UGA School of Law moot court to explore right to counsel in civil cases


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Writer: Leigh Tenewitz , 706/542-5172, lawprstu@uga.edu Contact: Alexander Scherr , 706/542-6510, scherr@uga.edu

UGA School of Law moot court to explore right to counsel in civil cases

Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law's Civil Clinics will sponsor a moot court on "Civil Gideon," which looks at whether the constitution requires a lawyer for poor people in civil cases involving fundamental legal needs, such as shelter. The argument will take place Thursday, November 1, in the Dean Rusk Hall Courtroom from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

Southern Center for Human Rights' Gerald R. Weber and Mercer University School of Law Professor Timothy W. Floyd will argue the hypothetical case to a panel of judges that includes: Athens-Clarke County Chief Magistrate Judge Patricia Barron; Athens-Clarke County Attorney William C. Berryman, Jr.; and UGA School of Law professors Erica J. Hashimoto and Russell C. Gabriel.

In August 2007, the American Bar Association issued a declaration calling for the recognition of a right to counsel for poor litigants in civil cases involving fundamental legal needs. According to Alexander Scherr, associate professor and director of Civil Clinics at Georgia Law, this mock trial responds to that declaration.

"We hope to raise awareness about this issue and to educate others on the law surrounding the matter," Scherr said.

A group discussion will follow the mock trial. All attendees are invited to participate. For attorneys, CLE credit is available.