NY Mayor Predicts Legal Right To Civil Lawyers

The Wall Street Journal reported (9/29/15) that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sees "a day not too far away when indigent defendants have a legal right to a lawyer in civil cases."

The Wall Street Journal reported (9/29/15) that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sees “a day not too far away when indigent defendants have a legal right to a lawyer in civil cases.”

The Wall Street Journal reported (9/29/15) that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sees “a day not too far away when indigent defendants have a legal right to a lawyer in civil cases.”

He admits that local jurisdictions will need federal help to make it happen, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is predicting that he can “see the day” when indigent defendants have a legal right to a lawyer in civil cases. The mayor was speaking at one of¬† a series of hearings led by New York’s chief appeals judge on the topic of civil legal services. His comments illustrate that New York continues to lead the nation in providing civil attorneys for life-changing cases like eviction and child custody disputes.

The Wall Street Journal is among those reporting on the civil Gideon effort, backgrounding that “… in the¬†landmark 1963 case¬†Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court recognized an indigent defendant‚Äôs right to an attorney in a criminal trial. But the high court has never extended the Sixth Amendment‚Äôs guarantee of counsel to civil cases. The story quotes New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who has led the conversation: ‚ÄúWe are talking about the necessities, or essentials, of life… we mean the roof over someone‚Äôs head, we mean their physical safety, their livelihoods, the well-being of their families, entitlement issues.‚ÄĚ