WHEREFORE, there is a disparity in the ability of the citizens in this country to obtain legal representation, and
WHEREFORE, every citizen in this country has a right to legal representation, and
WHEREFORE, a federal law guaranteeing access to legal representation in this country will advance the legal interests of the underserved clients,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT there shall be a new law enacted in this country titled “ELRALA” – the Emergency Legal Representation and Active Litigation Act.
The substance of this Act shall be as follows:
1. Any person that “comes to a law office” must receive a legal screening exam (“LSE”).
2. The LSE must be performed in a manner that is reasonably calculated to detect any emergency legal condition.
3. If an emergency legal condition is detected, the law office must stabilize that emergency legal condition within the best of its abilities. Such stabilizing measures shall include, but are not limited to:
a. Evaluation of the client’s complaint by a qualified legal provider
b. Retention of specific experts when the law office is unable to fully evaluate the validity of the client’s complaint
c. Initiation and maintenance of litigation until the client’s emergency legal condition has been stabilized
4. If the law office does not have the capability to stabilize the client’s emergency legal condition, the law office must make an “appropriate” transfer of the client to a law office that does have the capability to stabilize the client’s emergency legal condition.
5. Law offices providing specialized legal services shall not refuse to accept an appropriate transfer of a client who requires such specialized capabilities if the law office has the capacity to provide such services to the client.
6. The LSE must be carried out in an equal and nondiscriminatory fashion regardless of the client’s ability to pay.
7. Law offices must not engage in any actions that could delay the LSE, and may not inquire about a client’s ability to pay prior to providing the LSE.
8. Law offices may not request a “retainer” or any other form of advance payment prior to the stabilization of the client’s emergency legal condition.
9. Law offices shall assure that the legal care provided best meets the legal needs of the communities in which the law offices are located.
10. Legal specialists may arrange “coverage” for multiple law offices in smaller communities provided that the services best meet the legal needs for each community.
11. Law offices shall keep a “call roster” of attorneys specialized in each branch of law that will be available each day to provide specialty legal services to clients requiring such services.
ELRALA shall only apply to “participating law offices”. A law office that uses any services provided in a court house shall be considered a “participating law office” for purposes of this Act.
A law office shall be considered to have fulfilled its duties under ELRALA once the client’s emergency legal condition has been stabilized.
For the purposes of this Act, the term “emergency legal condition” shall mean any condition or situation that presents a significant threat to any of a client’s legal rights.
For the purposes of this Act, the term “stabilization” shall mean that there is no longer a significant threat to a client’s legal rights.
Violations of ELRALA will result in a statutory fine of not more than $50,000 and, in repeated or flagrant cases, loss of license to practice law or loss of privilege to use the court system.
Hey – the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (“EMTALA”) has been such an overwhelming success in guaranteeing medical care for patients in this country, we really need to expand it so that every person in this country is guaranteed to receive other essential services.
The Emergency Hunger Treatment and Active Thirst Act – “EHTATA” – requiring all restaurants or people owning a stove to provide emergency hunger treatment to anyone that comes to their abodes or places of business complaining of being hungry and/or thirsty.
The Emergency Shelter Provision and Active Housing Act – “ESPAHA” – requiring all hotels and homeowners to provide emergency shelter for anyone coming to their abodes or places of business complaining of not having a place to live.
Any I’m missing?