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One Person . . . One of a Kind . . . a Force.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | January 17, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

A truism worth considering from time to time: we are all one person. Yes, we interact with others, become part of organizations, learn teamwork, achieve through group effort and coordination — all of that. Notwithstanding, each of us is still just one person and always so will be.

We all are endowed with a mind that is ours alone. We have built it through experiences collected from every waking moment since our first and through trillions of personal decisions. When we became part of most organizations, we made the decision to do so and in most cases, we could decide to resign.

One person will always make a difference, because we are all one person.

April Charney is an attorney with the publicly-funded legal services organization in Jacksonville Florida. By definition, none of her clients can afford to pay her and we the public don’t pay so well, either. However, I and many others can attest that her legal mind is as sharp as her best paid contemporary in the best paid law firm in the USA. Some might go so far as to say that she is one of the most influential lawyers in America today. I’ll save you the trouble of looking up her page on AVVO. Click here.

Sorry, Ms. Charney’s AVVO listing doesn’t tell you very much. Like most lawyers found on AVVO, she hasn’t claimed her page. Unclaimed pages contain basic information AVVO picks up from websites and other on-line sources. You’ll see where AVVO probably found the picture later. If she had claimed her page and reported her achievements, Ms. Charney’s very average AVVO score would have undoubtedly risen much higher. Yet, the web page you just viewed was among the top ten hits on AVVO last week. Why? Lets look at the website of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Click here.

From what we have seen thus far, Ms. Charney is an ordinary staff lawyer, one among many, at a legal services office. She holds the kind of job almost any lawyer who is currently employed would not want. Everybody knows that legal aid lawyers handle the cases nobody wants and too many of them. So why is this legal aid staff lawyer in the AVVO top ten?

April Charney specializes in the rare legal field of mortgage foreclosure defense. Mortgage foreclosure has long been considered an area of the law where there is no defense. The law in this field has been summarized to millions of new borrowers by millions of mortgage loan closers in four words: “You pay, you stay!” But never underestimate an ingenious lawyer and Ms. Charney is one.

She has been a driving force in the development of various defenses that have, at least for the present, been giving fits to lawyers for the mortgage securitization industry. Lawyers, judges, regulators and finally legislators are starting to see old issues in a new light. Through seminars, consumer organizations and the internet, Ms Charney has shared these emerging ideas with other lawyers around the country.

Some say that such developments are disrupting the work of the courts and that Ms. Charney is creating evil consequences, not good. Some say that public funds should not be spent to further such an agenda. That is a subject for other posts. But the mere argument against the Charney Revolution makes the point. Good or evil, this one lawyer, by herself, is a force.

Now read some of April Charney’s press clippings. Click here and here.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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