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Legal Help at Discount Is Brewing in Valley

September 29, 2000|GERI COOK | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

For several years, various groups have tried to provide legal counseling at bargain prices.

We still have We the People, a franchised service providing legal documents to people who wish to represent themselves.

The service guides the consumer through various areas, ranging from a living will for $59 to a guardianship or adoption for $449.

There are 34 We the People sites in Southern California, staffed not by attorneys but by "legal document assistants."

For sites in the West Valley, call (800) 270-9927; in the East Valley it's (800) 444-1557.

Four years ago, attorney Jeffrey Hughes opened a coffeehouse in Santa Monica called the Legal Grind, which now has an annex in the Valley.

The Santa Monica site provides coffee and counsel to those who can neither afford steep attorney fees nor qualify for Legal Aid.

Besides, Hughes said, "The coffeehouse atmosphere makes the law more palatable."

Hughes has a stable of 35 attorneys who participate in his referral network of specialists.

The attorneys visit the coffeehouse on a regular basis, charging $20 for a consultation and holding sessions on particular aspects of law.

On Mondays, an attorney devotes an hour to workers' compensation, personal injury, bankruptcy and other issues.

On Thursdays, the focus is on employer and employment issues, entertainment contracts and litigation.

On Saturdays, an attorney conducts a session on estate planning, wills, living trusts, IRS disputes and malpractice cases.

Check the Web site at http://www.legalgrind.com for a complete schedule.

The Valley annex is in Tarzana, with attorney Jeffrey Endler.

He takes appointments for a $20 consultation at the Coffee Junction, 19221 Ventura Blvd. (818) 986-7607.

Legal Grind, 2640 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 452-8160.

*

Weekend Supersale: At Woodland Hills Camera, the Canon video camera with a color viewfinder and a 440X zoom that regularly sells for $495 is $299, and the Olympus DL360 digital camera selling elsewhere for $299 to $350 is on special for $279.

Woodland Hills Camera, 5348 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 347-2270.

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