California Gains Right to Civil Lawyers

Lost in much of the sturm und drang over California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of the state bar enabling legislation was his decision to sign a bill by Assemblyman Mike Feuer giving Californians who cannot afford legal help in civil matters the right to a lawyer. http://www.metnews.com/articles/2009/bill101309.htm Funding for the pilot project will come from a $10 addition in court fees.

The history and text of California’s “Civil Gideon” can be found here http://www.totalcapitol.com/?bill_id=9079. California becomes the first state in the nation to offer those who cannot afford a lawyer the right to one in civil matters.

As for the veto of the state bar funding bill, new state bar president Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese http://www.girardikeese.com/Attorneys/Howard-B-Miller.shtml has pledged to address concerns of the governor and Legislature.

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