Many of the issues facing Marylanders in the wake of COVID-19, including loss of life, unemployment and eviction, have a connection to the civil justice system. The Maryland Access to Justice Commission has been providing steady vision and leadership throughout the crisis to drive reforms and innovations to make the civil justice system accessible, fair and equitable for everyone.
The most recent high-impact achievement is successfully advocating for $11.7 million state dollars to support the civil legal aid community and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation through the co-leadership of the Maryland Attorney General’s COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force. To keep the important work of the commission moving forward, Maryland Access to Justice will be hosting a special virtual fundraiser and awareness event titled, “Civil Justice for All” being held on November 10 from 5-6 p.m. via Zoom. The event will include presentations and discussions from key dignitaries, legal experts and community leaders as they share their challenges and successes while spotlighting the imperative need to continue this work. For more information about registration and fees, visit https://www.msba.org/product/a2j-vip-event-fundraiser/.
“It is not well known that 80% of Marylanders who need help with a civil legal problem do not receive it and during COVID-19, this is even more devastating. Furthermore, the general public does not necessarily equate legal assistance with issues like housing disputes, employment issues, domestic violence, immigration, public benefits, and family law. As our nation and state move forward in these turbulent times, the need for more assistance is critical and without it, the ripple effects are harmful to individuals and families, destabilized communities, and an increased cost to taxpayers,” said Reena Shah, executive director for Maryland Access to Justice.
During the one-hour VIP virtual event, special guest Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh will speak as well as a host of distinguished speakers and experts including:
- Brandon Etheridge, General Counsel, Baltimore Ravens
- Guy Flynn, Partner in Charge, DLA Piper Downtown Baltimore Office
- Maryland State Senator Will Smith, Chairman, Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee
- Maryland State Delegate Luke Clippinger, Chairman, Judiciary Committee