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Access To Justice Commission Meets In Kalispell Wednesday

Court news

The state Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission is meeting in Kalispell at this evening. It’s the kickoff of a seven-city tour between now and next fall to try to break the barriers many Montanans have using the state’s courts.

Supreme Court Justice  Beth Baker says a growing number of people are coming to court without attorneys, many because they can’t afford legal help.

"Our Montana Legal Services program has determined that last year, only one in 10 of the people who requested help actually got it."

Baker says Montana lawyers give away about $20 million a year in legal help, but there’s demand for more. She’s hoping forum’s like tonight’s will bring leaders, the public and non-profits together to find solutions.

Access to Justice Forum Series dates:

  • Kalispell - Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015
  • Great Falls - Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
  • Billings - Wednesday, March 16, 2016
  • Missoula - Wednesday, April 13, 2016
  • Bozeman - Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • Butte - Wednesday, September 21, 2016
  • Helena - Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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