LA Times Editorial: Better access to legal representation is crucial — even in civil cases

No person in the United States can be put on trial for their life or liberty, or indeed any criminal penalty down to the smallest traffic fine, without access to a lawyer to provide expert assistance. That principle was established by the 6th Amendment in 1789, although the actual right to counsel remained spotty until Clarence Earl Gideon’s case famously went to the Supreme Court in 1963. The Gideon ruling established that any criminal defendant in any court had a right to an appointed lawyer if they couldn’t afford one themselves.


LAist: LA is Considering Free Lawyers For People Facing Eviction

Los Angeles County courts hear more than 54,000 eviction cases every year. Now, the L.A. City Council is moving forward on a motion that could lay the foundation for giving tenants in those cases the right to a lawyer — a move sponsors say would even the playing field between renters and landlords and help stop the slide into homelessness for many tenants faced with losing their homes.