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January 16, 2015
First Meeting of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice Part 1
The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice held its first meeting on Friday, Jan. 16 in Tallahassee. Recognizing that economic disparity threatens access to a fair and impartial judicial system, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga issued an administrative order establishing the commission in November 2014. The 27-member commission includes leaders from all three branches of Florida government, The Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Foundation, civil legal aid providers, the business community, and other stakeholders, who will work in a coordinated effort to identify and remove economic barriers to civil justice.
The keynote address was presented by Supreme Court of Texas Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, who is active in the Court's efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level as well as others with limited means have access to basic civil legal services. The Texas Access to Justice Commission was formed in 2001 and has a long list of concrete and impactful achievements. Chief Justice Hecht is co-author with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride of “Access to Justice Commissions: Lessons from Two States” in Trends in State Courts 2014, a publication of the National Center for State Courts.