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Article: Insuring Civil Justice for All: Meeting the Challenges of Poverty (Fisher 2015)

There are 45.3 million persons living in poverty in the United States. 2 Poverty creates numerous challenges for individuals. Lack of affordable and livable housing, adequate healthcare, and sufficient food, and the inability to access and complete a quality education are common difficulties faced by persons living below the poverty line. But do persons who live in poverty fare the same as middle class and wealthy individuals when contact with the civil justice system becomes necessary? This essay discusses the particular challenges persons who live in poverty face when they encounter the civil justice system and the need for the justice system to address those challenges. Finally, some possible solutions are suggested to insure that, regardless of income level, all individuals have equal access to justice as well as actual justice.

Citation: Judge Fern Fisher, Insuring Civil Justice for All: Meeting the Challenges of Poverty, Impact: Collected Essays on the Threat of Economic Inequality, New York Law School, Vol. 1, 9 (2015),