Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Access to Justice Commission to meet December 7

December 1, 2009

The Mississippi Access to Justice Commission will meet on Monday, Dec. 7, to discuss its priorities for action in 2010 through 2012. The meeting will be held at the Mississippi Bar Center at 643 North State Street in Jackson. Members will have lunch at 11:30 a.m. The meeting will convene at noon.

Items on the agenda include:

• 12:10 p.m. – Mississippi Bar Executive Director Larry Houchins will give an update on the Mississippi Bar Foundation. The non-profit Bar Foundation helps provide supplemental funding for civil legal assistance for the poor through the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program.

• 12:25 p.m. – La’Verne Edney, general counsel of the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, will talk about efforts to recruit volunteer lawyers and about other initiatives of MVLP.

• 12:45 p.m. – Commission Co-chairs Judge Denise Owens and Joy Lambert Phillips and Commission Executive Director Yumeka Rushing are expected to talk about scheduling a final public hearing and preparing a report of the findings of the public hearings. Four earlier public hearings were held in Gulfport, Greenwood, Oxford and Meridian.

• 1:05 p.m. – the Commission will discuss action plan priorities spanning the next two years.

The Access to Justice Commission was created by the Mississippi Supreme Court in June 2006 to develop a unified strategy to improve poor people’s access to the civil courts. The Commission is tasked to investigate the need for civil legal services to the poor in Mississippi, and to evaluate, develop and recommend policies, programs and initiatives which will assist the judiciary in meeting the civil legal services needs of the poor.

The Access to Justice Commission works to address civil legal representation of the poor. It does not deal with indigent criminal defense issues.