A New Era of Justice? The Expanding Right to Counsel in Civil Litigation in New Jersey

DATE: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

TIME: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

VENUE: Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City, NJ

ORGANIZER: New Jersey State Bar Association

The ABA has been advocating for the civil right to counsel, sometimes called "Civil Gideon," for people who cannot afford lawyers in legal matters impacting basic human needs such as shelter, sustenance, safety, health, and child custody. For years, New Jersey has acknowledged that certain litigants are entitled to legal counsel – parents facing termination of their parental rights by the State, defendants in certain municipal court matters, defendants in domestic violence civil contempt proceedings, at parole hearings. In the past year, the NJ courts have expanded the right to counsel to include parents facing termination of rights in private adoptions and in enforcement of child support proceedings. More recently, Newark has moved to follow the NYC model of providing counsel for poor tenants facing eviction, and the State has providing funding to represent immigrant detainees. This panel will look at the advancement of "Civil Gideon" in New Jersey, including the current state of the law and what the future holds for right to counsel in other civil matters, e.g., domestic violence proceedings. Panelists will consider the model rules proposed by the ABA and our ethical obligation as attorneys to provide counsel to close the justice gap, as well as the impact of Civil Gideon on Madden assignments and attorneys in the New Jersey bar and how the State will fund the required counsel.

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