On Friday, May 11, 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court announced that it has voted unanimously to transfer $750,000 in 2012, and another $750,000 in 2013, from the Court’s attorney registration fund to Colorado Legal Services.
Colorado Legal Services will use the funds to further its mission of providing pro bono legal services in civil matters to Colorado’s indigent population.
“Our profession has an obligation to serve all of Colorado, including those who cannot afford to pay a lawyer for representation in civil matters,” Chief Justice Michael L. Bender said.
Chief Justice Bender also noted that none of the monies being transferred come from taxpayer dollars or will have any future impact on taxpayers.
“The funds being made available to Colorado Legal Services come solely from fees paid to the Court’s Office of Attorney Registration,” he said. “I believe all Colorado attorneys should see this as a wise use of resources to ensure procedural fairness prevails for all who come to the courts seeking assistance.”
The Supreme Court took the transfer request under advisement earlier this year when approached by the Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Access to Justice Commission. The Court found the attorney registration fund had a surplus and concluded that using some of the money for this purpose would have no negative impact on the Office of Attorney Registration or Office of Attorney Regulation.
Colorado Legal Services is a flagship provider of civil legal services and in the past few saw a significant downturn in its funding sources. Without the Court’s authorization to transfer the monies, Colorado Legal Services would have been forced to close some of its offices and lay off numerous staff members.