Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Civil Right to Counsel

Professor Clare Pastore (USC) published an op-ed in the LA Times yesterday arguing for a right to counsel for indigents in eviction proceedings, employment and healthcare disputes, custody proceedings, and other disputes involving basic human needs. 

Pastore:

Every day, Americans without access to legal counsel unnecessarily lose homes, jobs, retirement benefits, healthcare and custody of their children.  This is because in American, 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.

The problem is particularly acute in the current housing and financial crises.  I previously posted on this here, with links to the ABA, the Brennan Center, and the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.

SDS

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2009/02/civil-right-to.html

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