State-funded attorneys for low-income residents have success

The project provides legal assistance to people in seven counties, including San Francisco, facing certain types of high-stakes civil suits in which the other side has a lawyer.
News Story (California)

Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle
July 29, 2017

Tags: Civil Right to Counsel, Courts


A review of cases resolved between 2011 and 2016 found that lawyers provided by the project were able to reach settlements about twice as often as people in similar cases without lawyers. In addition, feuding family members found ways to collaborate, the number of evictions declined, and tenants who left their homes usually found replacement housing, the Judicial Council, the policymaking body for the state courts, said in a report released Friday.

Another finding was that, with legal representation, far fewer low-income people gave up defending their cases and defaulted.