Courts flooded with poorer Americans representing themselves

The Associated Press reports that “a crush” of people are representing themselves in the nation’s civil courts because they can’t afford a lawyer–and that the American Bar Assoc. is urging lawyers to offer free legal services to those who can’t afford a lawyer.

“The increase in self-represented parties stems from a recession that has left fewer people able to afford lawyers and created new waves of foreclosure, debt collection and bankruptcy cases, judges and lawyers say. Judges say self-represented people are slowing down court dockets because they typically don’t know what legal points to argue or what motions to file,” the article said.

“There’s a crisis in this country,” said John Levi, board chairman of Washington, D.C.-based Legal Services Corp., the nation’s largest funder of civil legal aid for the poor. “Courthouses are being filled with people just showing up, trying to figure out what their rights are. If you’re a low-income person and you have a legal need, it is not easy to get it addressed.”

To read the article, click here.

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