Utah’s top judges say the legal system isn’t working right. Here’s how they are encouraging change.

The Utah Supreme Court recently signed off on an experiment that hopes to level the playing field for people who can’t afford a lawyer or are confused by the complicated civil system.

News Story (Utah)

Jessica Miller
Salt Lake Tribune
September 23, 2019

Tags: Access to Justice


This stems from a report created by a joint Supreme Court and Utah Bar Association working group, which highlights recent data that shows that in 93% of all civil cases filed in Utah’s 3rd District Courts — which cover Salt Lake and Summit counties — at least one party went without an attorney.

This data was not all that surprising to Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas, who has worked in the courts system for years. But he does find it troubling.

Himonas said the courts are supposed to be the branch of government where all people can come to peacefully resolve their disputes. But, as it stands now, not everyone gets a fair chance.

“If all we’re doing is giving the wealthiest of society [a place] to solve their disputes,” he said, “then, as a branch, we are failing.”