Providing a right to counsel for indigent defendants in civil litigation will be a top agenda item for a task force Maryland’s attorney general has convened amid the economic havoc wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that Marylanders lose their civil cases and therefore get evicted, have their wages garnished, do not receive life lines like food stamps or unemployment benefits not because they did anything wrong but because they did not have the legal information or help they needed, and this already happened before COVID-19 hit. We are not talking about inconveniences. We are talking about miscarriages of justice on a scale and magnitude that no one in power should allow.” – Reena K. Shah, executive director of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission.

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