Category Archives: Pro se

Just Wisconsin News for November

Autumn Bridge by Indy Kethdy In this month’s Just Wisconsin newsletter, we have updates on the Legislative Council Study Committee on Access to Civil Legal Services, upcoming changes to Wisconsin Legal Advice Online, a new eviction defense project in Milwaukee and some national news highlights.

The Pro Bono Honor Society is also looking for outstanding attorneys who have provided at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono legal services in 2016.

One additional news item not included in the newsletter is the recently developed set of recommended self-represented litigant resources for clerk of court websites in Wisconsin. Hon. Margaret Vergeront, who is chair of the Courts Committee for the Access to Justice Commission, recently presented the recommendations at the annual clerk of courts conference. Prior to the conference, two clerks from different-sized counties were asked to try implementing the recommendations. Both concluded that it was easy and quick to make the recommended changes. The Commission looks forward to hearing from other clerks as they implement the recommendations.

Supporting judicial discretion to ensure fair hearings

On February 24 the Wisconsin Supreme Court held a public hearing on Petition 13-14, which requests amendments in the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct to provide better guidance to judges in addressing the challenges raised by the growing number of self-represented litigants. The petition, filed by the Access to Justice Commission last September, proposes modifyingContinue Reading

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

Congress prepares to cut LSC funding (again)

In the midst of the greatest economic meltdown in a generation, Congress is poised to cut 2012 funding for the federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest single funding source for civil legal services to the poor. LSC funds a national network of nonprofit law offices who leverage their staff and volunteers along with otherContinue ReadingContinue Reading