Cheryl Hystad joined Civil Justice in 2013 as its Executive Director. Cheryl, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, has been a longtime advocate for low and moderate income consumers. She started her career as an attorney at Maryland Legal Aid, a statewide legal services program, handling consumer and housing cases. After eleven years at Legal Aid, Cheryl taught in the Civil Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law for two years and then entered private practice. She has litigated numerous cases involving predatory lending, mortgage foreclosures, debt collection, automobile repossessions, and bankruptcy, including the landmark property flipping case, Hoffman v. Stamper, 385 Md. 1, 867 A.2d 276 (2005).
In 2000, she helped to found and became the first executive director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. In that position, she focused on legislative and policy advocacy on a wide range of consumer issues. Her legislative advocacy efforts have led to additional consumer protections in Maryland’s auto leasing law and credit statutes, enactment of a model debt management law, the outlawing of payday lending in Maryland, increases in bankruptcy exemptions for consumers, enactment of a model foreclosure rescue scam law, and significant improvements to Maryland’s foreclosure process.
In 2006, Cheryl became the director of advocacy for Maryland Legal Aid. She provided mentoring and support for Legal Aid’s 145 attorneys and directed Legal Aid’s impact advocacy, including litigation, legislative and appellate work. In this position, she was instrumental in the adoption and implementation of a human rights framework for Legal Aid, making it the first legal services organization in the country to do so.
Cheryl has served on numerous commissions and boards including the Maryland Foreclosure Task Force, the Consumer Council of Maryland, the Consumer Federation of America, the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition, and the Maryland Coalition for Financial Literacy.
After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law with Honors, Joe Mack served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alan M. Wilner of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Joe spent the next several years as an associate of Venable LLP before starting his own law practice in 2009. He became a network member attorney with Civil Justice that same year and represented countless clients referred to him through Civil Justice. Indeed, Joe turned a Civil Justice referral into what was reported in 2011 to be the largest settlement of a police misconduct case in Anne Arundel County in at least four years. Joe has served as lead counsel on numerous bench and jury trials in state and federal courts. He has also presented lectures to professional school students on how to start their own practices. Joe joined Civil Justice as Deputy Director in 2014 to continue his work providing legal services to communities in need, both directly and through providing education and support to other attorneys providing legal services to those communities.
Kat Hyland joined Civil Justice, Inc. in 2011. Kat graduated cum laude from Fordham University with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Next, Kat earned her Master's in Public Policy with a concentration in Law and Social Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies. Kat then graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law, winning the Community Scholar Award for her work naming and developing the JustAdvice® Initiative in the Clinical Law Program and was a member of the JustAdvice Team that won the Maryland Pro Bono Service Award, the Herbert S. Garten Special Project Award in 2011. Prior to law school, Kat worked as a budget policy analyst for the Maryland State Department of Budget and Management, where her budget portfolio included capital projects for state courts and housing. There, Kat served on the Maryland Access to Justice Commission and the Asbestos Oversight Commission. Alongside her academic pursuits, Kat has interned for the New York State Supreme Court, New York State AFL-CIO, Transport Workers Union, AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees, Legal Momentum, Baltimore City Law Department, and Baltimore City Circuit Court. At Civil Justice, Kat litigates consumer protection cases, co-counsels with member attorneys, writes grants, and works on consumer protection policy issues.
Carrie McCully began working for Civil Justice in September 2008 as Project Coordinator for the Foreclosure Prevention Project. Prior to working for Civil Justice, Carrie worked for 4 years as a senior mortgage processor at two national mortgage brokers. She graduated in 1998 from Lock Haven University with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. Carrie is a routine presenter to housing counselors throughout the state of Maryland regarding Maryland Foreclosure procedures. In house, Carrie oversees grant-funded foreclosure programs and manages the network of member attorneys.
Avy Mallik joined Civil Justice in 2013 to work on Foreclosure law and policy. In 2012, Avy graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a JD and a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. While at Georgetown Law, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race, a scholarly publication dedicated to discussing the intersection of race, law and policy. Avy also received a CALI award for best exam or paper for a class on Health Law and Policy, and was on the Dean’s List for being in the top 1/3 of his class during his 2L year. Avy served as Conference President of the North American South Asian Law Student Association, bringing together over 100 law students, professors, and legal practitioners to discuss legal issues affecting minority and immigrant communities.
Avy is the Foreclosure Program Attorney at Civil Justice, where he overviews legal and policy work relating to foreclosure prevention in Maryland. He has extensive experience in civil rights law, environmental policy, and international human rights law. Prior to law school, Avy worked for an environmental organization in San Francisco, CA, helping build partnerships between the private sector and the Department of Interior. He also interned at the United Nations, writing articles for the UN Chronicle, the flagship quarterly journal of the organization. While at Georgetown Law, Avy worked in Geneva for the International Organization for Migration, spent a summer as a law clerk for the Washington, DC civil rights law firm Mehri & Skalet working on civil rights violations, and traveled to Uganda to conduct law clinic work investigating discrimination in healthcare access for women. Avy works on Foreclosure and Housing rights at Civil Justice, bringing together attorneys, housing counselors, lenders and legislators to enact improvement on housing law and policy.
Avy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College in Portland, OR, with a B.A. in English Literature in 2007, writing a thesis entitled “The Postmodern and Postcolonial Age within the Discourse of Globalization.