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Bar leaders call for end to federal court cuts

A letter to members of congressional delegations in seven states, sent by those states’ bar association presidents, urges an end to devastating cuts to federal court funding.

The signors, including New York State Bar Association President David M. Schraver of Rochester (Nixon Peabody LLP), advise continued failure to adequately fund federal courts places the public at risk and puts justice in jeopardy, impacts a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel and a speedy trial and imperils the judiciary’s efforts to fulfill its obligations under the Constitution and federal law.

The letter was sent to members of Congress representing each of the seven states. Among the recipients are House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Besides Schraver, the letter is signed by Paula H. Holderman, president of the Illinois State Bar Association; Jonathan Hollingsworth, Ohio; Ralph J. Lamparello, New Jersey; Patrick J. Fiedler, Wisconsin; Alan Lefebvre, Nevada; and Eugene K. Pettis, Florida. The seven state bar associations have a combined membership of more than 286,500.

The full text of the letter is available at:, along with the supporting testimony of Judge Julia S. Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and chair of the Committee on the Budget of the Judicial Conference of the United States. She testified July 23 before the U.S. Senate on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts.