Category Archives: Hearings

On the state of equal justice in Wisconsin

Hearing panel in Eau Claire

Hon. Molly GaleWyrick, Gregg Moore & Mike Waterman listen to testimony in Eau Claire

The Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission has released its report with key findings and recommendations on how to improve access to justice for unrepresented, low-income Wisconsin residents. The report draws on testimony from over 137 witnesses who provided testimony at a series of regional public hearings in Green Bay, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse and Wausau.

More funding for civil legal services, increased support for pro bono efforts, and an expanded role for nonlawyers are a few of the recommendations in the report.

Since its creation by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2009, the Commission has worked to foster expanded access to the justice system for unrepresented, low-income Wisconsin residents. The State of Equal Justice In Wisconsin is the Commission’s latest effort to highlight both the challenges we face but also some of the bright spots that deserve more attention.

There are many paths to justice. Some of them lead to the courthouse door. As one speaker in Madison observed, access to justice means more than just being free to participate in a proceeding. When the stakes are high and individuals are unable to help themselves, more help is often needed:

 “It means having effective participation in a proceeding. In our system, that generally means having a trained advocate. Allowing someone to be present in a proceeding that they don’t understand is not access to justice. It might be access to a courtroom, but it’s not access to justice,” Kevin Magee, Legal Action of Wisconsin

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Just words

What’s in a word? Quite a bit actually. Whether it is a single word like justice or a concept like equal justice, words convey basic information and complex thoughts about what matters to us. Wordle is a free web service that helps you visualize the frequency of words in a selection of text that youContinue Reading

La Crosse regional access to justice hearing is October 16

You are invited to share your experiences and ideas at our final public hearing in La Crosse on October 16. This is a chance to share your knowledge of the challenges facing low-income Wisconsin residents when they need legal help with critical civil (not criminal) legal problems. We want to hear from you! Date: OctoberContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Milwaukee and Madison speakers highlight the fraying legal safety net for the poor

On September 13 in Milwaukee and then again on September 18 in Madison, local community members, judges, lawyers, social services agencies and others gathered to share their experiences in providing or finding civil legal assistance for low income people in Wisconsin. The Access to Justice Commission is entering the home stretch for its series ofContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Wausau access to justice hearing is October 2

You are invited to share your experiences and ideas at a public hearing in Wausau organized by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission. This is a chance to share your knowledge of the challenges facing low-income Wisconsin residents when they need legal help with critical civil (not criminal) legal problems. We want to hear from you! Date: October 2,Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Milwaukee to host regional access to justice hearing on September 13

You are invited to a public hearing in Milwaukee to share what you know about the challenges facing low income residents in southeastern Wisconsin when they need legal help with critical civil (not criminal) legal problems. The event is being organized by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission. We want to hear from you! When:Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Madison to host regional access to justice hearing on September 18

You are invited to a public hearing in Madison to share what you know about the challenges facing low income residents in southcentral Wisconsin when they need legal help with critical civil (not criminal) legal problems. The event is being organized by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission. We want to hear from you! When:Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Compelling testimony in Eau Claire on the importance of access to justice

It was a remarkable evening in Eau Claire. Members of the community came out on July 31 to share their thoughts about the state of access to justice in the area. Representatives from domestic violence prevention groups, the court system, legal services organizations, the faith community and the private bar concurred that the needs theyContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Eau Claire hearing on access to justice is today

This afternoon, the second in a series of regional access to justice hearings will take place in Eau Claire. We’re looking forward to a varied mix of speakers from the area, including legal services groups, concerned members of the public, judges and volunteer attorneys. The justice gap is very real for thousands of Wisconsin residentsContinue Reading

Onward: From Green Bay to Eau Claire

Community members and advocates from throughout the Green Bay and Fox Valley region gathered in Green Bay this week to share their experiences in responding to the overwhelming civil legal needs facing low-income area residents in the area. They were attending the first regional access to justice hearing convened by the Wisconsin Access to JusticeContinue ReadingContinue Reading