TBA to Host ‘Civil Right to Counsel’ Events

The TBA and Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will hold a series of discussions this month to explore “civil right to counsel” – the idea that people who face certain civil court cases and cannot afford representation should be provided with free counsel. The concept builds on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainright, which found that indigent criminal defendants must be provided free legal representation. Programs in Knoxville, Johnson City and Chattanooga will look at arguments for and against a civil right to counsel, past and present efforts to secure the right and the types of cases that might qualify for the right. Each session also will include a taped presentation featuring TBA President Cindy Wyrick and Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade. Each program will wrap up with an overview of pro bono programs offered by LAET and free CLE for those who agree to handle a pro bono case.