OPINION: 'GIDEON' AT 50

A strong need for civil legal assistance

Gaps in civil representation that undermine equality and fairness must still be addressed.

, The National Law Journal

   |2 Comments

Gaps in civil representation that undermine equality and fairness must still be addressed.

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What's being said

  • Tex

    Another issue in the civil arena is when a large company frivilously sues an individual who is not poor, but at an extreme financial disadvantage. In this case, it would be helpful to determine the reasonable benefit society would achieve if the person being sued was successful in defending themselves and/or in their counter suit. For example, Amway sued me frivilously because I pointed out the scam they are running. While I won in the settlement, it would have been even better to nail Amway in court, instead of being forced into what at least 7 judges across the country have called Amway's "illusory" and "unconscionable" arbitration process for my countersuit. Google "Stop The Amway Tool Scam Wordpress" for more information, and forward the information to every non-Amway IBO you know, so they don't get scammed.

  • Jerri Cook

    I stopped reading when Professor Davis made the over-reaching statement that because poor black women are evicted at a higher rate than other poor women, some sort of nefarious white privilege is at work. Really? There's no possibility that the high eviction rate is directly proportional to this particular demographic's tendency to birth multiple children from multiple fathers? Who wants to rent to a woman with seven rowdy kids and no father figure around? Who wants to live next to someone like that? Why presume racial prejudice where none exists?

    Further, why provide yet another unfunded entitlement? Are we presuming that the poor are just too stupid to find their way into a courtroom? If so, shouldn't we be addressing that problem in the public schools?

    Or, perhaps, and even more disturbing, Professor Davis is presuming the court is, at its core, corrupt and racist, and therefore requires intervention from the legislature. Nothing could be further from the truth. The American bar routinely bends over backward to accommodate the unrepresented.

    In the end, providing legal assistance for civil actions to low-income people is best accomplished at the local level, by local attorneys who care about their community. I trust the professor stresses this to her students and makes volunteering a personal priority.

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