Montana Supreme Court takes steps to increase access to justice system
Montana: In a 5 to 1 decision late last month the Montana Supreme Court decided on a program to increase the availability of lawyers and other resources for people who cannot afford them. The decision is in response to a nationwide decrease of funding for legal aid programs and the increasing amount of people representing themselves without professional legal representation.
A main goal of the project is the creation of an online database of attorneys and law students who will volunteer their time to assist the people representing themselves. A Commission on Access to Justice will also be established to advise the court on needs of low-income people and their business interests. 
The Montana Chamber of Commerce supported the creation of the commission saying,
- “Montana businesses, especially small businesses, often use the courts for disputes involving contracts, employment, torts, land use, taxation and many other issues that arise in the course of business. Employers and business owners want efficient, timely and fair decisions that provide a predictable framework for their business. If low income and pro se litigants are adequately prepared and represented, the judicial system works more effectively for all Montanans who access the system.”
- News: Illinois Supreme Court pushes for greater access to justice, June 14, 2012
- News: Oregon Judicial Department aims to create more accessibility to court system, June 12, 2012
|This article was written by Kevin Kelly, an Assistant Staff Writer for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.|