On Friday, December 5th, the Tennessee Supreme Court announced an Access to Justice Initiative. Chief Justice Janice Holder offered a few remarks as to outline measures of the initiative as well as some general information as to the necessity of the initiative.
Only one in five income-eligible people will receive the legal help they need.
In our current troubled economy, the need for civil legal services among Tennessee’s indigent and working poor families can only be expected to increase as they face more legal problems caused by unemployment, predatory loans, uninsured medical bills, domestic violence, evictions, and foreclosures.
We send our best wishes to Tennessee with this initiative and offer our support. Congratulations and welcome aboard!
Interesting article while the South Carolina delegation attends the Court Solutions conference about self-represented litigants –http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/NEWS/809090323/1001.
As the South Carolina Delegation is learning, self-represented litigants are here to stay. During the conference this week, presenters from other states have advised and educated on ways to assist the rising number of self-represented litigants, appearing not only in the historical “peoples’ court” but also in higher courts including probate, family and circuit courts. Other states have described many actions to assist self-represented litigants in an effort to maintain reasonable efficiency as well as ensure that the documents prepared without an attorney meet minimal standards while at the same time adhering to ethical guidelines.
While many courts have described conflicts, detractors and other barriers, it is refreshing to see that they have perservered. Additionally, SC Access to Justice wishes only the best for the latest South Dakota endeavor.
By the way, if you get a chance, check out http://techno.la/, a technology blog for legal aid and public interest advocates.
On Tuesday, the Boston Bar Association announced plans to expand right to counsel in civil cases. This is in response to a study by the BBA’s Task Force on Civil Right to Counsel.
“Studies of courts and administrative agencies consistently show that indigent litigants without counsel routinely forfeit basic rights, not due to the facts of their case or the governing law, but due to absence of counsel. That violates even the most primitive concepts of fairness and decency,” said Task Force co-chair Mary K. Ryan, a partner at Nutter, McClennen & Fish.
To view the press release, visit http://www.bostonbar.org/prs/nr_0809/ExpRight2Councel090208.htm.
For a brief history of Right to Counsel, visit http://www.nlada.org/About/About_HistoryDefender.