'Navigator' Program Launches; Skeptics 'Wait and See'

, New York Law Journal

   | 1 Comments

A pilot program to provide unrepresented litigants emotional support in a stressful process and link them to resources has begun, but some housing attorneys are not convinced of the program's benefits, saying they are skeptical of an arrangement that temporarily links nonlawyers with litigants.

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What's being said

  • E. Portman

    Then Caitlyn Brady, a 22-year-old junior at Fordham University volunteering as a "navigator," escorted Caceres to a cubicle within the court‘s clerk‘s office, talked her through a computerized answer form, and accompanied her to the clerk‘s window to submit the answer.
    -The "talked her through" and "accompanied her" is the practice of law. It is what attorneys are paid to do for clients.

    This program is not for "emotional support" of the self-represented litigant. Years ago I was told by one of the quoted people that it was "fundamentally unfair that plaintiffs had attorneys and the consumer defendants did not." The program, like the in-court helpers that have been around for years, was designed to even the playing field.

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