Pro Bono News
Access to Civil Legal Services Has Grown, But More Funding Could Help, Attorneys Say (NY)
Monday, September 23, 2019
Access to Civil Legal Services Has Grown, But More Funding Could Help, Attorneys Say
"New York state has committed an unprecedented amount of funding to provide legal representation for low-income individuals in civil matters in recent years, but leaders from organizations that provide those services testified at a hearing Monday in Albany that the demand for that help has continued to grow.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore presided over the hearing, which is held annually to hear testimony on the condition of civil legal services in New York and how the state can bolster representation.
DiFiore was joined on the panel by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks, and the presiding justices of the Appellate Division. Those include Justice Rolando Acosta of the First Department, Alan Scheinkman of the Second Department, Elizabeth Garry of the Third Department, and Gerald Whalen of the Fourth Department.
Hank Greenberg, the current president of the New York State Bar Association and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, was also on the panel.
While the state only began to commit $100 million for civil legal services a few years ago, individuals who testified at the hearing Monday said more funding would help fill the gap that still exists between litigants who have a lawyer and those who go unrepresented.
New York City Bar Association President Roger Juan Maldonado, a partner at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, testified that the judiciary should consider pushing for an increase..."