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Standing Committees

Committee on Access to Justice and Civic Engagement

The Litigation Section of the California Lawyers Association is proud to have recently established a new Committee on Access to Justice and Civic Engagement.

Chair: Erik Silber

Oversight: The Litigation Section Executive Committee

Number of Members: 18

Member Terms: Three years.  Terms begin and end on the last day of the CLA Annual Meeting.

Committee Functions:

  • Access to Justice:  We have a three-pronged focus to help increase access to justice:

o   Assistance to those in Need:  The Committee will work to increase access to justice in state and federal court for those who cannot afford attorneys and for those who have access issues due to language barriers.  Our goal is to create new tools to increase access to justice and to help promote existing programs for those in need, including creating or promoting existing video instruction for self-represented litigants.

o   Education to the Legal Community:  The Committee will work to educate the legal community on access-to-justice issues and how to help.  To that end, the Committee has developed its first program for the Litigation Section’s Appellate and Litigation Summits in Los Angeles on September 20, 2019.  The Committee is organizing a presentation with Shon Hopwood, a former federal inmate who became a jailhouse lawyer and worked with appellate specialists to get cert. granted when he was in prison.  After his release from prison, Professor Hopwood went to law school, clerked on the D.C. Circuit, and now is a Georgetown law professor and an author on his experiences.

o   New Programs or Initiatives:  The Committee will develop and promote changes to court procedure and legislative initiatives that advance access to justice.

  • Civic Engagement:  The Committee will work to: (1) create new programs to enhance civic engagement; (2) expand existing programs to enhance civic engagement, including expanding successful local programs into new cities in California; and (3) promote existing civic engagement programs.

The Committee on Access to Justice and Civic Engagement is looking for people with ideas, energy and time to help to make this exciting new committee a success.

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