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VP Biden Presents the Access to Justice Initiative By Todd Schultz Vice President Joe Biden presented a ‘’Middle Class Task Force’’ today, where he addressed the middle class’s lack of access to legal services, unveiling the Obama administration’s Access To Justice Initiative.

‘’Our nation is a nation where every American, regardless of their age, their race, their sex, their income is by law treated the exact same, or should be treated the exact same in the eyes of the law,’’ the Vice President said. ‘’That in a nutshell is the fundamental ideal of our democracy, but it’s not enough [...] to say that everyone has the same legal rights.’’ Biden outlined some of the specific points of the initiative, saying that key focuses would be on securing legal aid for veterans, workers, as well as the many Americans who are currently facing foreclosure. As for workers, according to Biden, complaints filed by workers regarding a failure to be paid, minimum wage and overtime, will be forwarded to an attorney accredited by the American Bar Association. ‘’[...]We have to ensure that every American has real and meaningful access to justice,’’ the Vice President said. ‘’Increasingly [the middle class] can’t afford to deal with [legal issues] that gets them the full benefit of the law.’’

they had more unrepresented litigants than the year before. Biden claimed that half of all civil cases in the United States contain at least one party without representation. Coming to the aid of those thousands of Americans who were unable to represent themselves against foreclosure, Biden described new mediation programs for citizens in need. In a joint report, The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice’s Access to Justice Initiative detailed a process guiding homeowners on how they can go through mediation, and hopefully, prevent foreclosure while still fulfilling the lenders needs. ‘’It’s one family at a time. It’s one person at a time. It’s one veteran at a time. It’s one foreclosure at a time,’’ Biden said. ‘’If we do what we are saying here, if we are able to implement this you are going to affect the lives of tens of thousands and millions of people in ways that are consequential, because many of them are lost right now.’’

Biden pointed specifically to civil justice. He quoted a statistic that says 60 percent of United States judges reported that


VP Biden Presents the Access to Justice Initiative