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Encyclopedia > Legal aid

Most liberal democracies consider that it is necessary to provide some level of legal aid to persons otherwise unable to afford legal representation. To not do so would deprive such persons of access to the court system. Alternately, they would be at a disadvantage in situations in which the state or a wealthy individual took them to court. This would violate the principles of equality before the law and due process under the rule of law. Liberal democracy is a form of government. ... A state is a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... The rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedure. ...


A number of delivery models for legal aid have emerged. In a "staff attorney" model, lawyers are employed on salary solely to provide legal assistance to qualifying low-income clients. In a "judicare" model, private lawyers and law firms are paid to handle cases from eligible clients alongside cases from fee-paying clients, much like doctors are paid to handle Medicare patients.[1] English barrister 16th century painting of a civil law notary, by Flemish painter Quentin Massys. ... A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. ... President Johnson signing the Medicare amendment. ...

Contents

Legal aid in the U.S.

In a series of cases starting in 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that American indigents do have a right to counsel, but only in criminal cases. See Gideon v. Wainwright. A few states (like California) also guarantee the right to counsel in "quasi-criminal" cases like paternity actions and involuntary terminations of parental rights. The federal government and some states have offices of public defenders who assist indigent defendants, while other states have systems for outsourcing the work to private lawyers. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Holding The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a fundamental right applied to the states through the Fourteenth, and requires that indigent criminal defendants be provided counsel at trial. ... Paternity is the social and legal acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a father and his child. ... This article describes the government of the United States. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Meanwhile, legal aid for civil cases is currently provided by a diverse hodgepodge of public interest law firms, who often have "legal aid" or "legal services" in their names. All such firms impose income and resource ceilings as well as restrictions on the types of cases they will take, because there are always too many potential clients and not enough money to go around. A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. ... Income, generally defined, is the money that is received as a result of the normal business activities of an individual or a business. ... Consumers refers to individuals or households that purchase and use goods and services generated within the economy. ...


Common types of cases include: denial or deprivation of government benefits, evictions, domestic violence, immigration status, and discrimination. Some legal aid organizations serve as outside counsel to small nonprofit organizations that lack in-house counsel. Funding usually comes from charities, private donors, the federal government (see below on LSC) and some local and state governments. Most typical legal aid work involves counseling, informal negotiation, and appearances in administrative hearings, as opposed to formal litigation in the courts. However, the discovery of severe or recurring injustice with a large number of victims will sometimes justify the cost of large-scale impact litigation. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Manifestations Slavery · Racial profiling · Lynching Hate speech · Hate crime · Hate groups Genocide · The Holocaust · Armenian Genocide · Pogrom Ethnocide · Ethnic cleansing · Race war Religious persecution · Gay bashing Blood libel · Black Legend Pedophobia · Ephebiphobia Movements Discriminatory Aryanism · Neo-Nazism · Ku Klux Klan National Party (South Africa) American Nazi Party Kahanism · Supremacism Anti... A non-profit organization (often called non-profit org or simply non-profit or not-for-profit) can be seen as an organization that doesnt have a goal to make a profit. ... // Legal definitions A charity is a trust, company or unincorporated association established for charitable purposes only. ... Broadly speaking, Negotiation is an interaction of influences. ... A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in order to recover a right, obtain damages for an injury, obtain an injunction to prevent an injury, or obtain a declaratory judgment to prevent future legal disputes. ...


In 1974, Congress created the highly controversial Legal Services Corporation to provide federal funding for legal aid services. LSC's funding has fluctuated dramatically over the past three decades depending upon which political parties were in control of Congress and the White House. For example, LSC suffered staggering funding cuts under former President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s. Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups (as of November 7, 2006 elections) Democratic Party Republican... The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a private, non-profit corporation established by the United States Congress to seek to ensure equal access to justice under the law for all Americans by providing civil legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to afford it. ... Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 – 1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967 – 1975). ...


Legal aid organizations that take LSC money tend to have more staff and services and can help more clients, but must also conform to strict government regulations that require careful timekeeping and prohibit lobbying and class actions. Many legal aid organizations refuse to take LSC money, and can continue to file class actions and directly lobby legislatures on behalf of the poor. It has been suggested that Interest representation: Academic overview be merged into this article or section. ... In law, a class action is an equitable procedural device used in litigation for determining the rights of and remedies, if any, for large numbers of people whose cases involve common questions of law and fact. ...


However, even with supplemental funding from LSC, the total amount of legal aid available for civil cases is still grossly inadequate. According to LSC's widely released 2005 report "Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans", all legal aid offices nationwide, LSC-funded or not, are together able to meet only about 20 percent of the estimated legal needs of low-income people in the United States. [2]


The problem of chronic underfunding of legal aid traps the lower middle class in a catch-22: too rich to qualify for legal aid, too poor to pay an attorney in private practice. To remedy the ongoing shortage of legal aid services, some commentators have suggested that mandatory pro bono obligations ought to be imposed on all lawyers, just as physicians working in emergency rooms are required to treat all patients regardless of ability to pay. However, all such proposals have been successfully fought off by bar associations. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Pro bono is a phrase derived from Latin meaning for the good. The complete phrase is pro bono publico, for the public good. It is used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. ... The Doctor by Luke Fildes This article is about the term physician, one type of doctor; for other uses of the word doctor see Doctor. ... The emergency room is the American English term for a room, or group of rooms, within a hospital that is designed for the treatment of urgent and medical emergencies. ... A bar association is a professional body of lawyers who, in some jurisdictions, are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession. ...


Legal aid programs for the poor are generally opposed by conservatives in the U.S., and supported by liberals and moderates. Fiscal conservatives argue that if asked to select between $500 in cash and $500 in legal services, most poor persons would take the cash. Social conservatives argue that legal aid programs serve only a very limited, left-wing version of the public interest. The liberal counterargument is that from a moral or philosophical perspective, legal aid preserves the ideal of "equal access for all" to the judicial system. A rather Machiavellian argument is that legal aid upholds the rule of law and stabilizes society as a whole, by enabling the poor to regularly seek redress of their grievances through formal legal processes; otherwise, it is likely that the poor will resort to highly destructive self-help measures like rioting. Social conservatism is a belief in traditional morality and social mores and the desire to preserve these in present day society, often through civil law or regulation. ... Detail of the portrait of Machiavelli, ca 1500, in the robes of a Florentine public official Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3, 1469—June 21, 1527) was an Italian political philosopher during the Renaissance. ... Though the term self-help can refer to any case whereby an individual or a group betters themselves economically, intellectually or emotionally, the connotations of the phrase have come to apply particularly to psychological or psychotherapeutic nostrums, often purveyed through the popular genre of the self-help book. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ...


Legal aid in Scotland

In Scotland, legal aid is in principle available for all civil actions in the Court of Session and Sheriff Court with the significant exception of actions of defamation. It is also available for some statutory tribunals, such as the Immigration Appeal Adjudicator and the Social Security Commissioners.There is a separate system of criminal legal aid, and legal aid is also available for legal advice. The Court of Session is the supreme civil court in Scotland. ... The Sheriff Courts are the local Court system in Scotland. ... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ...


Legal aid is means-tested, and in practice only available to less than one-quarter of the population. It is administered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.


Legal aid in England and Wales

In England and Wales, legal aid is administered by the Legal Services Commission, and is available for most criminal cases, and many types of civil cases with exceptions including libel, most personal injury cases (which are now dealt with under Conditional Fee Agreements, a species of contingency fee) and cases associated with the running of a business. Family cases are also often covered. Depending on the type of case, legal aid may or may not be means tested. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is an executive non-departmental public body that is responsible for legal aid in England and Wales. ... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ...


Although the European Courts have recently ruled that a lack of legal-aid-libel may be a breach of the right to a fair trial (following the McLibel case), it is still unclear how this will affect UK libel trials. The McLibel case is the nickname for an English court action filed by McDonalds Corporation against unemployed environmental activists Helen Steel and David Morris. ...


Criminal legal aid is generally provided through private firms of solicitors and barristers in private practice. There are a limited number of public defenders. Civil legal aid is provided through solicitors and barristers in private practice but also non-lawyers working in law centres and not-for-profit advice agencies.


Legal aid in Australia

Australia has a federal system of Government comprising federal, state and territory jurisdictions. The Australian (Commonwealth) and State and Territory governments are each responsible for the provision of legal aid for matters arising under their laws.


Legal aid for both Commonwealth and State matters is primarily delivered through State and Territory legal aid commissions (LACs), which are independent statutory agencies established under State and Territory legislation. The Australian Government funds the provision of legal aid for Commonwealth family, civil and criminal law matters under agreements with State and Territory governments and LACs. The majority of Commonwealth matters fall within the family law jurisdiction. This article describes the national government of Australia. ...


Legal aid commissions use a mixed model to deliver legal representation services. A grant of assistance legal representation may be assigned to either a salaried in house lawyer or referred to a private legal practitioner. The mixed model is particularly advantageous for providing services to clients in regional areas and in cases where a conflict of interest means the same lawyer cannot represent both parties. A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, a politician, or an executive or director of a corporation, has competing professional or personal interests. ...


The Australian Government and most State and Territory Governments also fund community legal centres, which are independent, non-profit organisations which provide referral, advice and assistance to people with legal problems. Additionally, the Australian Government funds financial assistance for legal services under certain statutory schemes and legal services for Indigenous Australians.


By way of history, the Australian Government took its first major step towards a national system of legal aid when it established the Legal Services Bureaux in 1942. However, there was a move in the late 1970s to service delivery by the States and Territories (not the federal arm of government). In 1977, the Australian Government enacted the Commonwealth Legal Aid Commission Act 1977 (LAC Act) which established cooperative arrangements between the Australian Government and State and Territory governments under which legal aid would be provided by independent legal aid commissions to be established under State and Territory legislation. The process of establishing the LACs took a number of years. It commenced in 1976 with the establishment of the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia and ended in 1990 with the establishment of the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania. The cooperative arrangements that were established by the LAC Act provided for Commonwealth and State and Territory legal aid funding agreements, which began in 1987. Capital Perth Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Ken Michael Premier Alan Carpenter (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 15  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $100,900 (4th)  - Product per capita  $50,355/person (3rd) Population (December 2006)  - Population  2,050,900 (4th)  - Density  0. ... Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $16,114 (7th)  - Product per capita  $33,243/person (8th) Population (End of September 2006)  - Population  489,600 (6th)  - Density  7. ...


In July 1997, the Australian Government changed its arrangements to directly fund legal aid services for Commonwealth law matters. Under this arrangement the States and Territories fund assistance in respect of their own laws.


Legal aid in Ontario, Canada

Legal aid in Ontario is administered by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). The LAO provides funding to more than one million Ontario residents who need help with their legal problems. Legal Aid is available to low income individuals and disadvantaged communities for a variety of legal problems, including criminal matters, family disputes, immigration and refugee hearings and poverty law issues such as landlord/tenant disputes, disability support and family benefits payments.


Legal Aid Ontario has two main parts: the legal aid certificate program, and the community legal clinic system.


Ontario’s 79 Community legal clinics are staffed by lawyers, community legal workers, and sometimes law students. Each legal clinic is run by a volunteer board of directors with members from the community.�


Specialty legal clinics serve a particular community or focus on a specific area of law. Unlike general service legal clinics, most specialty legal clinics are not limited to serving a particular geographic area.


Legal clinics provide information, representation, and advice on various kinds of legal issues, including social assistance, housing, refugee and immigration law, employment law, human rights, workers’ compensation, and the Canada Pension Plan.


Many legal clinics also produce community legal education materials, offer workshops and information sessions, and engage in other community development activities including campaigns to change the law.


Generally, legal aid lawyers in Ontario consider themselves to be paid very poorly. However, that is only relative to the Private Bar, who are charging fee paying clients. Several lawyers at Legal Aid Ontario are payed salaries exceeding $100,000 [1]. Also, in Canada, the provincial governments tend to pay Crown lawyers more than Legal Aid lawyers.


References

  1. ^ Alan W. Houseman & Linda E. Perle, Securing Equal Justice for All: A Brief History of Civil Legal Assistance in the United States, pages 10 and 29. Center for Law and Social Policy, November 2003.
  2. ^ Helaine M. Barnett, President, Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, pages 4 and 9. Legal Services Corporation, September 2005.

See also

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is a legal aid society in Cleveland, Ohio established in 1905. ...

External links

Legal aid at the Open Directory Project The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from directory. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Legal aid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1679 words)
A rather Machiavellian argument is that legal aid upholds the rule of law and stabilizes society as a whole, by enabling the poor to regularly seek redress of their grievances through formal legal processes; otherwise, it is likely that the poor will resort to highly destructive self-help measures like rioting.
Legal aid in Ontario is administered by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO).
Legal Aid is available to low income individuals and disadvantaged communities for a variety of legal problems, including criminal matters, family disputes, immigration and refugee hearings and poverty law issues such as landlord/tenant disputes, disability support and family benefits payments.
Legal Aid for Divorce in England (702 words)
Legal Aid plays a particularly important role in divorce proceedings or, more accurately, in proceedings concerning the matrimonial property and has an unfair effect on the legal costs of the respective parties in any proceedings where one party is legally aided but the other is not.
If one party is legally aided and the other is not then even if the party who is not legally aided is successful in the proceedings he\she cannot usually recover his\her legal costs from the loser as would usually be the case.
This often means that the wife is eligible for legal aid in matrimonial proceedings whereas the husband is not.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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