Kia Franklin

Civil Gideon in the LA Times

This LA Times op ed is the most recent piece of excellent advocacy around Civil Gideon. The author, Professor Clare Pastore of USC Law, also gives a nice shout out to the New York City movement for Civil Gideon for low income Senior citizens in housing court (check them out here), which we've blogged about on TortDeform.

Pastore argues that "we can no longer afford not to guarantee equal justice to the poor in civil cases." Here's a sneak preview of the op ed:

Every day, Americans without access to legal counsel unnecessarily lose homes, jobs, retirement benefits, healthcare and custody of their children. This is because in America, we have not yet recognized a right to counsel in civil cases, except in a tiny number of narrow areas. Indigent clients with the law on their side often find themselves losing to well-funded opponents simply because they have no means of fighting back.

In most of the developed world, the right to civil counsel is well established. In Britain, for example, indigent civil litigants have been entitled to representation since 1495, in the reign of Henry VII. In much of the rest of Europe, the right dates back to the mid-19th or early 20th century. [Read more]

Thank goodness people are pointing out the need for Civil Gideon--a need that has only grown during the economic crisis.

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Posted at 8:42 PM, Feb 23, 2009 in Civil Gideon
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