Judicial and Legal Aid Leaders Join LSC for Event Marking the Release of Opioid Task Force Report and Access to Justice Forum

August 6, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) will hold an event marking the release of its Opioid Task Force report on Friday, August 9, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. PDT. The forum will also feature a moderated discussion between state supreme court justices. It will be held in conjunction with the American Bar Association’s (ABA) annual meeting.  

Opioid Task Force Co-Chair David H. Hoffman, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, will join LSC Board Chair John G. Levi to deliver remarks.

Judicial leaders will join the first panel, “A Conversation About Access to Justice and the Judiciary.” Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu, California Supreme Court, and Chief Justice Paul L. Reiber, Vermont Supreme Court, will discuss barriers to justice and the impact large numbers of unrepresented litigants have on the justice system. LSC President James J. Sandman will serve as moderator.

Following that, a panel will explore legal aid’s important role in combating the opioid crisis. Families affected by the opioid epidemic face a substantial number and variety of civil legal issues, such as caring for relatives, custody disputes, domestic violence, access to health care, evictions, and difficulty accessing insurance and employment benefits. Individuals with opioid use disorder often encounter legal barriers to obtaining or maintaining access to medication-assisted treatment.

The panelists will include Jia Min Cheng, Medical-Legal Partnership Project Coordinator and Senior Staff Attorney, Bay Area Legal Aid; Tarra Simmons, LSC Opioid Task Force Member and a Skadden Fellow with the Public Defender Association; Dr. Ori Tzvieli, Medical Director, Public Health Clinical Services, Contra Costa County; and Steven Weiss, Regional Managing Attorney, Bay Area Legal Aid. LSC Vice President and General Counsel Ronald S. Flagg will moderate the discussion.

Following the panels, LSC Board Member, Opioid Task Force Co-Chair, and retired Senior Counsel at Hunton & Williams LLP Robert J. Grey will offer remarks with leaders from the ABA. ABA President Bob Carlson and President-Elect Judy Perry Martinez will discuss access to justice challenges and the importance of supporting legal aid.

The event will take place at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street, Lower B2 Level, Nob Hill Rooms C&D. To view the briefing online, visit LSC’s Facebook page, or follow the conversation on Twitter at #LSCforum.

Visit LSC’s Opioid Task Force page and LSC’s Disaster Task Force page for membership information, videos, and other materials relevant to the task forces’ work. Read “Strengthening the Role of Civil Legal Aid in Responding to the Opioid Epidemic: Report of the LSC Opioid Task Force” here.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.