Access to Justice Commissions
What is an Access to Justice Commission? The mission of any Access to Justice Commission or similar entity is to ensure that access to competent legal representation is available to everyone despite income level, disability, or other disadvantage. At a minimum this formal organization should be a collaboration between the courts, the private bar, and legal services organizations. Other branches of government, funders, law schools, and other interested entities should be included whenever possible.
(See the ABA’s definition of Access to Justice Commission).
Why states need an Access to Justice Commission or similar entity? The benefits of such a commission develop based on the greater collaboration and sharing of assets and information. The commission provides an entity to coordinate and represent the various disparate groups involved in the provision of legal services to the poor.
ABA State Access to Justice Commissions List
Conference of Chief Justices Resolution 8 In Support of Access to Justice Commissions
WHEREAS, many states have established an access to justice commission to ensure the effective delivery of justice to all; and
WHEREAS, access to justice commissions have achieved remarkable results and have been recognized as one of the most important justice-related developments in the past decade as championed by Professor Laurence H. Tribe, Senior Counselor for Access to Justice, United States Department of Justice, in his remarks to the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators during their 2010 annual meeting;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators support the aspirational goal that every state and United States territory have an active access to justice commission or comparable body.
Adopted as proposed by the CCJ/COSCA Access, Fairness and Public Trust Committee at the 2010 Annual Meeting on July 28, 2010.
Sandefur, Rebecca and Aaron C. Smyth. Access Across America First Report of the Civil Justice Infrastructure Mapping Project. American Bar Foundation. (OCTOBER 2011). This report provides a state-by-state review of the accessibility of civil legal assistance in the United States.
Office of Child Support Enforcement Fact Sheet Access to Justice Innovations Administration for Children and Families, Office of Health and Human Services. (June 2012).
Access to Justice State Initiatives
2008 Annual Report to the Supreme Court and the Alabama Bar Association Board of Bar Commissioners
. Alabama Access to Justice Commission (2008).
2007 Annual Report and 2008 Update Insert. Arkansas Access to Justice Commission.
California Commission on Access to Justice — 2011 Annual Report
Improving Civil Justice in Rural California Executive Summary Edition California Commission on Access to Justice. (2010).
Talmage, Constance C. 2008 ATJ Commission Report. The Colorado Lawyer (April 2009)
Access to Justice Commission Annual Report. Connecticut Judicial Branch ( October 2012). This is the first annual report of the Access to Justice Commission chaired by Hon. Raymond R. Norko.
Kelemen, Kenneth J. Report on Family Court Accessibility and Litigant Resources. The Family Law Commission of Delaware. (June 2011).
Delaware Courts: Fairness for All Task Force September (2009).
District of Columbia
"Justice for All? An Examination of the Civil Legal Needs of the District of Columbia's Low-Income Community." District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission (2008).
“Rationing Justice: The Effect of the Recession on Access to Justice in the District of Columbia.” District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission (2009).
2009-2010 Annual Report . District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission. (2009).
Ensuring Access to Justice: Serving Florida’s Self-Represented Litigants (April 2008).
Hawaii Access to Justice Commission Annual Report (2008-2009).
Illinois Supreme Court creates new 11-member Access to Justice Commission.
Report of the Joint Iowa Judges Association and Iowa State Bar Association Task Force on Pro Se Litigation
. (May 2005).
Chief Justice Minton's remarks
. (October 2010).
Equal Justice Under Law: A Look Inside Louisiana's Justice Community video.
Justice for All: A Report of the Justice Action Group . (2009).
My Laws, My Courts, My Maryland . The Maryland Access to Justice Commission has developed eight posters in Spanish and English that provide information on how to get legal assistance and to better understand the civil justice system.
Interim Report . Maryland Access to Justice Commission (Fall 2009).
Fein, Honorable Dina E. & Sandra E. Lundy. 2011 Annual Report on the Access to Justice Initiative In the Trial Court. (June 2012).
2009 Annual Report . Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission. (2009).
Documenting the Justice Gap in Michigan . State Bar of Michigan in collaboration with Michigan Legal Services Corporation funded providers. (Spring 2012).
Legal Services Planning Commission Final Report
Why Courts Should Care About Self-Represented Litigants. Keynote address presented by Hon. Jess H. Dickenson, Justice Mississippi Supreme Court at the South Central Regional Conference on Pro Se Litigation. (February 2007).
Montana Supreme Court creates new Access to Justice Commission.
Foreclosure Mediation Program (FMP)
. The FMP was created by the 2009 Legislature to directly address the foreclosure crisis in Nevada by providing homeowners and lenders with an opportunity to discuss alternatives to foreclosure.
CHALLENGE TO JUSTICE Findings and Recommendations of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Task Force on Self-Representation (January 2004).
Summary of 2011 Pro Bono Committee Annual Reports . Access to Justice Commission. (2012).
New York State Courts Access to Justice Program
Expanding Access to Justice in New York State (March 2009)
The Initial Report of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission . (May 2008).
2008 Public Hearings of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission . (April 2009).
2012 Strategic Plan . Tennessee Access to Justice Commission. (2012).
Report of the Texas Access to Justice Commission
to the Supreme Court of Texas for the period December 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012(June 2012). This report summarizes the work of each committee on the Commission.
Washington Access to Justice Board Annual Report (2012)
2009: Access to Justice in West Virginia Remarks of Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent D. Benjamin. The West Virginia Lawyer. (January - February 2009).
Access to Justice Commission Video (2012). A DVD of this video is also available along with speakers from the Commission.
A Call to Action to Establish a Statewide Program
. Wyoming Access to Justice Commission. (December 2009).