Albany Law to Participate in NYSBA Civil Right to Counsel Conference

9/26/2013 | Facebook|Twitter|Email

Albany Law School is joining the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) for a conference on "Why We Need a Right to Counsel in Civil Matters Where Basic Human Needs are at Stake" at 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2013.

Albany Law School will webcast the conference for its students. Following the webcast, Albany Law will host a local program on the topic on campus.

The NYSBA program will include:

   New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

   NYSBA President David Schraver

   Fern Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the NYC Courts and Director of the NY State   Courts Access to Justice Program

   Bryan Hetherington, Chief Counsel, Empire Justice Center

   Martha Davis, Professor, Northeastern University Law School

   John Pollock, Coordinator, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel

   Andrew Scherer (moderator), author, Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in NY and Senior Fellow,    Furman Center at NYU Law School

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Clarence Earl Gideon, who could not afford to hire an attorney to defend him in a criminal case, had a right to counsel at government expense.  In Gideon v. Wainwright, the court found that it was an “obvious truth” that a criminal defendant cannot have a fair trial unless counsel is appointed.

During the Oct. 3 event, participants will discuss whether there is an equally obvious truth that there should be a right to counsel for low-income individuals facing civil legal actions that could result in eviction from their homes, loss of child custody and denial of basic human services.