In a third meeting, the Texas Supreme Court’s commission to explore ways to close the “justice gap” will meet Saturday at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law.
The meeting will be open to the public. Public comments will be taken.
The commission will meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 420 at the law school, 1901 Main St.
Appointed by the Supreme Court, the Texas Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services is charged with trying to find a comprehensive solution for growing numbers of potential clients with legal problems who believe they cannot afford lawyers to solve them.
Former Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson heads the 18-person commission.
“We are working to assess the specific needs of Texas residents who have legal problems but lack the financial resources to retain counsel. This problem exists not only for indigent Texans, but also for those of modest financial means,” Jefferson said. “Can we find the means to couple these many people with lawyers who can help at lower rates? Can lawyers help people representing themselves with certain, specific but limited legal tasks like filings? Should we establish courthouse networks staffed by lawyers who can help sort true legal problems short of full representation by counsel?
“There is no one good answer. We hope to make recommendations to the Supreme Court of Texas that address this critical problem with a variety of possible solutions.”
Saturday’s meeting will begin with a discussion of findings by the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. Under the order establishing it, the Texas commission will issue a first report to the Court on Nov. 1.
In its first two meetings the commission, composed of lawyers, judges and law school deans and professors, has assessed efforts and proposals in Texas and other states to determine find how to broaden legal services available to low- and middle-income Texans.