be decided by Alaska Supreme Court, CFEC v. Templeton.

1980

Ralph Knoohuizen hired as executive director.

1981

Robert Hickerson joins ALSC as chief counsel.

1982

Inauguration of President Reagan, who proposes to abolish the Legal Services Corporation.

Andy Harrington hired as staff attorney under 2-month contract.

Suzanne Weller wins Morel v. Morel; court holds mother's psychiatric problems not shown to have significant impact on child.

Jim Kentch and Suzanne Weller prevail in first case where Alaska Supreme Court applies ICWA.

1983

Newly-hired pro bono coordinator David Gaffney formally opens ALSC's Alaska Pro Bono Program on January 16, 1983, at the Juneau bar luncheon by handing the first case to Theresa Hillhouse and referring three more cases by the end of the luncheon.

1984

Executive Director Ralph Knoohuizen passes away. Robert Hickerson becomes executive director. Seth Eames becomes Pro Bono Coordinator.

1986

Carla Grosch and Joe O'Connell win Moore v. Beirne, upholding right to Interim Assistance. Judy Bush files the Venetie adoption case.

1987

The Alaska Bar Association establishes a voluntary IOLTA program, effective March 15. On a national level, the Legal Services Corporation struggles. LSC's Board Chair Clark Durant gives a speech in February to the American Bar Association calling for the abolition of LSC, for non-lawyers to represent the poor, and for the complete deregulation of the practice of law. LSC's President Thomas Wentzel tries to use his position to persuade a Magruder's store clerk out of charging him with shoplifting a can of succotash.

1988

ALSC's Anchorage office moves to its current location at 6th and K Streets. Nationally, yet another controversy rocks LSC as it is disclosed that its administration has used LSC funds (which cannot be used for lobbying) to hire law firms to lobby Congress to cut the LSC budget.

1991

Board Member Maryann Foley spearheads ALSC's first annual private bar fundraising campaign.

1992

ALSC's Pro Bono Program receives LSC's Private Attorney Involvement Program award, and the first LSC Rural Pro Bono Attorney Award goes to James Fisher of Juneau.

1995

Joe Johnson, ALSC statewide litigation attorney, passes away at age 43

1996

Legal Services Corporation suffers a roughly 1/3 budget reduction and eliminates the cost of service delivery allocation adjustment for Alaska; ALSC funding from LSC falls from $1.7 million to $940,000.

The 1996 Appropriations Act becomes effective, imposing new restrictions on recipients, including class actions and attorney fees.

ALSC closes its offices in Dillingham, Kodiak, Kotzebue, and Nome.

1997

ALSC and other programs file Legal Aid Society of Hawaii v. Legal Services Corporation (LASH) suit against the Legal Services Corporation, attacking the 1996 restrictions. Court grants preliminary injunction against LSC, and

LSC changes its regulations in response to LASH injunction.

1998

Dillingham office re-established with financial support from Bristol Bay Native Association; Nome office re-established with financial support from Kawerak. ALSC establishes endowment, funded with $30,000 in start-up money from the Anchorage Bar Association. Revised LSC regulations are upheld by the Ninth Circuit in LASH appeal, and cert is denied; ALSC starts planning to create independent pro bono organization

1999

ALSC prevails in John v. Baker, affirming status of Alaska Native Villages as tribes and their jurisdiction over internal domestic relations.

2000

After lengthy planning, ALSC spins off Alaska Pro Bono Program, Inc. as a separate organization. Kotzebue office re-established with financial support from Maniilaq.

2001

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down one LSC restriction (the prohibition against anti-welfare-reform litigation) in LSC v. Valazquez.

Passing of Robert Hickerson at age 50, of which 20 years were spent at ALSC (17 as executive director)

2002

Andy Harrington becomes executive director

Most pro bono work comes back in-house to ALSC, as IOLTA funding plummets.

ALSC closes its Barrow office.

Longest-tenured ALSC employee Jewell Hall retires after over 30 years of service.

2003

ALSC attorney Nikole Nelson wins Garner v. State Medicaid case

2004

Governor Frank Murkowski vetoes ALSC legislative appropriation

Tatum v. Barnhart holds that LSC restrictions do not bar fee award to former ALSC client seeking fees through non-ALSC attorney

2005

Senator Seekins files SB19, and Rep. McGuire files HB 175, to create a civil legal services fund.

Art Peterson steps down from ALSC board after 30 years of service.

Maggie Humm and Jim Davis prevail in Elton H. v. Naomi R

2006

HB 175 passes House 33-2-5, but ends session in Senate Finance without a hearing. ALSC celebrates "39th-and-a-halfth" birthday at Bar Convention in Anchorage. Beth Heuer promises that ALSC will submit a 40th birthday timeline to the Bar Rag and then leaves town so Andy Harrington has to finish it.

 

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