Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Profession Faces Challenges That Must Be Met

By Jan Pudlow Senior Editor for The Florida Bar.org

Even though former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding
considers himself an optimist, challenges faced by the judiciary can be
downright depressing.

“I feel like the guy walking around with the sign: ‘Repent! The end is near!’” Harding said in his keynote address at the General Assembly at
the Bar’s Annual Convention in Boca Raton June 23.

“But there is something we can do. We can repent. We can change. And
we can meet this challenge.”

Among the challenges Harding listed:

Eighty percent of the civil legal needs of low-income Americans are not being met, and half of those who come to legal aid seeking civil legal help are turned away, according to a recent report from the Legal Services Corp.

• In family law cases, one or both parties are unrepresented in 70 percent of cases.

To Florida’s lawyers, Harding challenged:

"You can be the one who will help change the course of history and help preserve this wonderful heritage created for us by our founders. You can be the one who will help the efforts of our new Florida Bar President Francisco R. Angones who replaces Hank Coxe, and who this year will walk in the shoes of those who have so faithfully gone before him.”

* Editor's note : this is an older article but it is perhaps more relevant today than it was when it was written on July 2006

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