California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Thursday appointed Justice Jon B. Streeter to the California Access to Justice Commission for a two-year term starting July 1.
Justice Streeter, of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four (San Francisco), currently serves as a member appointed by the commission.
The California Access to Justice Commission was launched in 1997 with the support of the State Bar, but in October 2019 became a California nonprofit public benefit corporation after statutory changes refocused the State Bar’s mission. The commission amended its bylaws to allow the Chief Justice to make an appointment to the commission.
The commission is a 31-member group that explores ways to improve access to civil justice for Californians. The commission’s members are appointed by the Governor, the Chief Justice of California, the Judicial Council of California, the Attorney General of California, the President Pro Tem of the California State Senate, the Speaker of the California State Assembly, and representatives of lawyers’ organizations, business, labor, and other stakeholders in the courts.
Between 1997 and 2019, the commission authored a dozen reports focusing on data concerning access to justice issues, providing recommendations to alleviate those issues, advocating programs to decrease language barriers, and proposing new models and funding sources for legal services.
The commission advocated to create annual funding for legal services from the state’s General Fund, which resulted in the Equal Access Fund which provides millions in funding for legal aid and self-help programs. The Equal Access Fund is administered by the Judicial Council and has grown from being a $10 million annual fund in 1999 to a $20 million annual fund in 2019.