Monday, November 14, 2011

First Hearing on California's Civil Justice Crisis Will Be Tuesday (11/15) at Sacramento's McGeorge School of Law

Justice Ron Robie
The first of four scheduled hearings being held across California "to demonstrate the fundamental role of both the courts and legal assistance in our society and explore the devastating effects, especially for low-income Californians, of chronic underfunding and recent budget cuts" will take place Tuesday, November 15, 2011, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

The hearings are co-sponsored by various entities, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Commission on Access to Justice, and the State Bar of California.  Professional and administrative support is provided by OneJustice (formerly the Public Interest Clearinghouse).  

According to the web site, the first hearing is aimed at showing "that cuts in funding for the courts and legal services threaten efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars and the protection of rights and equal treatment under the law."

The hearing will be chaired by Justice Ron Robie of the California Court of Appeal, and will consist of four panels: 

Foundational Panel – Background on the Effects of the Economic Downturn and Underfunding on the Courts and Legal Services and Discussion of Increased Need for Access to the Courts and Legal Services.
  • Sharon Browne, Principal Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation and Board Member, Legal Services Corporation
  • Justice Vance Raye, California Court of Appeal
Continuum of Services Panel - The Efficiency of the Continuum of Services and the Role of Courts and Legal Services in the Continuum.
  • Diane Bras, Family Law Facilitator, Superior Court of California
  • Martin Carr, Partner, Law Offices of Belzer & Carr and Board Member, Legal Services of Northern California
  • Sue Talia, private family law judge and member of the Limited Representation Committee of the California Commission on Access to Justice
Right to Counsel Panel - Why Everyone Should Be Ensured Representation.
Judge Steven K. Austin, Contra Costa Superior Court
  • James Brosnahan, Senior Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Justice Earl Johnson (Ret.), Scholar-in-Residence, Western Center on Law & Poverty
Seniors Services Panel – The Integration of Legal Services and the Courts into Senior Services as an Example of Efficient Use of Taxpayer Dollars.
  • Coral Henning, Director, Sacramento County Public Law Library
  • Joanne Parke, client of Legal Services for Northern California (LSNC)
The schedule for subsequent hearings is: 

November 30, 2011 – San Francisco 
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California
Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

December 2, 2011 – Los Angeles
Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

December 7, 2011 – Irvine
401 East Peltason Drive
Irvine, California
Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For information on these upcoming hearings, please contact:

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