By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Eighty percent of low-income families have no access to lawyers in civil cases — even when their home or child custody is at stake. A coalition of lawyers is hoping to change that.
It was 1963 when the US Supreme Court ruled that indigent clients have a right to counsel in serious criminal matters. But low-income individuals involved in serious civil legal matters are left on their own, with little understand or help on how to access their rights.
“People who are facing the loss of their homes, the loss of income and sometimes the loss of children do not have the right to counsel,” says Catherine Carr, executive director of Community Legal Services. “Poverty is high in this city, so is unemployment and people really, really need these services.”
Carr says veterans and others on disability could easily lose income and many families…
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