ABA President Embraces Civil Gideon

The president of the American Bar Association is embracing the idea of providing lawyers to people facing civil lawsuit in a way similar to the criminal justice system. Known as “civil Gideon,” a reference to the landmark case that guarantees legal representation in criminal courts, the idea is that people who cannot afford attorneys are relatively helpless against those who can. In particular, the idea is that people facing family court or housing issues are facing injustice.

After a speech this week in Memphis, ABA President James Silkenat explained that “…look at how long it took us to recognize Gideon on the criminal side. This next step will be a difficult one. But I am encouraged the more I see how much lawyers and other leaders of society recognize the problem for everyday citizens just living their lives without legal advice on the most important legal issues – they are left at sea.”

Read the Memphis Daily News report on his comments here: ABA President Silkenat Shares Notion Of ‘Civil Gideon’