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PBA President Hails Supreme Court Action to Raise More Funds for Civil Legal Services

HARRISBURG (April 2, 2009) - Pennsylvania Bar Association President C. Dale McClain today issued the following statement in reaction to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's announcement that it would increase attorney registration fees for Pennsylvania lawyers from $175 to $200 to raise more funds for civil legal services for citizens who cannot afford them. The $25 increase, which will be passed through to the IOLTA Board to fund civil legal assistance for the poor, is expected to generate about $1.5 million additional dollars.

"The Pennsylvania Bar Association applauds the leadership of the Chief Justice and the action of the Supreme Court in recognizing the substantial need of those seeking civil legal services and who cannot afford them. The action of the Court, which calls for a $25 increase in attorney registration fees for legal services, will benefit those who can least afford civil legal services during these difficult economic times.

"This action represents a critical step in restoring depleted funding of civil legal services across Pennsylvania due to the economic downturn. While the increased fee alone will not return civil legal services funding to its previous levels, the additional funds created by the Court's action will allow increased meaningful access to our justice system as provided by legal services, especially in the areas of mortgage foreclosure and loss of residence."

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.