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State Statutes Providing for a Right to Counsel in Civil Cases

By Laura K. Abel & Max Rettig

States have passed hundreds of laws and court rules guaranteeing the right to counsel in a miscellany of civil cases, including family law, involuntary commitment, and medical treatment. Right-to-counsel laws and rules vary widely in the extent to which they ensure that the appointed counsel is competent. Advocates should be aware of the full range of right-to-counsel laws and the elements that make them effective.

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