Thursday, March 2, 2006

WSBA meeting - access to justice issues

WSBA's Board of Governors is meeting in Seattle tomorrow. Press release.

The Practice of Law Board will present a proposed new rule authorizing the provision of legal and law-related services by nonlawyers. The rule would enable certified legal technicians to perform some functions formerly limited to attorneys. "The rule is intended to permit non-lawyers to provide limited legal assistance in a more accessible fashion to those who do not require the full services of a Lawyer."

The legal technicians would have to work under the supervsion of a lawyer. To be eligible for certification, an individual would have complete a paralegal program, get a couple of years experience (depending on the program), perform 20 hours of pro bono service in an approved legal services organization, and pass a test.

The Access to Justice Impediments Committee will present a new guide, "Ensuring Equal Access for People with Disabilities: A Guide for Washington Courts." The committee is co-chaired by Judge Catherine Shaffer, who is also a Trial Ad instructor.

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