Hinshaw's Josh Vincent Discusses the Launch of Illinois Free Legal Answers for Civil Appeals

August 24, 2020

Hinshaw partner Josh Vincent discussed in Illinois Lawyer Now the soon-to-be-launched Illinois Free Legal Answers for Civil Appeals, the first-ever online legal help desk in the United States designed specifically for civil appeals. The program, which will open to the public on September 1, operates through the American Bar Association's (ABA) Free Legal Answers platform, which was created to increase access to advice and information about non-criminal legal matters for those who cannot afford legal assistance.

Free Legal Answers for Civil Appeals will be administered in Illinois by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). The initiative is a unique partnership between PILI, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, and an Illinois Appellate Legal Answers Advisory Committee.

Vincent, who is a member of the Free Legal Answers for Civil Appeals Advisory Committee as well as the PILI board of directors, said that "true access to justice requires meaningful appellate review." He added that the program will help "[self-represented litigants] successfully navigate the procedural aspects of the appellate process so that their cases can be decided on the merits."

Since 2015, Vincent has also chaired the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission's Appellate Forms Subcommittee, which has created a complete suite of forms (writable PDFs) and instructions that self-represented litigants can use to prosecute or defend a civil appeal from start to finish, and that the Illinois Supreme Court requires all reviewing courts to accept when used.

More information is available at the PILI website.

Read the full blog post on the Illinois Lawyer Now website.

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