obstacles to accessing the civil justice system in Ohio will be the
charge of a new 10-member Task Force on Access to Justice announced by
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.
to access to justice can mean many things,” Chief Justice O’Connor
said. “It can be barriers for litigants for whom English isn’t their
primary language, or the hearing impaired, or juveniles who need legal
representation to ensure their voice is heard, or poor civil litigants
who cannot access legal representation through Legal Aid because of a
lack of resources to meet their needs. But, there’s also basic, physical access to the courts.”
and accessible courts are not a luxury,” she continued. “They are an
absolute necessity in a free and civilized society. They are guaranteed
in the Ohio and U.S. constitutions.”
task force, which will be chaired by former Supreme Court Justice
Yvette McGee Brown, will meet for the first time on August 1.
with her 2011 inaugural address, Chief Justice O’Connor has
consistently expressed a need to increase access to justice for all
an overview of Ohio’s needs, the task force will examine access to
justice entities in other states and whether the Supreme Court should
establish a permanent entity charged with this mission,” she said.
Justice O’Connor also expressed her gratitude to Yvette McGee Brown for
lending her considerable experience and guidance as chair for this
an eye toward reflecting Ohio’s diverse population, task force members
consist of judges, representatives of Legal Aid organizations, the state
public defender, and attorneys in private practice.
The task force will meet throughout 2014 and issue a report with specific findings and recommendations.
Other task force members include:
- Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French;
- Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court Judge Diane M. Palos
- Ohio Public Defender Timothy Young;
- Ohio State Bar Association Assistant Executive Director William K. Weisenberg;
- Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation Executive Director Angela M. Lloyd;
- Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. Staff Attorney Karen P. Wu;
- Richard W. Pogue, Esq., Jones Day;
- John D. Holschuh Jr., Esq., Santen & Hughes; and
- David W. Alexander, Esq., Squire Patton Boggs.
Content courtesy of Court News Ohio.