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Eastern Regional Conference
Access to Justice for the Self-Represented:
Court and Community-Based Strategies and Solutions

May 10-12, N.Y. State Judicial Institute, White Plains, NY
 

Conference Program

Conference-at-a-Glance | Program Details


Conference-at-a-Glance

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
  Welcoming Reception: Crowne Plaza Hotel Lobby Bar
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

8:00 A.M. - 9:00 A.M.
  Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 A.M. - 9:15 A.M.
 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speakers:

  • Hon. Juanita Bing Newton, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, New York State Unified Court System
  • Hon. Frank Nicolai, Ninth Judicial District Administrative Judge, New York State Unified Court System
9:15 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.
  Plenary Session - And Access to Justice for All: The Potential of Community Connection, Volunteerism and Technology
10:30 A.M. - 12:10 P.M.
  Plenary Session - Assisting the Self-Represented: Models that Address Local Needs
12:10 P.M. - 1:10 P.M.
 

Lunch

Peer Discussion Groups

1:10 P.M. - 2:50 P.M.
 

Workshops

  • Foundations: The Obligations and Benefits of Programs for the Self-Represented
  • Roadmap for Implementing a Service Delivery Model
  • Enhancing Services through Technology
3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
  Plenary Session - Creating Access to the Courts Across Cultures and Languages
4:00 P.M. - 5:40 P.M.
 

Workshops

  • Program Development: The Nuts and Bolts of Getting Started
  • The Challenges of Providing Access to Hard-to-Reach and Special-Issue Communities
  • Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations and Agencies
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Friday, May 12, 2006
8:00 A.M. - 9:00 A.M.
  Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.
  Plenary Session - The Ethics of Providing Assistance: The Difference Between Legal Information and Legal Advice
10:30 A.M. - 12:10 P.M.
  Plenary Session - Unbundled Legal Services and the Self-Represented
12:10 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
 

Lunch

Presentation of the State Justice Institute’s Howell Heflin Award by Hon. Joseph F. Baca, Chief Judge (ret.), New Mexico Supreme Court to selfhelpsupport.org

1:00 P.M. - 2:15 P.M.
 

Workshops

  • Volunteers as Service Providers: Recruitment, Training and Supervision
  • Best Practices in the Courtroom
  • Operational Challenges of Running a Program
2:15 P.M. - 2:45 P.M.
  Plenary Session - Evaluation Overview
2:45 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.
  Closing Remarks
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Program Details
Thursday, May 11, 2006: 9:15 A.M.-10:15 A.M. Plenary Session | 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M. Plenary Session | 1:15 P.M.-2:45 P.M. Workshops | 3:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. Plenary Session | 4:00 P.M.-5:30 P.M. Workshops

Friday, May 12, 2006: 9:00 A.M.-10:15 A.M. Plenary Session | 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M. Plenary Session | 1:00 P.M.-2:15 P.M. Workshops | 2:15 P.M.-2:45 P.M. Plenary Session | 2:45 P.M.-3:00 P.M. Closing Remarks
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Thursday, May 11, 2006
9:15 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.
Plenary Session
  And Access to Justice for All: The Potential of Community Connection, Volunteerism and Technology

How can we achieve equal access to justice for the self-represented litigant? This presentation will explore making such a goal achievable, with a special focus on the roles of various stakeholders in the process.

Presenter: Richard Zorza, Esq., Washington, D.C.back to top


10:30 A.M. - 12:10 P.M. Plenary Session

  Assisting the Self-Represented: Models that Address Local Needs

This session will highlight operational models that provide assistance to self-represented litigants while enabling courts to operate more efficiently. The discussion will examine underlying program approaches and the use of partnerships and technology to support programs.

Moderator: Pamela Cardullo Ortiz, Esq., Executive Director, Department of Family Administration, Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts

Presenters: Tais Erickson, Caseflow Management Specialist, Connecticut Judicial Branch; Ayn Crawley, Esq., Executive Director, Maryland Legal Assistance Network; Maria Imperial, Executive Director, City Bar Justice Center, New York, New York; Wayne Moore, Senior Advisor to Director of Membership, AARP, Washington, D.C. back to top


1:10 P.M. - 2:50 P.M. Workshops

  A. Foundations: The Obligations and Benefits of Programs for the Self-Represented

Jurisdictions across the United States are experiencing growing numbers of self-represented litigants. Many are struggling with how to address the needs of these litigants. Panel members will discuss the obligations of the courts and the civil justice community to assist the self-represented, and the benefits of such assistance to both litigant and court.

Moderator: Katherine Mays, Esq., National Center for State Courts, Williamsburg, Virginia

Presenters: Hon. Judy Kreeger, Eleventh Circuit Court, Family Division, Miami, Florida; Michael Arrington, Esq., Wilmington, Delaware; Professor Russell Engler, New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts

B. A Roadmap for Implementing a Service Delivery Model

This session will provide a discussion of methods used by successful programs to design and implement their service delivery model. Funding issues also will be discussed.

Moderator: Hon. Fern Fisher, Administrative Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York

Presenters: Diane Ailey, Self-Represented Litigations Program, New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts; Priscilla Arroyo, Connecticut Judicial Branch; Professor Barbara Babb, University of Baltimore School of Law, Maryland; Susan Ledray, Esq., Director, Self-Help Service Center, Hennepin County District Court, Minneapolis, Minnesota

C. Enhancing Services through Technology

Learn how experienced providers have integrated technology into their programs to enhance their services for the self-represented. Discussion will include an overview of major technology-based tools and cutting-edge technology.

Moderator: Richard Zorza, Esq., Washington, D.C.

Presenters: Allison McDermott, probono.net, New York, New York; Richard Ross, New York State Unified Court System; Joyce Raby, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, D.C.; Lisa Colpoys, Illinois Legal Aid Online, Chicagoback to top


3:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Plenary Session
  Creating Access to the Courts Across Cultures and Languages

Self-represented litigants come from diverse cultural backgrounds that influence their perceptions of and interactions with the courts and court assistance programs. What cultural issues must judges, court staff and court assistance center staff understand in order to best serve the self-represented?

Presenter: Professor Sue Bryant, City University of New York Law School, Flushing, New Yorkback to top


4:00 P.M. - 5:40 P.M.
Workshops
  A. Program Development: The Nuts and Bolts of Getting Started

Recognition of the need to assist the self-represented is the first of many steps in program development. What are the next steps for program planning and development? Panel members will discuss essential beginning steps as well as significant issues/topics to be addressed. Discussion also will focus on strategies and processes used by jurisdictions to build support and develop programs.

Moderator: Katherine Mays, Esq., National Center for State Courts, Williamsburg, Virginia

Presenters: Hon. Cynthia Cohen, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Appeals Court; Hon. Juanita Bing Newton, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, New York State Unified Court System; Pamela Cardullo Ortiz, Esq., Executive Director, Department of Family Administration, Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts

B. The Challenges of Providing Access to Hard-to-Reach and Special-Issue Communities

Self-represented litigants in hard-to-reach and special-issue communities present unique challenges. How can quality services be provided effectively where distance and other factors, such as culture or language, limit alternatives?

Moderator: Wayne Moore, Senior Advisor to Director of Membership, AARP, Washington, D.C.

Presenters: Susan Patnode, Esq., Executive Director, Rural Law Center, Plattsburgh, New York; Katherine Altender, Co-Director, Family Law Self-Help Center, Anchorage, Alaska; Karen Brimer, Family Services Program Coordinator, Circuit Court for Somerset County, Maryland

C. Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations and Agencies

Working with community groups provides opportunities to reach traditionally under-served communities. Collaborations with these groups can help to identify legal issues and make appropriate referrals to legal resources in the community. Learn how programs can work effectively with community partners.

Moderator: Ayn Crawley, Esq., Executive Director, Maryland Legal Assistance Network

Presenters: Jody Huber, Esq., Director of Pro Se Services, Delaware Family Court; Julie Davies, Development Director/Program Coordinator, Rural Law Center, Plattsburgh, New York; Melissa Beck, Executive Director, Legal Information for Families Today, New York, New York

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Friday, May 12, 2006

9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.
Plenary Session
  The Ethics of Providing Assistance: The Difference Between Legal Information and Legal Advice

This presentation will explore the difference between providing legal information and legal advice, and significant issues involved with both. It also will explore the impact of technology-based services on drawing the line between the two.

Presenter: William Hornsby, Esq., American Bar Association Division of Legal Services, Chicagoback to top


10:30 A.M. - 12:10 P.M.
Plenary Session
  Unbundled Legal Services and the Self-Represented

Many litigants who decide to represent themselves will at some point benefit from and/or require an attorney’s assistance. In this session, panelists will discuss unbundled or limited scope representation, and its practicality for assisting the self-represented.

Moderator: William Hornsby, Esq., American Bar Association Division of Legal Services, Chicago

Presenters: Elizabeth Scheffee, Esq., Portland, Maine; Ginny Martin, Associate Executive Director for Legal Services, New Hampshire Bar Association; Hon. Jane Harper, 26th Judicial District Court, Charlotte, North Carolinaback to top


1:00 P.M. - 2:15 P.M.
Workshops
  A. Volunteers as Service Providers: Recruitment, Training and Supervision

This session will discuss the use of attorney and non-attorney volunteers in self-represented litigant assistance programs. Experienced volunteer managers will discuss how to develop a volunteer program for your service delivery model. Learn about strategies for recruitment, training, supervision and quality controls.

Moderator: Wayne Moore, Esq., Senior Advisor to Director of Membership, AARP, Washington, D.C.

Presenters: Susan Ledray, Esq., Director, Self-Help Service Center, Hennepin County District Court , Minneapolis, Minnesota; Daniel Clark, Esq., District of Columbia Bar Association Pro Bono Program; Thomas McDonough, Esq., Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, Inc., Wilmington

B. Best Practices in the Courtroom

What can judges and court staff do in the courtroom to ensure increased access to justice for the self-represented? Discussion will include ethical obligations/constraints, procedural changes and best practices.

Moderator: Professor Paris Baldacci, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, New York

Presenters: Hon. Lois Bloom, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn; Hon. Ruben Martino, Harlem Community Justice Center, New York, New York; Hon. Amy Davenport, Administrative Judge for the Trial Courts in Vermont.

C. Operational Challenges of Running a Program

What are the most common day-to-day operational problems faced by managers of self-represented litigant assistance programs? Discussion will include staffing and recruitment, multi-lingual service delivery, quality control, recurrent users and relationships with other parts of the court/justice community.

Moderator: Pamela Cardullo Ortiz, Esq., Executive Director, Department of Family Administration, Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts

Presenters: Julie Pezzner, Esq., Manager of Pro Se Services, Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts; Avi Sickel, Esq., Branch Chief, Family Court Self Help Center, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Barbara Reaves, Office for the Self-Represented, New York County Supreme Court, New York, New York back to top

2:15 P.M. - 2:45 P.M.
Plenary Session
  Evaluation Overview

How do programs know they are reaching their goals? What do successful programs look like? How can program values best be presented to potential and ongoing sources of funding? This session will present the best current thinking on program evaluation.

Presenters: Susan Ledray, Esq., Director, Self-Help Service Center, Hennepin County District Court, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Richard Zorza, Esq., Washington, D.C.back to top


2:45 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Closing Remarks
   
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