University of Idaho College of Law Public Interest Law Group

Food and Fun in Biloxi

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Food and Fun at Taranto’s

In our free time, we have been going out to dinner and hanging out at our hotel.

Tuesday night: Crystal Utley, an attorney from MCJ took us to a place called Taranto’s. They served classic gulf coast cuisine – Crawfish served by the lb, 10 kinds of po-boys, Crab (Dungeness, blue, snow), hush puppies and “Southern Pecan” Beer (a beer made 100% from pecans, and actually quite delicious). The food was cheap and oh so tasty! One of the patrons asked the waitress who we were and what we were doing in Biloxi. I guess 20 some “Yankees” sitting in the middle of a small restaurant must have stuck out a little. The waitress told him we were working on Hurricane Katrina relief. The man gave the waitress about $200 to take $10 off of all of our tabs. My tab was only $0.96! I guess we had some good karma.

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Written by jrdo410

March 13, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Our work at NVLSP Continued…

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Over the last three days NVLSP has kept us rather busy. After working on powerpoint presentations for an upcoming training course we started working on writing case summaries for recent cases from the United States Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims and the Federal Circuit. Writing these summaries can be a little bit challenging because the law is not familiar, but it is a great experience because we get to learn the current law for Veteran’s affairs and also because we get to apply some of what we learned in Administrative law.

We have enjoyed sightseeing in the City, and tomorrow we will be touring the Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims. Overall this has been an excellent opportunity to work with a non-profit organization that is obviously committed to the rights of Veterans and honoring them for their sacrifice for our country.

Amanda Rekow and Danielle Sigmund

Written by lklk18

March 13, 2008 at 2:54 am

Spokane Center for Justice Day 3

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End of day three…..I can’t believe that I am still waking up excited to go to work every morning. It never fails something interesting is happening at this office. My big fear today was the memo…..I was filled with so much fear and dread as I handed my 3 page memo to the lawyer who requested it. I asked him to please not judge me to harshly because I was under duress. This is the first time I have handed in a legal writing for something other than a grade from O’neal. No offense O’neal, you sometimes put fear into me as well but this was the real world and it was just different. It’s not like I can get fired for doing a poor job, I just really want to do well…….More to come tomorrow.


Written by jrdo410

March 13, 2008 at 2:43 am

Posted in Spokane

Gulf Coast blog by Autumn T. Renshaw

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It’s very interesting being in the exact same place in New Orleans’ French Quarter a year later to the day. Things seem to be the exact same: tourists are everywhere, beads are being worn, and beignets are being consumed.


However, what seems to be the most compelling is driving outside the French Quarter to where the most devastation occurred in the city, and the sameness and similarities to what I witnessed exactly one year ago:


no vast improvements, no rebuilding, no new communities, just run down homes and open land.

Although it’s been one year for me, it’s been thirty months for the people affected by Katrina, and the only things that seem to be thriving and surviving for the ones hit most is the same tragic stories and the ongoing legal struggles with Housing and FEMA.

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Written by jrdo410

March 12, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Posted in New Orleans/Biloxi

Track II Update – Biloxi Vietnamese Population Helped by MCJ and Boat People

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Anna and Erika outside a MEMA cottage

Imagine navigating a maze of bureaucracy in the aftermath of a storm. Your house is destroyed, gas and food prices are through the roof. What federal and state grants are available to you? How do you know if you are eligible?


Now imagine trying to navigate this bureaucratic maze in a foreign language. Beyond hello and goodbye, you have almost no English skills whatsoever.

This is exactly what many Vietnamese immigrants are going through right now in Biloxi, MS. There are about 4,500 Vietnamese living in Biloxi right now. Biloxi’s total population is around 50,000, pre-Katrina.

Today I spoke with a Vietnamese man who was living in a mobile home before the storm. His home and everything he owned was destroyed, including all of his tools for work.


Thankfully, there is an organization that can help bridge the information gap. Boat People SOS “Meeting Urgent Needs Today, Empowering Vietnamese Communities for Tomorrow.”


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Written by jrdo410

March 12, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Track III update- where’s my title?

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The track III group is providing information to individuals in order to dispel myths about their grant eligibility. Do they qualify or not, and what information is needed? Unfortunately many people have been given faulty information or are just unaware about what financial resources are available to them.

So today we headed down to Waveland, MS, about 45 minutes from Biloxi. And yes, people still need support and resources. We interviewed people with a wide variety of needs: anything from looking to recoup their losses from contractor fraud to people still trying to prove legal title to their lost property deeds.

After work we all met up to eat some authentic gulf coast cuisine, crawfish and hushpuppies. We all would like to thank the mystery person who picked paid $10 of everyone’s tab.


Written by jrdo410

March 12, 2008 at 2:57 am

Spokane Center for Justice Day 2

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As day two comes to a close…..One of the attorneys came in this morning and said the following:  “The Spokane River is a navigable river, the city is upgrading the Barker St. bridge and wants to restrict public access to a part of the river during the construction.  Write me a memo to let me know if that is legal.”  All my LRW skills are coming in handy today and 5 hours later I still don’t have an answer…More to come tomorrow, hopefully I can knock this issue out because apparently they have a lot more work for me to do!……Hope you are all enjoying Spring Break…..Heidi Tolman

Written by jrdo410

March 12, 2008 at 2:20 am

Posted in Spokane

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