Texas Supreme Court to Review Legal Services for the Poor

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September 10, 2008           

Contact: Cynthia Martinez, Communications Director

AUSTIN, Texas – Several state and federal legal aid organizations will be testifying before the Texas Supreme Court tomorrow, September 11, in a public hearing regarding legal services for the poor.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, will be among the groups offering testimony to the Court.  TRLA Executive Director David Hall and TRLA attorney Nelson Mock are both scheduled to testify.  The hearing will focus on the needs and successes of legal aid organizations in Texas.

According to Hall, “Providing legal services to the poor is vital to ensuring that everyone has access to the legal system.  Just because someone cannot afford an attorney does not mean that they don’t have the right to fight for justice.”

As the largest provider of legal aid in Texas, TRLA has helped landowners defend their property rights in the construction of a wall along the Texas – Mexico border.  TRLA was also responsible for representing mothers of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and took the legal actions that resulted in the return of more than 400 FLDS children taken into state custody in early April. Currently TRLA is helping hundreds of victims of Hurricane Dolly as they rebuild their lives in south Texas.

Added Hall, “The fight for access to justice for the poor is a never-ending battle.  TRLA remains committed to helping low-income Texans navigate the legal system.”

The hearing will begin at 2 pm on Thursday, September 11 at the Texas Supreme Court.  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Legal Services Corporation President Helaine M. Barnett are also scheduled to appear before the Court.

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality legal assistance and related educational services.


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