Alum Participates in White House Summit
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Annette M. Rizzo and her law clerk Rachel K. Gallegos (VLS ‘2006), participated in a White House summit, Middle Class Task Force/Access to Justice, held November 19, 2010. Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the task force, and Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, who is working in the U.S. Department of Justice on access to justice issues, attended the event, along with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Attorney General Eric Holder. When Tribe was the headliner at the Philadelphia Community Legal Services Breakfast of Champions earlier this year, he saw Philadelphia's mortgage foreclosure diversion program, created by Rizzo and coordinated in significant part by Gallegos, in action. He was impressed with "the face-to-face, heartfelt negotiations that were going on that brought about solutions," to the vexing problem of residential foreclosures, Rizzo explained, causing Tribe to invite Rizzo and Gallegos to the White House summit. Under the foreclosure diversion program, a conciliation conference for all owner-occupied residences must be held before a sheriff's sale can occur.