Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

This article will propose recommendations for implementing meaningful "alternative procedural safeguards." It will highlight a program that uses an innovative model of pro se assistance and limited representation, and will discuss the limitations that even the most innovative programs face in trying to offer adequate alternatives to full representation. The article will also analyze the ethical obstacles that court-based assistance programs face, and offer strategies that attorneys can use to meet their ethical duties regarding confidentiality, competence, avoidance of conflicts of interest, and independence of professional judgment.

While the procedural safeguards that the Court suggests in Turner might, in theory, improve litigants' understanding and ability to participate in child support matters, they do not, in practice, provide the level of due process protection in lieu of appointed counsel that the Court suggests. The article concludes that the broad brush the Court uses in Turner to paint the concept of procedural safeguards is inadequate, and the legal community must develop guidelines and programs that offer progressive tiers of services tailored to litigants' circumstances to ensure that the due process rights of pro se litigants are protected.

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