Courts: Our States’ Economic Engines
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2012 — The economic impact of the underfunding of our nation’s courts will be the focus of a roundtable discussion sponsored by the American Bar Association Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System at the United States Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 2. Participants will discuss the 2012 Law Day theme, “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom,” making a business case for the courts and for greater corporate engagement.
This event comes at a critical time. Los Angeles County recently announced it will lay off more than 300 court staff and restructure several dozen courtrooms in June. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye says California has “closed” signs on courtrooms and clerks’ offices in 24 counties around the state after four successive years of budget cuts totaling $653 million. Oregon courts are slated to eliminate 95 full-time positions by May 1, in addition to the loss of 200 positions since 2009. Other courts around the country face similar layoffs and closures.
These budget cuts have resulted in reduced availability or elimination of court self-help services, and other cost-cutting measures that directly impact the ability of the courts to adequately serve the public. Forty-two states cut funding for their judiciaries in 2011, reducing access to justice for thousands of Americans, according to the National Center for State Courts.
“Courts simply must be open, available and adequately staffed to keep the wheels of justice turning,” said ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III. “No one would accept the closing one day a week of their local emergency room, fire house or police station. Our courts are no different. They protect our rights and liberties.”
General Counsel Summit: “Courts: Our States’ Economic Engines”
Co-sponsored by the ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System
Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president, American Bar Association; Theodore B. Olson, partner, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, and co-chair, ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System; Myron Steele, chief justice, Delaware; Tom Sager, DuPont Company; Tom Gottschalk, Kirkland and Ellis LLP; Jon Mills, director, Center for Governmental Responsibility, and task force reporter; Mary McQueen, president, National Center for State Courts, and co-vice chair, ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System; among others.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
May 2, 2012
The Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System was founded in 2010 to address the issue of declining budgets and increasing workloads in our state court systems. It is comprised of distinguished attorneys and judges from across the nation. William K. Weisenberg and Mary C. McQueen serve as vice chairs.
For media credentialing, please contact Alexandra Buller no later than Monday, April 30, at email@example.com. This event is free and open to members of the press.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
- 30 -