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Community Rights Counsel
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895


CRC News Releases

COMMUNITY RIGHTS COUNSEL REACTS TO
SUPREME COURT'S DECISION TO REVIEW IOLTA CASE;
CONDEMNS SPECIAL INTEREST ATTACK ON LEGAL FUNDING
FOR THE POOR


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2002

CONTACT: Timothy Dowling or Doug Kendall, 202-296-6889


Community Rights Counsel ("CRC") expressed confidence that IOLTA programs would survive Supreme Court review in reaction to the Court's decision today to resolve a direct conflict between the Fifth and Ninth Circuits over the constitutionality of these court-run programs. According to Timothy Dowling, CRC's Chief Counsel, "we welcome the opportunity to defeat once and for all the campaign against IOLTA programs being waged by Washington Legal Foundation."

The Court's recent decision in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency demonstrates that six justices on the Court are willing to seriously consider the interests of the community in deciding takings claims brought by property owners. The equities in this case (captioned Washington Legal Foundation v. Legal Foundation of Washington) weigh even more in favor of upholding Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts ("IOLTA") programs. By definition, the claimants lose nothing by participating in IOLTA programs. The programs, on the other hand, are in place in all 50 states and provide over $100 million for legal services for the poor.

In the words of Doug Kendall, CRC's Executive Director, "this case exposes the cold, unsympathetic underbelly of the 'so-called' property rights movement. WLF has little to gain here except the satisfaction of depriving poor people of desperately-needed legal services."

CRC is a nonprofit public interest law firm in Washington, D.C. that helps local governments defend challenges to land-use controls and other community protections. Community Rights Counsel (CRC) filed a brief in the Tahoe case for our nation's governors, mayors and other state and local officials on behalf of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.


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