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Recommendations from THE
Kansas Justice Initiative Commission

 Authorized on June 3, 1997, by the Kansas Supreme Court, 46 members of the Kansas Citizens Justice Initiative Committee held public hearings, reviewed surveys, and reviewed the work of subcommittees “to inquire into the state of the justice system and to make recommendations as to its improvement.”  A limited number of the 23 recommendations relate to unbundling issues, these recommendations are listed below and their number corresponds with the number they were given within the 23 recommendations. 

1.      Unbundling Legal Services

15.  Allowing an individual to retain an attorney to provide a single service, without the lawyer undertaking general representation of the individual in the matter, could have substantial benefit for consumers by increasing access to legal services.  The Kansas Bar Association or another group should study the extent to which unbundling of legal services can be accomplished without undermining the lawyer’s ethical obligation to the client and should recommend for adoption by the Supreme Court a rule permitting unbundling in circumstances where it is appropriate. 

2.      Post-admission Legal Internship

16.  The Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Bar Association should conduct a study to determine whether a system that encourages law firms to hire newly admitted lawyers as legal interns, who would provide services at no or little cost, for those with insufficient income to hire an attorney, but whose income exceeds Legal Aid qualifications guidelines.  The study should determine whether or not this benefits the legal community. 

3.      Pro Se Litigation

17.  (a)The Kansas Supreme Court should promulgate a policy statement for the Kansa court system concerning pro se litigants to increase uniformity in dealing with these litigants by providing guidance to court administrators, clerks, the bench, the public and the bar.  The statement should specify the services and types of assistance that may be provided to pro se litigants without violating rules prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law. 

(b)Three pilot projects should be conducted to evaluate the use of pro se service centers or kiosks to assist pro se litigants.  Large, medium-sized and small counties should be selected for the pilot projects.

(c)The pro se policy statement should require development of an education program for judges, court staff members, attorney and pro se litigants.

4.      Implementation

23.  The Supreme Court should direct the Office of Judicial Administration to publish an annual report for a period of five years itemizing the actions taken upon each of the Commission’s recommendations and identifying the appropriate government body or entity to undertake any further study or action that it required.       

Reproduced from: 

KANSAS JUSTICE INITIATIVE COMMISSION: Recommendations published in the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, August 4, 1999 For presentation to the Legislative Coordinating Council

By: Grace Wilson