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Best Practices Guide Designed to Reduce Barriers to Justice for Self-Represented Litigants

Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS), Pro Bono Net, and Legal Services Corporation (LSC) recently released, “Principles and Best Practices for Access-Friendly Court Electronic Filing (The Best Practices),” a guide intended to ensure that electronic filing of court documents is deployed nationally in a way that removes barriers to access to justice. The Minnesota Judicial Branch, Legal Services State Support, and Pro Bono Net are partners in the project

The guide was developed by Richard Zorza, an attorney and independent consultant who has worked on issues of access to justice, with funding from the Legal Services Corporation through a Technology Initiative Grant (TIG).

Zorza was the primary consultant to the Washington State Access to Justice Technology Principles, which were adopted by the state Supreme Court. He has collaborated with the Minnesota Judicial Branch on Self-Represented Litigant Network projects, including an evaluation of the Minnesota Self Help Center.

Jim Sandman, president of the LSC, said, “The Best Practices is an important and very practical guide to improving access to justice, crafted by the nation’s leading expert on self-represented litigants. LSC will encourage broad distribution and widespread use of the guide’s recommendations.”

The Best Practices is posted on the LSC’s website, Legal Services Corporation (PDF).

About Pro Bono Net

Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation.

About Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

LSC was established by the Congress in 1974 to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.