Eliminating Barriers to Justice IV (EBJ4): Comparison of Language Access in Federal Forums with Georgia Practice and Comprehensive Law and Policy Update Regarding Access to Justice in Georgia’s Civil Justice System
Conference highlights included a welcome by former Chief Justice Harris Hines, Supreme Court of Georgia, as well as:
MODULE 1: LANGUAGE ACCESS AND FEDERAL PRACTICE
This panel focused on access to justice for limited English proficient (LEP) persons and persons with disabilities in federal courts, including the contrasts of language access in federal practice as opposed to practicing in Georgia courts. In addition to discussing the nuances of language access, and access to justice generally as it relates to LEP persons and persons with disabilities in federal practice, panelists provided best practice tips for effective federal practice when an attorney (prosecutor/plaintiff and defense) has an LEP or disabled litigant or witness. Lastly, this panel discussed language access through the lens of professional attorney responsibility in accordance with the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and ABA Model Rules.
MODULE 2: COMPREHENSIVE GEORGIA POLICY UPDATE
This panel provided a comprehensive update on recent and forthcoming Georgia judicial and other policies regarding access to Georgia courts for LEP persons and persons with disabilities. Panelists discussed the Council of State Court Judges’ 2016 bench book chapter on interpreters, which has been adopted by several classes of court in the past year. Additionally, panelists addressed the Supreme Court of Georgia’s recent amendment to Uniform Superior Court Rule 7.3, including new attorney notice requirements and clarification on court obligations pertaining to the provision of foreign and sign language interpreters. Other areas that the panelists explored included the release of the Judicial Council of Georgia Access, Fairness, Public Trust and Confidence Committee (AFFTCC) 2017 court guide for working with persons with disabilities, the Commission on Interpreters’ Model Administrative Protocol, and the development of a statewide strategic plan for addressing civil access to justice issues in Georgia by Georgia’s Justice for All (J4A) Taskforce.
MODULE 3: JUSTICE FOR ALL [J4A] TASKFORCE
This panel served as a break-out session from Module 2 and dove into the details of the J4A Taskforce and its strategic plan for addressing civil access to justice issues in Georgia. Members of the Taskforce addressed several components it considered for the strategic plan, including language access. In addition to educating Georgians on the challenges Georgia faces in achieving access to justice, this segment created a meaningful opportunity for task force members to hear from the public on the issues the strategic plan is intended to address and allowed the Taskforce to gain additional perspective.
View Conference photos here.