Monthly Archives: October 2011

Wisconsin Supreme Court takes no action on civil right to counsel petition

The Wisconsin Supreme Court held an open administrative conference on Monday, October 17, to discuss how it should respond to Petition 10-08 following the all-day hearing on the petition was held on October 4. The petition seeks creation of a new court rule that would lead to the appointment of counsel in many more civil cases in Wisconsin. At the administrative conference there was not a majority of justices who supported moving forward on the proposal as set out in the petition. However, only two justices indicated that they would deny the petition outright.

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Commission testifies in support of a civil right to counsel

At Tuesday’s hearing in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Access to Justice Commission reiterated its support for a new rule that would lead more Circuit Court judges to appoint attorneys for indigent Wisconsin residents in certain civil court cases. As Professor Marsha Mansfield noted on behalf of the Commission, this is an issue of fundamental fairness, because there are “people who really do need the help of a lawyer in order to successfully present their case: not win or lose but just to be a able to fully develop the facts or law necessary to have a full decision rendered.”Continue Reading