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“Wedding Day Blues” by John Hare and Shane Haselbarth

May 15, 2022


Bridal bouquet, Author Djmuenchen s4I, Source (CC Attribution 4.0 International)

Readers of this blog are by now well familiar with Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, a non-profit whose predecessor I was involved in co-founding.

CLCP provides the poor of Philadelphia with legal services at no charge.  This is accomplished by Christian attorneys and paralegals who volunteer their time and expertise for the love of God.  (More information about Christian legal aid can be found above.)

Here is the story of one case CLCP handled [1].  Client names have been changed in the interest of privacy.

“In 2019, Sandy and Bill, newly engaged college students…found the perfect venue for their May 20, 2020 dream wedding.  The venue required them to sign a contract and pay a deposit to secure their wedding date.  The contract stated that the venue would refund the deposit if the venue canceled the event.  The couple was, also, required to purchase wedding insurance…

Just months before their dream wedding, Covid-19 hit the country.  Pennsylvania was labeled a ‘red zone’, and the venue could not host large events; Sandy and Bill’s wedding included. Disappointed…Sandy and Bill requested a refund…

However, instead of honoring their request, the venue refused to refund the deposit and arbitrarily rescheduled their wedding date.  When Sandy and Bill expressed that the date offered would not work, the venue once again refused to refund their money…telling the couple that…Sandy and Bill, had canceled the wedding by refusing to accept a rescheduled date.  As a result, Sandy and Bill’s wedding insurance was unusable…”

“With no other options, Sandy and Bill…got married at the farm of a family friend…Shortly thereafter, they reached out to CLCP for help.  Volunteer Attorneys John Hare and Shane Haselbarth of Marshall Dennehey took the case.  Shane and John spoke to the venue, attempting to find a peaceful resolution.  However, the venue…continued to refuse to refund the couple’s money.  John and Shane filed a lawsuit…[after which the] venue offered a small settlement, which Sandy and Bill rejected.  As the case neared trial, the venue significantly increased its settlement offer.  To avoid the stress of a trial, Sandy and Bill settled and received 80% of their money back.

Though CLCP prefers to resolve disputes amicably and avoid litigation…volunteer attorneys will aggressively advocate for…clients…Since bringing this case to CLCP, Bill began law school and is now interested in legal aid law and volunteers for CLCP as a Law Clerk.”

Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble” (Ps. 41: 1).

[1]  Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia Ministry Briefs 2022 (Spring Edition), “Wedding Day Blues” by John Hare, Esq. and Shane Haselbarth, Esq.

Our hearts go out to the victims of the latest mass shooting in Buffalo, NY and to their families.


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