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Solutions, Reforms to Address Court Funding Crisis Explored at ABA Meeting in New Orleans, Feb. 4

WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 23, 2012 — The crisis of underfunding of our nation’s courts will be the subject of a two–part forum at the _ Midyear Meeting in New Orleans.  Lawyers Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, co-chairs of the ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System, will headline the task force event to be held Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Napoleon Ballroom on the 3rd floor of the Sheraton New Orleans.

The event comes at a critical time.  Forty-two states cut funding for their judiciaries in 2011, reducing access to justice for thousands of Americans, according to the National Center for State Courts.  In San Francisco, the Superior Court says divorce cases can take up to 18 months to be heard.  New York’s courts end promptly at 4:30 p.m. to avoid overtime costs.  Massachusetts has lost more than 1,100 trial court employees through attrition to save money.  These and other examples highlight the severity of the crisis.

The first forum (10 – 11:30 a.m.) will feature members of the court and bar, including Thomas B. Darr, deputy court administrator for Pennsylvania’s judiciary, and Curtis L. Child, director of the governmental affairs office for the California court system.  The panelists will describe the challenges of the current economic climate and present successful tools for efficiency in courts around the country.  The second forum (1 – 2:30 p.m.) will be composed of budget directors and legislators, including Ohio Senate President Pro Tempore Keith Faber, who will detail the most effective strategies for the judiciary during the legislative budget process and beyond.

The Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System was founded in 2010 to address the issue of declining budgets and increasing workloads in our state court systems.  It is comprised of distinguished attorneys and judges from across the nation.  William K. Weisenberg and Mary C. McQueen serve as vice chairs.

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever for this event.

Credential guidelines are at https://abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/.

For more information on the crisis in our courts, please click here.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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Learn More About:  Access to JusticeMidyear Meeting 2012