John V. Evans v. Jeff D. – Brief for Amici Curiae (Comm. of Legal Assistance in NY)



The Association of the Bar of the City of New York was incorporated by act of the New York Legislature in 1871. It was formed, in part, “for the purposes of… facilitating and improving the administration of justice, elevating the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession … .” Constitution, Article II. It is composed of over 14,000 lawyers and judges practicing or residing in the City of New York. This brief is filed on behalf of the Association’s Committee on Legal Assistance.

The interest of the Committee in this case is threefold. First, it seeks to encourage access to legal representation for all persons. It pursues this objective both by encouraging attorneys to undertake representation of indigents pro bono and by supporting the availability of statutory attorneys fees in civil rights cases. In the opinion of the Committee, negotiation tactics such as those apparently used in this case threaten substantially to undermine the availability of statutory fees in civil rights cases and, therefore, the availability of counsel to indigent civil rights claimants.

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