Assisting heroes comes naturally to Marine Veteran Robert (Bob) Muth, Supervising Attorney for USD’s Veterans Clinic. So delivering a presentation at the Saturday, July 27, 2013, “Help for Heroes” event held at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton was really like coming home; Muth served as a Captain and Judge Advocate there just a few years back when he was not deployed in Iraq. Approximately 50 Marines and their families heard important information from Muth about consumer law assistance. Muth also included a workshop on the legal issues related to using military and veteran education benefits, particularly funds from the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Tuition Assistance program.
The goal of the “Help for Heroes” event is to provide free legal services to active duty Marines and sailors, as well as their families, in a variety of areas of the law. These areas included Family Law, Consumer Law, Criminal Law (expungements of tickets and/or warrants), the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), Tenant/Landlord issues and tax law.
“Participating in this event provided another way for the Veterans Legal Clinic to reach active duty military personnel and their families before they use their GI Bill benefits,” comments Professor Muth. “This is particularly important to ensure they make a wise investment for their future. Additionally, we were able to get the word out about our free legal services for those veterans and active duty service members that might already find themselves in a dispute with a for-profit education company.”
Many other collaborating organizations made presentations or assisted individual service members at the event. These included the Federal Trade Commission, Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Public Counsel of Los Angeles, Public Law Center of Orange County and the San Diego Public Defender’s Office. Additionally, the Honorable Harry Pregerson and the Honorable Maria E. Stratton provided critical advanced planning and assistance in coordinating the presentations and were present at the event. Judge Pregerson serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is also a highly decorated US Marine Veteran. Judge Stratton serves on the Los Angeles County Superior Court and previously headed the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California.
“The most rewarding part of participating in this event was providing important legal assistance to both the Marines and their families,” reflects Professor Muth. “They have made such significant sacrifices on behalf of their country and the Veterans Legal Clinic seeks to ensure that they receive the value of the educational benefits they have earned.”
For more information about the Veterans Legal Clinic and its service, visit our website.