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New California Law Provides Free Counsel in Some Civil Matters

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Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill today that guarantees legal counsel to indigent respondents in some civil matters, such as foreclosures and child custody cases. The law applies to anyone whose income places them below 200% of the poverty level. Reaction to the new law has been mixed. Advocates for the bill say that it will help those who have a legitimate defense but lack the ability to present it. Opponents claim that it will clog up the court system and by radically increasing the percentage of litigated evictions, everyone will suffer.

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