Montana Legal Services Association Leaders Chosen for Appointment and Award

MLSA is pleased to announce significant accomplishments by two of our leaders: "AlisonAlison Paul, MLSA Executive Director, shown above, was appointed by the Montana Supreme Court to the newly formed Access to Justice Commission.The purpose of the Access to Justice Commission (ATJC) will be to assess, plan, coordinate, and make recommendations regarding access to justice for all Montanans. That will include assessing the legal needs and resources to meet the needs of low-to-moderate income Montanans and their ability to access the courts; providing long-range, integrated planning among legal assistance providers;  fostering the development of statewide civil legal services, including new programs; securing and maintaining funding for access to justice projects; establishing a committee to continue the mission of the former Commission on Self-Represented Litigants mission.Ms. Paul is one of 18 Members, representing a variety of organizations and entities, and will serve a three-year term.

Ed Higgiins with State Bar Immediate Past President Shane VannattaEd Higgins, MLSA Director of Community Engagement, shown above with State Bar of Montana Immediate Past President Shane Vannatta, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Bar for his work on the Montana Supreme Court’s Commission on Self-Represented Litigants (CSRL). The CSRL was created in 2000 to consider and recommend court rule and statutory changes, coordinate with existing programs, and develop new pilot programs. The CSRL has been instrumental in developing pro se resources, including forms and self-help law centers. Due to the creation of the ATJC, the CSRL has been dissolved and will be replaced by a working committee of the ATJC.  Click here to view more information on the CSRL.MLSA would also like to congratulate the other recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, including former MLSA Executive Director, Klaus Sitte, for his work on the Equal Justice Task Force, as well as the following individuals:Equal Justice Task ForceBernadette Franks-Ongoy, Missoula; Rep. Shannon Augare, Browning; Richard P. Bartos, Helena; Debra L. DuMontier, Arlee; Ann Gilkey, Helena; Hon. Mary Jane Knisely, Billings; Judy Meadows, Helena; Tammy Plubell, Helena; Cynthia K. Smith, Missoula; Nancy Sweeney, HelenaCommission on Self-Represented LitigantsHon. Russ Fagg, Billings; Kim Crowley, Kalispell; Shirley Faust, Missoula; Corbin Howard, BillingsCLE InstituteTim Fox, Jim Lewis, Hon. Jim NelsonEthics CommitteeTed Hess-HomeierImmediate Past PresidentJoe Sullivan