Civil Gideon

Other Resources

National Resources and Web Sites

The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC) was formed in 2003 to facilitate collaboration among advocates nationwide and provide training, research and other support to legal services programs, bar associations, law schools, private law firms, and others in their local efforts to establish a civil right to counsel. The NCCRC maintains a web site that provides background information about the civil Gideon movement as well as articles, resources and other information about current litigation, legislation and related efforts and strategies nationwide to expand the right to civil counsel.

The 2016 Justice Index, published by the National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School, is an online resource that contains data about the performance of state-based justice systems in assuring access to justice, which is available here.

The Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) passed a joint resolution in July 2015, Resolution 5, Reaffirming the Commitment to Meaningful Access to Justice for All, which sets an aspiration goal of 100 percent access to effective legal assistance for essential civil legal needs. Resolution 5 is available here. In February 2016, the Public Welfare Foundation and the National Center for State Courts announced the creation of the Justice for All (JFA) project, which will provide funding to selected states to support efforts to move toward implementing the Resolution 5 in support of Meaningful Access to Justice for All. The "Justice for All" Project Announcement and Strategic Planning Guidance Materials are available here.

American Bar Association's Access to Justice Initiatives Resource Center (ATJ) Initiatives is an online resource, containing a wide variety of materials, including information about individual state Access to Justice Commissions. Available here.

American Bar Association's Directory of Law Governing Appointment of Counsel in State Civil Proceedings, published by the ABA's Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, r outlines the existing rights to counsel and discretionary judicial powers to appoint counsel in civil cases, in each state and the District of Columbia. The ABA Directory of Law Governing Appointment of Counsel in State Civil Proceedings, developed in conjunction with the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, can be found on the ABA website at www.ambar.org/civilrighttocounsel.

Richard Zorza's Access to Justice Blog is an online resource containing information and links to other resources related to access to justice issues, including innovations in courts, the bar, legal aid and community that make it easier for people to obtain access to justice institutions, and to just results within those institutions. Availablehere.

Self-Represented Litigation Network offers an online collection of resources to help courts, legal aid and the private bar better serve the self-represented. These resources are available here.

The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) is available here.

The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), Civil Resources is available here.

The Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law, is available here.

The Wisconsin Right to Counsel Task Force is available here.

The Self-Represented Litigation Network is available here.

Resolutions and Reports from American Bar Association

The American Bar Association (ABA) Civil Right to Counsel Resolution 112A and Report are available here.

The ABA State Model Access Act Report and Recommendations are available here and the ABA Basic Principles for a Right to Counsel in Civil Legal Matters Report and Recommendations are available here.

Resolutions and Reports from State Bar Associations

The Boston Bar Association's Civil Right to Counsel Task Force produced a Report, Gideon's New Trumpet: Expanding the Civil Right to Counsel in Massachusetts (2008), which is available here.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association's Legal Services to the Public Committee Resolution in Support of Recognizing a Right to Counsel For Indigent Individuals in Certain Civil Cases (2007), is available here. This Resolution sets forth a list of the known civil cases in which court appointed counsel is required in Pennsylvania. The Resolution also cites an extensive list of states and the most common substantive areas where some level of right to counsel has been identified by statute, as well as the status of Civil Gideon activities in selected states. Currently, Pennsylvania provides a right to court-appointed counsel for indigent people in a limited number of civil proceedings, which include child dependency cases, termination of parental rights, paternity, civil commitment proceedings for sexually violent delinquent children, and involuntary commitment pursuant to the Mental Health Procedures Act. The creation of the right to counsel in these cases was achieved through litigation or legislative action.

California Civil Counsel Act

On October 12, 2009, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law California AB 590, known as the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act, which establishes a six-year pilot project to expand the provision of counsel in selected counties for low-income people in cases involving child custody, housing, elder abuse, and conservatorships. The project is scheduled to become operational during the summer of 2011. A copy of the bill is available here.