Category Archives: Access to Counsel

Disturbing Question — How on Earth Can a Public Defender Program Rely on Court Imposed Fees for its Budget?

I am not sure I can stand this. According to its own communication director, the New Orleans public defender relies on fines and fees imposed by the court for 41% of its budget (NOLA CityLab here). New Orleans’ Office of … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Attorney-Client, Bail, Court Fees and Costs, Defender Programs, Poverty | 3 Comments

New CCJ/COSCA Resolution on 100% Access, and How to Get There, Is a Tipping Point

The week before last, the Conference of (state) Chief Justices, and the Conference of State Court Administrators jointly passed two Resolutions that together predict a tipping pint forward in moving to justice.  One sets an aspirational goal of 100% access … Continue reading

Posted in 100% Access Strategy and Campaign, Access to Counsel, Access to Justice Boards, Access to Justice Generally, Bar Associations, Communications Strategy, Court Management, Forms, Legal Aid, Mobile Technology, Outcome Measures, Political Support, Research and Evalation, Rules Reform, Self-Help Services, Simplification, Systematic Change, Technology, Triage, Unbundling | 3 Comments

A Fascinating Opinion by Judge Jack Weinstein (EDNY) Raises New Questions and Opportunities About the Relationship between Civil Gideon and Judicial Engagement

Senior Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of NY recently recused himself sua sponte after engaging in a colloquy with a self-represented litigant about evidnce relating to the possibility that his claim in an employment discrimination complaint was time-bared. … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Access to Justice Generally, Judicial Ethics, Triage | Comments Off on A Fascinating Opinion by Judge Jack Weinstein (EDNY) Raises New Questions and Opportunities About the Relationship between Civil Gideon and Judicial Engagement

Some Observations on the Newly Updated Justice Index

The National Center for Access to Justice recently put in place a number of corrections offered by 21 states to the Justice Index, so its time to take a look and see what we learn. The most important point is … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Access to Justice Generally, Forms, Justice Index, Legal Aid, LEP, Plain Language, Self-Help Services | Comments Off on Some Observations on the Newly Updated Justice Index

NYT Publishes First Article on Comprehensive Changes in Legal Aid (Broadly Defined)

Showing the huge value and potential of a coherent communications strategy for the legal aid world (broadly defined to include both community-based and court-based legal aid) the New York Times on Saturday published its first real comprehensive article on the … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Communications Strategy, Legal Aid, LSC, Non-Lawyer Practice, Political Support, Self-Help Services, Systematic Change, Triage | Comments Off on NYT Publishes First Article on Comprehensive Changes in Legal Aid (Broadly Defined)

Part III of “Assessing Innovations”: Guest Post by Russell Engler on the Targeted Representation Approach

I am happy to guest post Russell Engler’s helpful and insightful response to Part II of my series on assessing innovations.  Part II focused on a rights-oriented analysis.  Russell writes about what he calls the “targeted representation” approach as follows: … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Systematic Change, Triage | 1 Comment

Part II of “Assessing Innovations” — A Rights Oriented Analysis

A recent post discussed how to analyze the value of different approaches to access to justice in cost benefit terms.  This follow-up post takes a different approach, looking at the same issue — of how to decided whether to implement … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Budget Issues, Legal Aid, Non-Lawyer Practice, Systematic Change, Technology, Triage, Unbundling | 1 Comment

NY Quality of Counsel Settlment May be Template for National Reform

This blog has been following the New York quality of defense counsel case.  Last week, perhaps in part because of the filing of a statement of interest by US DOJ, the parties, just before trial, have come to a proposed … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Dept. of Justice | 1 Comment

Roger Smith on Contrast Between British Columbia and UK Legal Aid Cuts Has Valuable Lessons

I want to draw your attention to a blog post by the UK’s wonderful Roger Smith contrasting the BC and UK approach to cutting, and response to cuts in, legal aid budgets.  His essential point is that the BC cuts, … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Budget Issues, International Models, Legal Aid, LSC, Technology | 1 Comment

American Constition Society Issuue Brief Addresses Multi-Layered Approach to Solving Access Crisis

Historically, I have found that the generally progressive community — even the generally progressive legal community — has been relatively traditional in is approach to the access to justice crisis.  The “line” has been right to counsel, and increased funding … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Systematic Change | Comments Off on American Constition Society Issuue Brief Addresses Multi-Layered Approach to Solving Access Crisis

Very Important Communications Research Released

This is one of the most important posts I have ever written.  I am honored to be authorized to post the communications research conducted by Lake Research Partners and the Torrance Group on civil legal aid and access to justice … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Access to Justice Generally, Forms, Funding, Legal Aid, LSC, Self-Help Services, Simplification, Systematic Change | Tagged | 15 Comments

More on the “Until Gideon” Symposium at Fordham

At the Symposium, Earl Johnston presented on the concept of Civil Gideon, and I was one of the two responders.  As part of this presentation (and by e-mail before the meeting) he had presented some questions that he suggested would … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Judicial Ethics, Self-Help Services, Simplification, Triage | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Downside of Invidualized Assessement of Litigant Capacity in Triage

I have long argued for the importance of triage in the access solution, the need for litigant capacity to be part of the triage process, and for that to be done on an individualized basis. However, a recent post by … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Triage | 1 Comment

Illinois Access to Justice Bill Has Several Interesting Aspects

The recently passed and signed Illinois Access to Justice Act has received attention mainly as the second civil Gideon pilot, but this is only one of the things the bill does that are worth paying attention to. The Bill does … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Pro Bono, Research and Evalation | 1 Comment

Should We Think of Legal Insurance as a Health Care Benefit

The recently published randomized research on the impact of having health insurance raises a fascinating question about whether we should start to think about we might think of legal insurance as a health benefit. The research itself, very well summarized … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Medical System Comparision, Research and Evalation | 2 Comments