Program Explores How to Tear Down Barriers to Justice

A panel of attorneys and judges from across Tennessee addressed how to tear down some of the barriers blocking access to justice for many Americans during a program today at the Baker Donelson offices in Nashville. The panelists looked at the issues from various perspectives: Justice Connie Clark and Access to Justice Commission Chair Buck Lewis talked about rule changes and programs launched by the court to make justice more accessible in Tennessee; Judge Chad Schmucker, president of the National Judicial College, talked about how judges can be better trained and educated to work with self-represented litigants; and a number of judges, including Don Ash and Claudia Bonnyman, spoke about their day-to-day experiences on the bench. Justice Janice Holder, UT Law Professor Penny White, Judge Philip Smith and Judge Daniel Eisenstein, Martha Lafferty of the Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee and Colin Calhoun of Sobel, Poss & Moore were also part of the program. Baker Donelson's Matt Sweeney moderated the discussion.