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Oklahoma Summit on Access to Justice

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Legal Talk Network was on-hand during the summit to record interviews with attorneys working and donating their time in this space to learn more about the efforts to help Americans of low economic means with legal problems.

Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City | Thursday, Oct. 11 | 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Ensuring that every citizen should have equal access to justice should be a core American value. But the results of studies question the reality of that promise, with some suggesting that up to 80 percent of people don’t have access to assistance for their legal problems. About one in five Oklahomans qualify for free civil legal assistance. Unfortunately, more than half of those seeking help must be turned away due to a lack of funding. Many are suggesting significant changes to our legal system to address this problem. Oklahoma lawyers will want to be involved with reform efforts.

The Oklahoma Access to Justice Summit welcomes an extraordinary lineup of leaders, including James J. Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corporation; Katherine Alteneder, executive director of the Self-Represented Litigation Network; Ryan Gentzler, Director, Open Justice Oklahoma; Jonathan Lippman, Latham & Watkins LLP and former chief judge of New York and chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals and Douglas Combs, chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The Oklahoma Access to Justice Commission was established in 2014 by order of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and charged with developing and implementing policies that expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Oklahomans. We will hear about the commission’s accomplishments so far at this event.

Some interesting information based on data from Oklahoma courts will be provided by Open Justice Oklahoma. The summit will have training on Oklahoma District Court Rule 33 which clarifies how lawyers can provide limited legal services to those who cannot afford full services. There is also a session on the new realities of eviction and how a single eviction can impact families for many years into the future.

This free program provides 6 hours of MCLE Credit (0 ethics) and includes lunch.

The Access to Justice Summit is made possible through financial support from LegalShield, Tricia Everest, Crowe & Dunlevy, Walmart and the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation.