Want to go beyond reading about civil right to counsel and actually see/hear the arguments at work? If so, this page is for you. Below is a collection of advocacy videos, case arguments, debates/panels, public hearings of various types, and powerful speeches. Sit back and prepare to be inspired!
NCCRC Coordinator John Pollock talks about the history of the right to counsel in a session recorded by the ABA Section of Litigation
The Public Justice Center's Debra Gardner discusses the establishment of a civil right to counsel legislative task force in Maryland.
John Pollock presents at the University of D.C.'s full-day forum on civil right to counsel that took place in 2014
The NCCRC's "Fighting Foreclosure" series, featuring interviews with homeowners, judges, and others on the importance of counsel in foreclosure cases
Case Oral Arguments
- In re SKP (before Washington Court of Appeals on right to counsel for childen in dependency proceedings)
- Kavadas v. Martinez (before New Jersey trial court on right to counsel prior to automatic suspension of driver's license)
- Guardianship of VV (before Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 2014 on right to counsel for parents in private child guardianship proceedings)
- In re G.P. (before Indiana Supreme Court in 2013 on right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect proceedings) (audio). Read more about G.P.
- In re T.M. (before Hawaii Supreme Court in 2013 on right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect proceedings) (audio). Read more about T.M.
- In re MSR (before Washington State Supreme Court in 2013 on right to counsel for children in termination of parental rights proceedings) (video). Read more about MSR.
- In re DR/AR (before Washington State Supreme Court in 2011 on right to counsel for children in termination of parental rights proceedings) (video)
- Turner v. Rogers (before U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 on right to counsel for defendants in civil contempt proceedings for failure to pay child support) (audio)
- In re I.B. (before Indiana Supreme Court in 2011 on right to counsel for appeal of termination of parental rights (video)
Debates and Panels (audio and/or video)
- In 2020, the Shriver Center's Racial Justice Institute hosted a webinar about strategies for using data, obtaining funding, working with tenant organizers, and engaging strategic partners to advance a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction. Check out the webinar materials here.
- In 2016, there was a Congressional briefing on a child's right to counsel that was hosted by the Children's Advocacy Institute.
- On March 4, 2015, there was a civil right to counsel forum at NYU featuring former NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, as well as panelists from the National Employment Law Project, Legal Services NYC, and Families for Freedom (an immigrant rights group). Watch a video of the forum.
- On April 1, 2014, American University's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law hosted a Civil Society Consultation with the U.S. Government, in which advocates made presentations to the government related to several international treaty obligations.
- The University of D.C. Law School had a full-day symposium on civil right to counsel in 2013. See the videos from the event.
- Harvard University Law School spent a day in 2013 discussing the civil right to counsel.
- In 2013, the New York State Bar Association marked the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright by hosting a panel on civil right to counsel that was simulcast to 18 area law schools and featured an opening segment by New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
- At the 11th Annual Washington State Access to Justice Conference on "Equal Justice Under Law" in 2006, there was a plenary session called "Crafting a Vision for the Civil Right to Counsel in Washington".
Public Hearings (audio and/or video)
In 2016, there was a congressional briefing on a child’s right to counsel is now available online. The briefing was sponsored by Congresswoman Karen Bas (D-CA) and put on by the ABA, Children’s Advocacy Institute, First Focus, and the National Association of Counsel for Children. More information about the briefing is available here.
In 2016, the D.C. Council heard testimony on the Expanding Access to Justice Act of 2016.
- In 2014, the New York City Council held hearings on providing representation in immigration proceedings.
- In 2012, San Francisco adopted an ordinance declaring itself to be the first "right to civil counsel city." Watch the City Council's debate over the ordinance, and then read more about the ordinance.
- Washington State held hearings in 2013 on a bill to provide a right to counsel for foster children. Watch the Washington House Judiciary Committe hearings and the Washington Senate Human Services Committtee hearings.
- Wisconsin advocates filed a petition with the Wisconsin Supreme Court In 2011 asking the Court to adopt rules for the appointment of counsel in civil cases. Watch the public hearings on the petition, as well as the Court's internal meeting about the petition. After the first petition was denied, advocates filed a new petition in 2014. Read more about the petitions.
Speeches and Other Advocacy Pieces (audio and/or video)
- The Spectrum Institute's new video, Pursuit of Justice, focuses on the need for guardianship reform and touches on problems related to the right to cousnel in such matters.
- NCCRC Coordinator John Pollock presented on a webinar by the National Consumer Law Center regarding the right to counsel when people face incarceration for failure to pay fees and fines.
- In 2016, Former U.S. Attorney General Eic Holder spoke at the NLADA 2016 Exemplar Award Dinner, and at the end of his speech he called for a right to counsel in civil cases.
- The ACLU has a video about the concept of children representing themselves in immigration court. This was produced in response to an expert for the federal government testifying in an immigration right to counsel case that he could train 3 and 4-year olds on immigration law.
- Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase Rogers spoke at a Connecticut Bar Association event and stressed the importance of studying a civil right to counsel.
- Check out two videos related to NYC intro 214-a: a video of NYC tenants speaking in favor of a right to counsel in housing cases and a general advocacy video.
- Advocates in Mississippi have released a compelling video about why parents should be entitled to counsel in child welfare cases.
- Former ABA President Michael Greco delivered comments on civil right to counsel at the Washington State Access to Justice Commission's 2006 luncheon. Watch his speech on civil right to counsel.
- The ABA Section of Litigation's Children's Right to Counsel Committee has a great video on why children need a lawyer.
- Watch a video on how to use the right to counsel section of the Human Rights Handbook (to which the NCCRC contributed) for advocacy purposes.
- Advocates in Mississippi have produced a video about the importance of representation for parents in child welfare cases.