Although I am thankful to have gotten quick and free service after an abusive situation with my husband to obtain a protective order - I felt like I wasn't represented by someone who had my best interest in heart. The lawyer who was assigned to me was Blaine Hoffman. though my story was taken during the phone intake by a member of Blaines team - I did not have an opportunity to share it with Blaine himself. during court he spent more time talking to my husbands lawyer than to me. I felt like I had no voice in the situation. In conclusion It felt like my husbands lawyer called the shots and Blaine did minimal negotiations. Although ultimately I did receive the protective order - specific terms within the arrangement were more favorable towards my husband rather than myself. I feel like when working with victims of abuse it is so important to listen and emphasize. During this time period I was incapable of fighting for myself and relied on someone who just seemed too busy to care.
The review posted from 2012 here is disheartening and I cannot disagree more as I've seen the exact opposite to be true. Through my work as a community volunteer and organizer in the Frederick area, I have sent numerous clients to Heartly House for support. I have seen first hand the amazing work Heartly House does to stabilize families, support individuals, and educate the community. One family I referred years ago always stuck with me and recently reported a wonderful success for their family, which would have never been possible without the wonderful support given to them. The information and guidance given to them by their legal department was above and beyond what was expected.
I believe that the Heartly House has represented people that could afford their own legal services and put real victims that need their services at risk. I am referring to people that were not abused but said so just to receive free legal services and it seems that this organization promotes this due to pro bone fees. If someone cannot prove merit on needing their services, then the Heartly House needs to NOT use donated money to help someone with personal agendas not involving being abused. No lawyer should be sole for this business but maybe switch the lawyers around so their is no one person in charge of taking advantage of donated money, also no lawyers with drinking convictions should be allowed to work their. Why have a lawyer work for the HH when a lot of abuse is started by people that drink? HH has done some wonderful things but has also ruined good peoples' lives based on lies and the lawyer will simple state "I get paid either way". Nice attitude for a well spoken drunk.