Maryland Morning
9:03 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Should Poor Marylanders Have Free Access To A Lawyer In Certain Civil Cases?

Sheilah talks with Pamela Ortiz, Executive Director of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission.

Credit Scott / Flickr / Creative Commons

Fifty years ago the U.S. Supreme Court established a right to a lawyer in criminal cases if the defendant can’t afford one. That was the decision Gideon v. Wainwright. But, should the state provide a lawyer in certain civil cases? How would such a system work? And, who would pay for it? Those are questions that a task force in Maryland has been grappling with since last fall. It comprises judges, legislators, and lawyers and is staffed by Pamela Ortiz, Executive Director of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission. She joins Sheilah Kast to talk about it.

Find out more about the task force here. Read the report that the Maryland Access To Justice Commission put together on the economic impact of providing free lawyers in certain civil cases here.

This segment originally aired on December 6, 2013.