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Lippman schedules fall hearings

New York state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will be conducting his annual hearings on civil legal services beginning Sept. 17 in Albany when he will hear a panel in the Third Department.

He will conduct one hearing in each of the four Appellate Division departments, with the Fourth Department hearing for Western and Central New York, the final of the four, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at SUNY Buffalo Law School.

Joining him will be the presiding justice of each department (Judge Henry J. Scudder in the Fourth), Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti and New York State Bar Association President David M. Schraver, of Nixon Peabody LLP.

The purpose of the hearings is to receive the views of interested individuals, organizations and entities on the impact of judiciary civil legal services funding, raised incrementally from $12.5 million in fiscal 2011-12 to $40 million proposed for 2013-14; the current state and scope of the unmet need for civil legal services; impact of natural disasters; economic and social consequences of the lack of sufficient civil legal services in communities and for the courts; and costs and benefits to courts and communities.

Other topics include the availability of legal services in rural communities; potential for reduction in the unmet need; expansion of the availability of pro bono legal services by private attorneys; greater law school and law student involvement; and programs being developed to assist law students in fulfilling the new bar admission requirement of completion of 50 hours of pro bono service.

Panels will consider written submissions and invited oral testimony. Procedures and deadlines, as well as complete details, are available on the website of the Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services at