Category Archives: Plain Language

Google Home May Help Us Understand the Definition of “Legal Advice,” and Therefore of What Activities Falls Under Regulatory Authority.

This is sort of fun. We have been struggling now for over two decades to find the most useful and access-expanding ways of explaining when an interaction is the giving of information, not generally subject of regulation as the practice … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Artificial Intelligence, Child Support, Document Assembly, Family Law, Legal Ethics, Non-Lawyer Practice, Plain Language, Public Education, Remote Services, Self-Help Services, Systematic Change, Technology, Triage | 1 Comment

Illinois Strategic Plan Combines Principles, Initiatives, and Success Measures

The superb new strategic plan from the Illinois Access to Justice Commission is a model in may ways.  I want, however, to emphasize one, its structure.  This approach gives them, and us, a strong and effective document that will serve … Continue reading

Posted in 100% Access Strategy and Campaign, Access to Justice Boards, Access to Justice Generally, Communications Strategy, Court Management, Outcome Measures, Plain Language, Planning, Research and Evalation, Rules Reform, Self-Help Services, Simplification

DOJ and FTC Weigh In on Exempting Websites from the Practice of Law

On June 16 of this year, North Carolina passed a law creating a limited carve-out from the definition of the practice of law for websites that met certain requirements.  The bill is here.  There has been robust critique of the … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Business Structures, Anti-Trust, Bar Associations, De-Regulation, Dept. of Justice, Document Assembly, Federal Agencies, Forms, Non-Lawyer Practice, Plain Language, Rules Reform, Technology

Important Research on Benefits of Plain Language Court Orders And Translation

This research, funded under the LSC TIG program through a grant to TRLA, conducted in Austin, Texas, by NPC Research on the impact of plain language and translated court documents could be very helpful indeed. (Disclosure: I have been involved … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Forms, LEP, LSC, Outcome Measures, Plain Language, Self-Help Services, Technology | 2 Comments

Integrating the ABA Futures Report and the Justice For All Components

Its finally here, the ABA Future of Legal Services Report. As expected, it covers a lot of ground, and is a lot to read. As an aid to speedy integration into other projects, I have prepared this table that compares … Continue reading

Posted in 100% Access Strategy and Campaign, ABA, Access to Counsel, Access to Justice Generally, Alternative Business Structures, Attorney-Client, Bar Associations, Court Fees and Costs, Court Management, Document Assembly, E-filing, Incnetives, Law Schools, Legal Aid, Legal Ethics, LEP, Mediation, Middle Income, Mixed Model, Non-Lawyer Practice, Outcome Measures, Plain Language, Planning, Referral Systems, Research and Evalation, Rules Reform, Self-Help Services, Simplification, Systematic Change, Technology, Transparency, Triage, Unbundling | 2 Comments

A Blockbuster Recommendation In the ABA Futures Report Is for A National Commission on Uniform Court Forms

The Recommendation, at page 46 , of the Report, reads as follows: “The ABA, the National Center for State Courts, the Conference of Chief Justices, and the Conference of State Court Administrators should collaborate to create a National Commission on … Continue reading

Posted in ABA, Access to Justice Generally, Forms, Plain Language, Self-Help Services

A Way For Courts to Show They Are Serious About Making The Law Accessible — Plain Language Explanations of Appellate Decisions

Here is an idea for how appellate courts could demonstrate their committement to making the law accessible.  They could include in all decisions a short explanation of the decision in plain language (great examples of plain language in box in … Continue reading

Posted in Appellate Practice, Plain Language | 1 Comment

Noting the Range and Significance of NSF Research Grants into Access to Justice

Regular readers of this blog will not have been able to avoid the drumbeat of attention to the importance and potential of DOJ’s bringing NSF to the access to justice table.  But, I have not as yet explicitly listed or … Continue reading

Posted in Dept. of Justice, Judicial Ethics, Plain Language, Research and Evalation, Self-Help Services, Triage, Usabilty

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

An Argument as to Why Courts Should Not Require Self-Represented Litigants to Draw Up Orders for Judges to Sign

I have long found it utterly incomprehensible that many courts still require litigants to draw up their own draft orders for the judge then to sign — and they then sometimes blame the litigants for not getting their cases to … Continue reading

Posted in Court Management, Judicial Ethics, Plain Language

Claudia Johnson on Plain Language Resources

Two new Plain Language Resources for Courts and Access to Justice Initiatives In November 2012, the Maryland Access to Justice Commission released a plain plain language guide specifically for those writing instructions and materials for court users. The guide is … Continue reading

Posted in Forms, Plain Language