Florida’s top jurist to talk legal funding in DC
Fla. Chief Justice Jorge Labarga (Photo courtesy Craig Waters).

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Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga is heading to the White House on Tuesday.

This’ll be the second year he’s participated in the White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice. Labarga is one of one of six state chief justices attending the event.

The nation’s brightest legal minds will seek answers to providing civil legal help to those who can’t afford it. That includes things like child custody and landlord-tenant cases.

“I am eager to once again bring Florida’s perspective,” Labarga said in a press release on Monday. “And I look forward to hearing about initiatives and innovations elsewhere.”

The forum will be live-streamed at whitehouse.gov/live. It will include CEOs of major corporations and leaders of legal aid programs, the release said.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is among many slated to speak. A post-forum reception will be at the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will deliver remarks there.

Improving access to civil justice is a priority of Labarga’s. He created the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice in 2014. It’s a “blue-ribbon panel look(ing) into how to fund civil legal help in Florida more reliably for the poor and working poor,” according to a TCPalm story

“(G)aps in access to civil justice are bigger than the legal community,’’ Labarga said in the release. “We are grappling with a societal problem. And it needs a societal answer.” 

More information on the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice is at flaccesstojustice.org.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected].


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