June 12, 2013

Local Organizations Sponsor Free Public Program on the Right to Counsel in Civil Cases



What:                  A free program for the public entitled the Right to Counsel in Civil Cases: Civil Gideon and Legal Services for the Poor presented by a number of local organizations

When:             12-1 p.m., Tuesday, June 18

Where:           Cincinnati Bar Center
225 E. 6th St., 5th floor

RSVP:                        RSVP to (513) 751-0100 or

Who:               William D. Dowling, Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Committee on Access to Justice

Mary Asbury, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati

Why:               This year marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, which establishes the right to counsel for those who cannot afford a lawyer. This program will examine the concept of the right to counsel in civil cases and the state of legal services programs for the poor. Lecture will be followed by discussion.

About Gideon v. Wainwright and the Program

While the right to a criminal lawyer is now well-established in the law, funding for defense counsel and subsequent decisions on effectiveness of counsel raise serious questions about whether we have met the promise of Gideon.

The provision of counsel to the poor in civil cases is even more problematic. Poor Americans face a multitude of civil legal problems, from spousal abuse to child custody, mortgage foreclosure, landlord tenant and consumer law disputes. Yet they have few, if any, rights to counsel in civil cases.

This event is sponsored by the Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Bar Association, BRIDGES for a Just Community, the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area, and Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME).




About the Cincinnati Bar Association

Founded in 1872, the Cincinnati Bar Association is one of the oldest and largest metro bar associations in the country. Its mission is to maintain the highest professional standards among attorneys, to enhance the professional competence of attorneys, to improve the administration of justice, to serve the needs of members, and to provide law-related service and education to the public. Learn more at


About the Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati

WCC programs educate, encourage and equip citizens to play an active role in civic affairs. Committed to promoting diversity and inclusiveness, the organization reaches out to collaborate with other community organizations in the city and work toward shared goals.


About BRIDGES for a Just Community

BRIDGES for a Just Community equips people with awareness, skills, and opportunities to develop relation-ships that will engage and transform our region into a more equitable and just community. As the region’s leading human relations organization, BRIDGES’ vision is to create a respectful, equitable and welcoming community for all citizens through education, advocacy and dialogue. BRIDGES, which has been serving schools, organizations, workplaces, and communities since 1944, builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. For more information, call BRIDGES at 513-381-4660 or visit online at


About the Ohio Justice and Policy Center

The Ohio Justice & Policy Center is a non-partisan, non-profit law office that represents people marginalized by the criminal justice system and that advocates for local and statewide smart-on-crime reform. Learn more at


About Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME)

HOME’s mission is to eliminate unlawful discrimination in housing with a primary focus on racial discrimination. Established in 1968, HOME advocates and enforces housing regulations for all protected classes and promotes stable, integrated communities. HOME primarily serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area.


About the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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