Who: Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, former president of The Florida Bar and Commission Executive Chair Greg Coleman, immediate past president of The Florida Bar Foundation Donny MacKenzie, and The Florida Bar Foundation Executive Director and CEO Bruce Blackwell
What: Media Availability to discuss the work of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice
When: 10 a.m., Friday, February 3
Where: Hotel Duval Horizon Room, 415 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee
Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga will lead a media availability to discuss the continuing work of the standing Commission on Access to Civil Justice ahead of its first meeting in 2017.
The commission works to address the barriers that impede access to civil justice faced by hundreds of thousands of Floridians. Many low- and moderate-income people face the prospect of civil cases related to such things as veterans’ benefits, foreclosures, child custody, debt collection, and other vital matters without a lawyer. A 2015 Justice Gap Analysis found only a quarter of parties in non-family civil cases are represented by lawyers.
The people of Florida have limited access to do-it-yourself legal forms and guides, pro bono representation and formalized legal aid services. These are commendable, but inadequate. The Access to Civil Justice Commission has initiated a pilot program and undertaken other efforts to help determine the best way forward to expand basic access to the civil justice system. Chief Justice Labarga will address reporters on their vital role in providing information about both the problem and solutions. In addition, representatives of The Florida Bar Foundation will share information about a study showing the economic impact of the pro bono work Florida’s lawyers provide.
Please note: The full Commission on Access to Civil Justice meeting is scheduled for 1-4:30 p.m. in the same location. It is open to the public.