The Indiana Lawyer has stated that concerns about access to justice are growing, prompting frustrated cries for help from both community members and courts. In the article “Overextended: Indiana Trial Courts Strain Under Justice Gaps, Lack of Legal Resources,” business litigation associate Andrew Dettmer and construction and real estate litigation senior counsel Carl Pebworth discuss the challenges that low-income counties experience because there are few rural trial court judges.
Dettmer has volunteered for local pro bono legal clinics, and he said the goal was to find ways to pull attorneys from other communities to provide limited scope, brief legal advice and clinics to Hoosiers in need of legal knowledge.
“The amount of clients I have helped, it only took me 15 or 20 minutes to get them the form or the answer they needed,” Dettmer said. “Sometimes people have spent months, if not years, trying to find the solution[s] to their problem[s].”
Pebworth thinks that the lack of access to legal justice is a growing problem, not only in rural communities but also in urban areas. “You don’t even have to be part of the folks who might be defined as in poverty, really low income,” he said. “You can be working class and the working poor, and you don’t have really any meaningful way of having access to an attorney. And that should concern all of us.”
The full article is available for The Indiana Lawyer subscribers.