Do Our Legislators Believe In Equal Justice for All? Bill Would Kill Civil Legal System Reform

(Originally published by the Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 21, 2022) 

Most Americans don’t realize that you have no constitutional right to a lawyer in a civil case if you can’t afford one. You can lose your home, have your children taken away from you, or need a protection order against an abuser – and you have no right to a lawyer if you can’t afford one.

Our current civil legal system was designed for a world that no longer exists – a world in which the vast majority of civil litigants have lawyers. Today, both parties have lawyers in civil cases in state courts in only one out of four cases. Eighty-five percent of Californians — including millions of middle-income people — get no or inadequate help with their civil legal problems.

(Continue reading the opinion essay on the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s page here.)