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Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Fern A. Fisher Announces Training for Court-Based Attorney Volunteer Program

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

  • Organization: NY State Unified Court System
  • Source: New York

NEW YORK CITY - In response to the dramatic increase in unrepresented litigants appearing in the State's Courts as a result of the downturn in our economy, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge and Director of NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, Fern A. Fisher announced training for attorneys interested in volunteering for the Court System's recently established statewide Volunteer Attorney Program. Attorneys will be trained to provide legal advice and limited representation to unrepresented litigants in Housing, Civil, Family and Supreme Courts.

The Court will offer free training (with CLE credit) in return for a manageable pro bono commitment. The Court provides all administrative support for the project, including scheduling and supervision of volunteers as well as indemnification coverage. "We are hoping that attorneys will be willing to offer this invaluable community service at this difficult time for so many New Yorkers," said Administrative Judge Fisher.

"Given the state of our economy, there is a pressing need for legal assistance with a host of legal problems, including consumer debt, evictions, foreclosures, and family law matters" said Administrative Judge Fisher. "Nearly all of these individuals have nowhere to turn for legal advice or representation because of the dearth of free legal services available in these matters. Because of the volume of litigation and the lack of free legal services available, the court system seeks to provide advice and resources for its unrepresented litigants."

Training will take place at the New York County Civil Court on Saturday, May 30, 2009. The program will be repeated on Monday evening, June 1, 2009. Featured speakers will include former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Fern A. Fisher. Training workshops for Access to Justice court-based volunteer programs will be offered on both days in the following areas:

- Consumer Debt
- Landlord Tenant
- Uncontested Divorce
- Paternity and Child support
- Foreclosure
- Guardian Ad Litem (Housing)

This program is an important addition to the Court System's ongoing initiatives to increase access to justice, perceptions of fairness and courthouse efficiency.

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