A pilot program that funds free legal services for low-income Californians facing critical civil cases drastically increased the likelihood of settlement, improved the longevity of court orders, and reduced court costs, a new study shows.
At its March 15 business meeting, the Judicial Council approved recommendations for updating guidelines for video remote interpreting (VRI) and voted to have its staff coordinate a new VRI program for the judicial branch.
The Judicial Council received a report on how the state’s trial courts used additional funding included in this fiscal year’s judicial branch budget to expand hours, reopen closed locations, and invest in new technology to increase access to justice for the public.
The formula forms the basis of the Judicial Needs Assessment, which estimates California needs an additional 173 judges.
Guide addresses more than 200 questions and topics related to facilities, personnel, jury management, case management and processing, and communications.
“The Judicial Council of California and its chair, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, are committed to providing equal access and fairness in our justice system,” said Judge Marla O. Anderson.
Revised budget proposal includes funding for a Judicial Council unit to provide training, technical assistance, and legal support to California’s trial courts on environmental and climate change issues.