Page 4 - Spring 2015 - Clinics at at Glance
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CLINIC STUDENTS BATTLE HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATIONS AND CALLOUS LANDLORDS

Students working under the supervision of professor Richard McElvaney, Director of the Consumer Law Clinic,
gain experience working on claims cases under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as credit and
debt-collection problems and landlord/tenant complaints.

Darina Kovela         Consumer Law Clinic, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Karla Garcia
Jeffrey Randy Roeser  “A woman who suffered extensive water damage to her townhome’s floor and walls contacted the
                      consumer law clinic for assistance. The homeowner’s association (HOA) offered a very low
                      settlement for the damages caused by a broken water pipe outside her unit and refused to claim
                      the accident under their insurance. When the HOA refused to provide the insurance policy to the
                      client, I contacted the HOA’s insurance agent for a copy. After examining the insurance policy, I
                      drafted a demand letter to the insurer and the HOA. I also drafted a petition outlining the causes
                      of action our client would assert if the HOA did not present her with a higher settlement offer to
                      cover the damages. The client is still awaiting the HOA’s answer.”

                      Consumer Law Clinic, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

                      Karla Garcia took her newfound interest in consumer law to the airwaves in November, 2014 with
                      two appearances on Telemundo on behalf of low-income residents in disputes with their landlords.
                      The television station contacted the clinic’s director, Clinical Associate Professor Richard
                      McElvaney, about the two landlord/tenant disputes and he assigned both to Garcia. She contacted
                      those involved, researched the law, and was interviewed on the nightly news. Garcia, who gave
                      the interviews in Spanish, spoke about apartment complex tenant rights and obligations and about
                      mobile home property code restrictions.

                      Consumer Law Clinic, Spring 2014

                      “One of the most interesting cases I worked in the consumer law clinic concerned a client who was
                      evicted from her apartment for requesting needed repairs. The landlord in this case locked our
                      client out of the apartment, moved her belongings into the yard, and refused to let her back inside
                      to retrieve the rest of her possessions. The clinic helped her demand the return of her property
                      and filed a suit for all of the wrongful actions committed by the landlord.”

UH Law Center | Clinical Legal Education Program  CLINICS AT A GLANCE | Volume 2, Number 1                   4
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