What virtual court and legal help is available for the community

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As the courts near a year of in-person limits to courthouses, we talked about what the public should know about virtual help that’s available and what has expanded since the pandemic began. From the court perspective, Chief Justice Brutinel Arizona Supreme Court and Joel England, CEO and Executive Director from the State Bar of Arizona will talk about their free legal help call-in line staffed by volunteer lawyers.

The online legal resource center visits more than doubled in 2020 over 2019. We talk about what legal help is out there. The Arizona access to justice commission created a website called Arizonacourthelp.org. It provides all sorts of information like court forms, courthouse locators, legal aid resources, legal video library, live chat, frequently asked questions, legal glossary, and general court processes and information.

We also talk about the legal hotline. England said they wanted to help during the pandemic so they set up a hotline. The legal operator gives them information after calling. The operators will help guide people but when it’s not enough they also have free 30 minute sessions. Over 200 legal professionals have volunteered to take calls. From there the attorney will try to help the client with the legal issue they need. We talk about what type of issues they are seeing. Most of the calls are housing-related, financial issues, and employment issues.

The website has been gaining more and more traction Brutinel said. He also said that if there’s anything good about this pandemic is it they have learned some new ways to do business. He said they are also much more likely to attend the hearings if they can do it online. He also said he doesn’t think they will ever go back. England said the hotline is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 3 in the afternoon. The number is 866-611-6022.

Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel, Arizona Supreme Court, and Joel England, CEO & Executive Director, State Bar of Arizona

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