Section 2 - Duties and Authority

As amended through October 8, 2020
Section 2 - Duties and Authority
2.01. The Commission shall develop a strategic plan for improving access to justice in Tennessee that shall include education of the public concerning the need for legal representation to meet the ideal of equal justice under law, identification of the priorities to meet the need of improved access to justice, and recommendations to the Supreme Court of projects and programs the Commission determines to be necessary and appropriate for enhancing access to justice in Tennessee. The Commission shall submit a strategic plan to the Court within twelve months of the filing of this Order and shall update the strategic plan every two years thereafter.
2.02. The Commission may create advisory committees to study specific issues identified by the Commission and to make such recommendations to the Commission as the members of the advisory committees deem appropriate.
2.03. The Commission may invite non-Commission members, including representatives from other branches of government, lawyers, and members of the public, to attend meetings and to participate as members of advisory committees to help further the work of the Commission.
2.04 . The Commission shall:
(a) Review the report filed with the Court by the Task Force to Study Self Represented Litigants and consider the recommendations contained therein.
(b) Encourage state and local bar associations, access to justice organizations, pro bono programs, judges, and court clerks across the state to promote and to recognize pro bono service by lawyers across the state;
(c) Encourage state and local bar associations, access to justice organizations, pro bono programs, judges, and court clerks across the state to encourage full and limited scope legal representation at reduced fees;
(d) Encourage the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission and other groups to provide pro bono and reduced-rate mediation services to self-represented litigants and to litigants who, although represented, have modest means or who are pro bono clients;
(e) Address existing and proposed laws, rules, procedures, and polices that are barriers to access to justice for low income Tennesseans and to consider the role of community education and increased availability of technology in reducing these barriers.
(f) Develop and recommend initiatives and systemic changes to reduce barriers to access to justice and to meet the legal needs of:
(1) Persons who do not qualify for existing assistance programs by reason of their incomes but whose access to civil justice is limited by the actual or perceived cost of legal services;
(2) Persons with disabilities who do not qualify for existing assistance programs by reason of their incomes;
(3) Persons in language minorities; and
(4) Persons whose legal needs may not be met due to restrictions on representation by legal aid programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation.
(g) Promote increased understanding of the importance of access to justice and of the barriers faced by many Tennesseans in gaining effective access to the civil justice system; and
(h) Study and recommend strategies to increase resources and funding for access to justice in civil matters in Tennessee.
2.05. The Commission has no independent authority to adopt or implement recommendations.