Number of Texans who need to go to court but can’t find low cost civil legal aid each year: more than 4 million

According to an article in the Texas Observer, “Out of 5.7 million Texans who need to go to court but can’t afford it, the [Texas Access to Justice Foundation] estimated that only 20 to 25 percent are being served. One legal aid lawyer is available for every 11,500 Texans who qualify.”  The Texas legislature is … Continue reading

Name of 1st International Legal Document on Indigent Defense: UN Principles & Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems

According to the blog of the Justice Department’s Access to Justice Initiative: “The UN General Assembly formally adopted the Principles & Guidelines in December 2012, making it the first international legal document on indigent defense. The Principles & Guidelines emerged through the efforts of non-governmental organizations and member states over several years, and the Department … Continue reading

Amount a key source of funding for civil legal aid in MA fell since 2008: 78%; Increase in families eligible for civil legal aid during that period: 13%

According to, “Hundreds of lawyers, judges and advocates packed the State House on Wednesday, asking lawmakers to match Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to fund legal aid by $15.5 million in the 2014 state budget.  Advocates say income from a key legal aid funding source, the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, has dropped by 78% … Continue reading

Amount DWI case processing sped up after Guam’s courts hired a full-time Chuukese interpreter: From 2 years to 90 days

According to the Pacific Daily News, driving while intoxicated cases used to take between 2 and 2 ½ years for Guam’s courts to process.  After the court hired Merly Karsom as a full time Chuukese interpreter, the average time from beginning to end of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) case fell to 90 days.  A … Continue reading

Length of a Bail Hearing in North Dakota: 3 minutes

In his January 9, 2013 State of the Judiciary speech, North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle said: “I read recently that the average doctor’s appointment is scheduled for 15 minutes. No one can question the value of having enough time to explain things to your doctor and giving the doctor adequate time to make a … Continue reading

Afternoons Iowans Can’t Exercise Their Constitutional Right of Access to the Courts: Tuesday & Thursday

Clerks’ offices are the court system’s front door.  That is where people can file a lawsuit or respond to a case filed against them.  Budget pressures have forced the Iowa courts to close clerks’ offices Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  The result, according to Iowa’s Chief Justice?  “We have all heard stories about domestic violence victims … Continue reading

Grade the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty gives the US for access to counsel in housing cases: F

In its 2012 Human Right to Housing Report Card, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty notes that in the US, “no court anywhere as of yet has recognized a right to counsel in housing matters such as evictions and foreclosures,” even though, according to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human … Continue reading

Total economic impact of the work of Ohio’s civil legal aid programs in 2010: $106 million

This figure comes from the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation’s Strength in Justice report, which was released in December 2012, and is based on research conducted by Community Research Partners. Access to Justice Fact of the Week (Jan. 4, 2013)

Amount that the economy may lose from 2009 to 2013 because of delays in dispute resolution, caused by cuts in court budgets: $52.2 billion

According to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, by Peter S. Green,  “A study conducted by [the Micronomics consulting firm] showed that from 2009 through 2013, delays in dispute resolution may cost the U.S. $52.2 billion in lost economic output.” Access to Justice Fact of the Week (Dec. 19, 2012)

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