US Justice Needs Data Reveals No Americans Unaffected by Justice Crisis — from legaltechmonitor.com by Logan Cornett

Excerpt:

It’s no secret that the United States is deeply embroiled in a justice crisis. According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the U.S. ranks 30th out of the world’s 37 high-income countries on the civil justice factor and 22nd on the criminal justice factor. Numerous studies have shone light on aspects of the crisis—some focusing on how it impacts low-income Americans, others homing in on the crisis’s effects in specific geographic regions. Now, with the new report from IAALS’ and HiiL’s joint US Justice Needs project, we have data from more than 10,000 surveyed individuals that illuminates the contours of the justice crisis in this country.

 

New Study Reveals the Full Extent of the Access to Justice Crisis in America — from iaals.du.edu by Kelsey Montague

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

“The findings of this survey,” says Dr. Martin Gramatikov, Measuring Justice Director at HiiL, “indicate what our research has historically shown—that oftentimes the more developed a nation is, the more justice needs exist in the population, and the greater the challenge of access to justice for all. While it is widely understood that there is an access to justice problem in the United States, the full extent of the justice crisis has been less clear, until now. With the results of this survey, and IAALS’ focus on evidence-based reform, we can begin to truly understand the scope of the problem, and work towards the changes needed to address this justice gap.”

On an annual basis, that translates to 55 million Americans who experience 260 million legal problems. A considerable proportion of these problems—120 million—are not resolved or are concluded in a manner which is perceived as unfair. This study shows that access to justice challenges are significant and pervasive.

 

Jeremiah 9:23-24 New International Version — from biblegateway.com

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

 

NLADA Welcomes DOJ’s Advice to Chief Justices to Ensure Fair Process to Keep Families in Their Homes — from nlada.org

Excerpts:

NLADA welcomes the Associate Attorney General’s letter urging Chief Justices and State Court Administrators to consider eviction diversion strategies that can help families avoid the disruption and damage that evictions cause. Together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium and the additional steps announced by the White House, this letter is an important tool in a package of federal resources to help our country and courts navigate this crisis.

The housing crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, disproportionally affects women and communities of color. More than 80 percent of people facing eviction are Black. We know that when families have access to counsel provided by civil legal aid attorneys, approximately 80 percent of families stay in their homes, and that rates of homelessness have had a direct correlation to coronavirus rates. These numbers represent men, women and children who are integral to communities across the country, and we are pleased by today’s actions to help families and communities struggling in our nation.

 

 

 

Career Tracker: Virtual firms hit an industry milestone as hires continue — from reuters.com by Sara Merken & Arriana Mclymore

Virtual law firm FisherBroyles announced Tuesday that it has cracked the Am Law 200, saying it’s the first non-traditional, so-called distributed law firm to rank among the top 200 highest-grossing U.S. firms.

The 300-partner firm said its annual gross revenue reached $113 million in 2020, adding that in the last year alone it added 51 new partners “almost entirely from Am Law 100 and 200 ranked firms.” It cited the role of the pandemic, which upended expectations about remote work, in spurring its growth and accelerating the adoption of its mostly cloud-based approach to legal services.

 
 

Unbundled law firms find success offering virtual legal services — from abajournal.com by Lyle Moran; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Law Shop by Skogerson McGinn in Van Meter, Iowa, provides unbundled legal services, which means it helps clients with specific legal tasks rather than assisting them with their entire cases or matters.

In the family law realm, its unbundled offerings include coaching self-represented litigants on filling out divorce forms and preparing child support worksheets.

By emphasizing this nontraditional approach, also known as limited-scope representation, The Law Shop has attracted inquiries from consumers across the state seeking affordable legal assistance.

 

Law Society votes to approve regulatory sandbox for innovative legal tech development — from lawtimesnews.com by Aidan Macnab

Excerpt:

At Convocation Thursday morning, the Law Society of Ontario passed a motion to launch a five-year regulatory sandbox pilot for innovative legal tech services.

The initiative recommended by the Law Society’s technology task force would open up a regulatory safe zone for innovative technological legal services. Participants will report to and be monitored by the Law Society, which will study the sandbox to inform policy and regulatory decision-making.

Rocket Lawyer Raises $223 Million To Meet Growing Demand For Its Services — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

The online legal services provider Rocket Lawyer has raised $223 million in growth capital financing to help it meet what it says has been a strong and accelerating demand for its digital legal documents and advice.

Legal technology start-up JUSTLAW notches an impressive milestone — from einnews.com
Small business legal protection offering experiences rapid growth.

Excerpt:

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, April 13, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Launched in 2020 in the face of the worst pandemic in a century, legal tech startup JUSTLAW set out with the lofty vision to give ordinary Americans access to top attorneys on a 24/7 basis. It’s working. The number of small businesses enrolled in its small business legal protection plan just surpassed 1,000.

 

All Eyes on Utah: Launching the ‘First Nonlawyer-Owned’ Law Firm — from law.com by Alaina Lancaster
Daniel Wilde, an attorney for Law On Call, which claims to be the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the nation, says the entire country can benefit from the innovative business models coming out of Utah.

Excerpt:

[The week of April 5], a registered agent service provider announced that it launched the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the United States.

The move comes after the Utah Supreme Court approved a pilot program that would allow nonlawyers to provide certain legal services—a proposition that’s been kicked around in California, Arizona, Illinois and the District of Columbia. Under Northwest Registered Agent’s Law On Call model, clients can pay a $9 monthly subscription, where they can ring up lawyers directly. They can also hire Law on Call’s attorneys for legal work at discounted rates.

 

Report Maps Growing ‘Justice Tech’ Market, Urges VCs To Invest — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum and his Lawtomatic Newsletter for the resource

Excerpts:

A report issued yesterday documents the growing market for “justice tech” — startups focused on reducing inequities in the criminal and civil justice systems — and urges venture capitalists to invest in these startups.

The report, Justice Tech for All: How Technology Can Ethically Disrupt the US Justice System, was published by two VC firms that focus on impact investing: Village Capital and the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (AmFam Institute).

 

Survey: Share Your Experience with the Judicial System During COVID-19 — from legaltechmonitor.com by Laura Bagby

Excerpt: 

A team of researchers wants to know how COVID-19 has impacted your experience with the judicial system. The COVID-19 and the Courts?Survey will examine how the pandemic has affected access to justice and the operation of the courts for attorneys, judges, litigants, court staff, and other members of the community.

The researchers seek to learn which changes in court operations during the pandemic worked well and should be kept in place and which didn’t. The results of the study will help plan for future emergencies and provide a basis for thinking about more permanent reforms to how courts work.

 

Telemedicine likely to change how we receive health care post-pandemic — from mlive.com by Justin Hicks

A patient sits in the living room of her apartment in New York City during a telemedicine video conference with a doctor. (Mark Lennihan/AP)AP

A patient sits in the living room of her apartment in New York City during a telemedicine video conference with a doctor. (Mark Lennihan/AP)AP

Excerpt:

As we look to the post-pandemic future, medical experts believe telemedicine will be here to stay as another option to increase access to care, reduce costs, and free up doctors to spend more time with patients who need in-person care.

“When I think about the pandemic, one thing that didn’t change about our lifestyles is people are busy,” Lopez said. “I think we’ll still see growth in overall visits because of the fact that people want access to care and when you lower the cost, it should go up.”

From DSC:
A friend of mine said that he is doing most of his practice now via the telehealth route (and has been for many months now). Then, recently, when I was at the lab, the knowledgeable woman who assisted me said that she thought virtual health was definitely going to stick. Many doctors and nurses will be using virtual means vs. physical visits she said.

Expectations get involved here — for education, for the legal field, and for other arenas.

 

Technology and Access to Justice: How Does It Work? — from lawdroid.com by Robin Bull

Picture of a keyboard with the word Justice on one of the keys - clicking on this image will take you to an article called Technology and Access to Justice: How Does It Work?

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

At its most basic level, the term “access to justice” means the ability that a person has in accessing the legal system. This includes, and is not limited to, the ability to afford an attorney and file a lawsuit. There is only a legal right to an attorney if a person faces a criminal charge. There is no right to an attorney if someone is involved in a civil matter.

In the civil system, there is no constitutional right to an attorney. If a person can afford an attorney, great. Sure, there are legal aid organizations set up to provide access to justice. However, many do not have the funds, enough employees, or enough volunteers to help every person who seeks them out. Many Americans cannot afford to pay an hourly rate to have an attorney handle a civil matter. Even if they manage to come up with a retainer, they may not be able to see the matter through to completion or finish paying their attorney.

Here are a few ways that technology and access to justice work together.  

 

Also see:

If regular people lack the abilty to petition a branch of our government without spending their life savings, then we don't have a democracy. Sonja Ebron of Courtroom 5

 

Whistleblowers: Software Bug Keeping Hundreds Of Inmates In Arizona Prisons Beyond Release Dates— from kjzz.org

Excerpt:

According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.

KJZZ is not naming the whistleblowers because they fear retaliation. The employees said they have been raising the issue internally for more than a year, but prison administrators have not acted to fix the software bug. The sources said Chief Information Officer Holly Greene and Deputy Director Joe Profiri have been aware of the problem since 2019.

The Arizona Department of Corrections confirmed there is a problem with the software.

 

Reimagining the Future of Legal Regulatory Reform (emphasis below from DSC)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM EST

The American legal system has been designed by lawyers for lawyers, on the assumption that parties with legal needs will be represented by lawyers. But in more than 76 percent of civil cases in state courts today, at least one of the parties is unrepresented by counsel. The result is a system that is not adequately serving tens of millions of people every year. In response, the regulations that govern legal services are starting to shift in ways that have the potential to transform the legal system so that it better serves the public. Arizona and Utah are leaders in this regulatory reform movement. In this virtual webinar, participants describe the conditions that are driving change, explain Arizona’s and Utah’s innovations, and share their visions for the future of legal services regulation.

For more information, please visit futureofthelegalprofession.org

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian