|This is an archive. Substantive information, including information about ABA policy, as well as contact information and links to other Web pages, may not be current. For the most recent ABA news, contact the Division for Media Relations & Communication Services.|
|Media Contact:||Deborah Weixl|
American Bar Association Section of Litigation Symposium Addresses Civil Right to Counsel
Scholars to examine the right of access in light of ABA policy supporting "Civil Gideon"
CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2008 – How can society best provide access to the courts to assure that basic human needs are met for those who cannot afford a lawyer, especially given the current economic conditions that lead to greater need? What can the legal community do to help overcome the barriers of access to justice? Given financial tightening by government, how can we provide a right to legal counsel in order to assure that people are treated fairly in adversarial proceedings?
To examine trends and challenges facing the civil justice system, the ABA Section of Litigation is convening a symposium that will bring together nationally recognized scholars, lawyers and judges to study and analyze new data and make recommendations as to how to better meet the civil legal needs of those who face challenges in their everyday lives. Real People, Real Needs, Real Solutions: Access to Legal Representation in Civil Litigation will be held at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, 3300 Peachtree Road, NE, Dec. 4-5.
In announcing the symposium, Section Chair Robert L. Rothman of Atlanta said, “The Section of Litigation is focusing its attention on efforts to dismantle barriers to access to the civil justice system. With the help of new research and analysis, we will seek approaches to help ensure a right to civil counsel for adversary proceedings involving critical areas of human need. Our work is consistent with ABA policy supporting the creation of a right to civil counsel. We cannot tolerate the fact that every year millions of people are unable to secure representation of counsel when facing the loss of such basic needs such as those involving shelter, sustenance, health, safety and child custody.”
The two-day symposium will bring together leaders in the profession including Justice Robert J. Benham of the Supreme Court of Georgia; Carolyn B. Lamm, president-elect of the ABA; Frank B. Strickland, chairman of the Board of the Legal Services Corporation; and Georgia State Sen. Kasim Reed.
“This symposium will provide a rare opportunity for scholars to engage in a stimulating dialogue on key access issues facing the civil justice system,” added Rothman. “Through their analysis of leading research in the area, we hope that the section can take the lead in identifying a meaningful approach to securing access to justice for all. It is our goal to help foster the development of the law supporting the existence of a right to counsel in civil litigation involving these critical areas of need.”
Highlights of the symposium include:
- Opening Remarks – Robert L. Rothman and Carolyn B. Lamm
- Overview of Access Issues
- Access to Justice: Some Historical Comments – Lawrence Friedman, Stanford Law School
- Our Changing Concept of Access – Marc Galanter, University of Wisconsin
- A Defined Right to Civil Counsel: An Idea Whose Time Has Come – Michael Greco, Boston, former ABA president
- The Cost of Law and the Question of Access: What We Know and Don’t Know – Gillian Hadley, University of Southern California
- Commentary by Bruce Green, Fordham University and Frank B. Strickland
- An Empirical Assessment of the Access Challenge (What We Know, What We Need to Find Out)
- What Data Do We Need in Order to Examine Access and Do We Have It? –Theodore Eisenberg, Cornell University
- Connecting Self-Representation and Civil Gideon: When Is Counsel Most Needed? – Russell Engler, New England School of Law
- Examining the Real Demand of Legal Services – Herbert Kritzer, William Mitchell College of Law
- Access Issues in Light of Texas Data – Charles Silver, University of Texas, and David Hyman, University of Illinois
- The Psychological Challenges of Pro Se Litigation – Tom Tyler, New York University
- Commentary by Richard Lempert, University of Michigan
- Keynote Address -- Justice Robert J. Benham
- Real World Challenges
- The Skewing Efforts of Various Statutory Incentives to Litigate – Samuel Bagenstos, Washington University School of Law
- Rights and Beyond: Children’s Special Need for Counsel – Katherine Hunt Federle, Ohio State University
- How Other Nations Have Addressed the Problem of Access to Counsel – Earl Johnson Jr., California Court of Appeal (Ret.)
- The Challenge of Calculating the Benefit of Providing Access – J. J. Prescott, University of Michigan
- Trying to Make the Best of the Civil-Justice Market – Thomas D. Rowe Jr., Duke University
- Commentary by Debra Gardner, Public Justice Center, Baltimore, and State Sen. Kasim Reed
- Access in Alternative Dispute Resolution
- The Impact of Legal Representation in ADR Proceedings – Jean Sternlight, University of Nevada at Las Vegas
- What Do We Know Empirically About Counsel in ADR Proceedings – Roselle Wissler, Arizona State University O’Connor College of Law
- Recognizing A Limited Right to Counsel in Mandatory ADR – Stephan Landsman, DePaul University School of Law
- Commentary by Myriam Gilles, Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law and Douglas Yarn, Georgia State University
For additional information on the symposium visit http://www.abanet.org/media/issues/civiljustice/home.shtml. This site will be live Nov. 19. Papers, biographies and updates to the agenda will be posted as available.
The ABA Section of Litigation, with more than 74,000 members, includes trial lawyers, judges, and others involved in all aspects of litigation and the dispute resolution process. The section is dedicated to promoting justice both domestically and internationally and enhancing public understanding of and respect for the legal profession.
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
- 30 -
Note to Editors: Reporters are welcome to attend and cover any session of the Section of Litigation Access to Justice Symposium for free. For an agenda and schedule or more information about the white papers and issues or to arrange for interviews or press credentials, contact Deborah Weixl at 312/988-6126. On-site registration for reporters will open at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4, at the section registration desk, Azelea Foyer, at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta. The on-site phone number will be 847/902-9019 (Cell).