October 2, 2020
On Monday, Sept. 21, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore held her annual statewide public hearing evaluating civil legal services in New York City. This year, she focused on the civil justice crisis that has become prevalent due to COVID-19.
Judge DiFiore invited presenters to speak about the civil service needs of New Yorkers. Bridging this justice gap will be absolutely essential for low-income New Yorkers when needing counsel in civil cases. The Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, established in 2015 by DiFiore, works to provide New Yorkers with legal services regardless of their background or economic status. The Commission was constructed in order to make sure the missions of the Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York, established in 2010 by then-Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, became permanent.
At the beginning of the hearing, the Chief Judge thanked presenters who chose to speak. “When we hear from our presenters and clients, be mindful that there are literally tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are facing eviction, foreclosure, unemployment, consumer debt, bankruptcy, the fallout from domestic violence, poverty and other serious issues,” Judge Fiore said. “We are particularly grateful today to the clients coming forward to present. It is not always easy to come forward and present your story.”