In Defense of the Courts: Symposium Finds No Easy Way to Fund Courts

Source: James Podgers, ABA Journal, November 1, 2011

Evidence of the growing financial crisis looming over state courts around the country continues to roll in….The need to build coalitions to advocate for the courts was a key element in a resolution by the justice system task force that was approved in August by the ABA House of Delegates. The policy also calls on courts and bar associations to develop effective strategies for communicating with the public and legislators on the issue, and it urges courts to develop best practices for the efficient use of court resources….

…Since it’s difficult for members of the judiciary to lobby legislators, Chemerinsky said, the organized bar is the natural advocacy group to speak on behalf of the courts. Still, the bar is struggling to convince legislators and the public that court viability is crucial both to individual rights and the interests of the business community.

The task is not getting any easier, he said, as the number of lawyers who serve in state legislatures continues to drop. Moreover, the growing use of private justice–for instance, mediation and arbitration –allows wealthy individuals and corporations to avoid the courts….
See also:
Sustaining Justice: 10 Experts Tell How Courts Can Do More with Less
Source: James Podgers, ABA Journal, June 1, 2011
State activities map: Budget shortfalls by state
Source: National Center for State Courts, 2012

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