Maryland Courts

Supporting a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland

The first recommendation made by the Commission in its 2009 Interim Report was an endorsement of a broader right to counsel:

Recomendation 1
The Maryland Access to Justice Commission supports the principle that low-income Marylanders should have a right to counsel at public expense in those categories of adversarial proceedings where basic human needs are at stake, such as those involving shelter, sustenance, safety, health or child custody. Interim Report

In furtherance of that goal, the Commission’s Civil Right to Counsel Subcommittee spent the better part of 2010 conducting an in-depth examination of how a right, once established, might be implemented. The subcommittee also prepared a fiscal narrative – a realistic effort to approximate the fiscal impact of a civil right to counsel, should one be established. The Commission endorsed and published the implementation document and fiscal narrative in a single report entitled, Implementing a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland.

A civil right to counsel can be a powerful strategy for furthering our commitment to equal access to justice for all. To find out more about this initiative see the links below.

Can a lawyer really make a difference?

Maryland Publications

Find out More

To learn about efforts to establish a right to counsel in other states, visit The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel website.