NEW JERSEY – Military Service Members and veterans may benefit from cost-free legal representation in civil issues under legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer and Senator Anthony M. Bucco and advanced Monday by the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The legislation, S-1388, would establish the Military Pro Bono Program in the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
“There are thousands of New Jersey residents serving in the armed forces on active-duty or as reserves,” Singer said. “Many will be returning home after deployments oversees in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. Some may have been adversely affected by or during deployment and may require legal help or guidance to re-establish their lives back home.
“For all they have given up on our behalf, they deserve some help,” said Singer (R-30).
Under the bill, attorneys on a volunteer basis would represent qualifying service members and veterans in various civil law actions including family, immigration, employment, debtor-creditor, estate planning, and military administrative law.
“Veterans and their family members make significant sacrifices in service of our nation and defense of our freedom,” said Bucco (R-25). “By establishing a program that will provide them with no-cost legal help, it will ease their stress and financial burdens and serve as a reminder of our appreciation of their commitment. This consideration has been hard-earned and well-deserved.”
The Military Pro Bono Program established by this bill will complement an existing pro bono program, the Military Legal Assistance Program, administered by the New Jersey State Bar Association.