Hearing held on providing legal help to those who can't afford it

New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is chairing a task force aimed at investigating the issue of legal representation for the poor in civil courts.

In criminal cases, the government will supply free legal counsel to the poor, but this is not the case for civil lawsuits.

The panel not only heard about cases involving education issues, but others including domestic abuse and foreclosures.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore says offering legal help in civil cases involving people who can't afford a lawyer can also help fight crime.

Judge Lippman's panel is holding another hearing on the lack of legal representation for low-income people in Manhattan next week.

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