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Civil Legal Services - Policy Related News

Empire Justice Center Statement on Governor Cuomo's Hate and Human Rights Laws Expansion

The horrifying events that transpired in Charlottesville this past weekend showed us all that we have a long road ahead of us to reach a place where hate has no home in our hearts. We all have a responsibility to stand for what it right. Read More


Empire Justice Stands with Immigrants & Their Families

Empire Justice Center is proud to be one of more than 180 organizations across the country to stand up and speak out against the completely un-American attack on immigrants proposed by Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), and championed by President Donald Trump. Read More


Empire Justice Press Release: 2017 Legislative Session

Empire Justice Center achieved one notable win that will have a huge impact on disabled New Yorker’s access to disability benefits, but were keenly disappointed by being unable to get legislation that would allow victims of wage theft to get paid what they are owed, and a bill that would have ensured that crime and domestic violence victims’ right to call 911 is not impeded in communities where there are local nuisance ordinances, passed in the Senate. We came so close. It’s a shame New Yorkers will be without these critical protections until 2018. Read More


Empire Justice Press Release: New York State Delivers a Tight Budget with Several Notable Wins for Low Income New Yorkers

Upon the finalization of the 2017-2018 state budget, Empire Justice Center was excited to announce that several of its legislative priorities were included, including a new $1 million investment that will allow the organization to dramatically increase the amount of assistance it can provide to immigrants in need of legal representation, as well as two notable policy changes. At the same time, other important programs and proposals sustained losses that will be acutely felt by hard working New Yorkers in the coming year, causing much concern Read More


Empire Justice Statement on Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal

After the release of the Executive Budget Tuesday night, Empire Justice Center expressed appreciation that funding is included in Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal for several key programs that assist New Yorkers living at or near the federal poverty level. Read More


We Stand with ALL New Yorkers (Nosotros estamos unidos con todos los Neoyorquinos)

The outcome of this election has shaken us all to the core. (El resultado de las elecciones nos ha sacudido a todos.) Read More


Empire Justice Press Release: 2016 Legislative Session: Great Strides and One Huge Disappointment

Upon the completion of the 2016 Legislative Session, Empire Justice Center was excited to see significant strides in addressing wage theft, and two huge victories that will impact the ongoing effects of the forclosure crisis on homeowners and communities. At the same time, the organization also expressed incredible disappointment that, for the third year in a row, essential protections for crime and domestic violence victims were not enacted by the New York State Senate. Read More


Press Release: NYS Budget Delivers Mixed Outcomes for Low Income New Yorkers

Upon the release of the final 2016-2017 state budget, Empire Justice Center is excited to announce that several of its legislative priorities were included in the budget, but notes that it falls short on a number of other critical priority issues. Read More


Empire Justice Center Statement on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State and Budget Address

Empire Justice Center reactions to Governor Cuomo's 2016 State of the State and budget address. Read More


Empire Justice Center Statement on Chief Judge’s Creation of Permanent Commission on Access to Justice

Today, Empire Justice Center applauded Chief Judge Jonathan Lippmann’s July 22 announcement that the Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Services in New York will become a permanent Commission. Read More


Mind the Gap: Bending the Cost Curve of Legal Services to Close the Justice Gap (Huffington Post)

The "Justice Gap" -- the fact that 80 percent of low-income and 50 percent of middle-income Americans face their legal problems without a lawyer -- undermines the promise of equal justice under law. Read More


WCNY Capitol Pressroom: March 25, 2015 (WCNY Capitol Pressroom)

Lisa Frisch, Executive Director of The Legal Project, and Anne Erickson, President & CEO at the Empire Justice Center, explain why New York should do a better job of funding civil legal services. Read More


Surplus Budget Funds could Help the Poor Access Legal Services, State Bar President Lau-Kee Proposes (New York State Bar Association)

The New York State Bar Association is seeking $5 million in state funding for the creation of a legal services center in Albany to enhance the availability of legal services to low income individuals. Read More


NY'ers testify about the need for legal aid servcies (The Legislative Gazette)

The gap in access to legal aid between the wealthy and the poor in New York has significant costs to society, according to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who presided over the last of four public hearings to discuss the importance of legal aid providers and hear accounts of how legal aid saved the lives of several New Yorkers. Read More


Empire Justice Center Applauds the Governor and State Legislature for Several Budget Outcomes Helping Low Income New Yorkers

Upon the release of the final 2014-2015 state budget, Empire Justice Center is pleased to see several of its legislative priorities contained within the budget, as it provides additional funding and resources for low income New Yorkers. Read More


Empire Justice Center Elects Officers and Re-Elects Board Members

Empire Justice Center, a statewide leader working to achieve social and economic justice in New York State, is pleased to announce the election of two new members to its Board of Directors. Read More


A question of access topic of UB Law discussions (UB Reporter)

The notion of a “civil Gideon”—a guarantee of access to counsel for poor litigants in civil proceedings—took center stage at UB Law School with a series of discussions on Oct. 3. Read More


New York State Bar Association and 18 Law Schools Sponsor Forum on Right to Counsel in Civil Matters (New York State Bar Association)

The New York State Bar Association— and 18 law schools in three states—are hosting a forum on October 3 to explore the right to counsel in civil matters where basic human needs are at stake. Read More


Top legal experts will address the need for counsel for the poor (University at Buffalo)

Access to legal services for the poor has been a signature initiative for Hon. Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of New York State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. Now Lippman and other influential legal minds in the state are joining in a panel discussion detailing the critical need for legal services among indigent New Yorkers. Read More


Chief Judge Looks to Close Legal Gap (log in required) (Capital Tonight)

Back in 2010, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman made it a priority to address unmet civil legal services needs for low-income New Yorkers – that is, to ensure that poor New Yorkers have access to a lawyer should their home be foreclosed on, or should they have a custody battle, for example. Read More


For More and More Low-Income New Yorkers, Civil Legal Services Are Just Out of Reach (WNYC News)

With the impact of the economic crisis and one in five New Yorkers now living in poverty, the need for civil legal services will increase. Read More


Fate of $15 mil. for Civil Legal Services in Lawmakers' hands (Legislative Gazette)

It is now up to the Legislature to decide whether the state will provide a fiscal crutch for a diminishing fund that helps New Yorkers pay for civil legal services they might otherwise be unable to afford. Read More


Statement on Governor Paterson’s Investment in Civil Legal Services

The legal services community applauds Gov. Paterson for acting so quickly to address the growing need for access to justice. The Governor's action today through his 30 day amendment to restore a basic level of funding for civil legal services indicates a strong level of support from the Governor and demonstrates a working partnership with the Legislature to restore funding for these critical services. Read More


Civil Legal Services Advocates Respond to Gov. Paterson’s State of the State Address

Complete Elimination of Civil Legal Services Hurts Low-Income New Yorkers and New York’s Economy Read More