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Bridging the Civil Justice Gap

Social Justice

Bridging the Civil Justice Gap

Virtual Forum

Tuesday, March 9, 2021
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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"The impact of the eviction system and the entire civil justice system on Black and Brown people is significant. So, as we look at things through a racial justice lens, we need to understand that and how our systems are set up to disempower." – Colleen M. Cotter, Esq.

A recent poll from the Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center found that 91 percent of Americans favor some sort of criminal justice system and police reform. But that's not the only aspect of our legal system hampered by decades of discrimination, racism, and classism. There is also a persistent civil justice gap in America - and it's widening.

The civil justice gap is described as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. According to one recent study, poor and low-income Americans received adequate legal attention for only 14 percent of the civil problems they reported. The vast majority, unable to afford representation, too often navigate the courts and other bureaucracies on their own as they face eviction, debt collection lawsuits, issues with immigration, disability, and domestic violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. What is it about the way our courts work that make it so hard for ordinary people to navigate them and get the resolutions they need?

Join us as national and local experts discuss the scope and scale of the problems that people encounter in the civil legal system, and explore some potential solutions.

The livestream will be available beginning at 12:30 p.m. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

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