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Former judge calls for state constitutional convention

Sep 28, 2016 6:30 am

Robert Gavin is reporting in the Times Union the state's former Chief Judge, Jonathan Lippman, told a judicial panel Tue., Sept. 27, that he would support a constitutional convention next year to ensure New York guarantees civil legal services for the poor. Every 20 years, voters in New Yorkers have the opportunity to decide whether to hold a constitutional convention. The next time the question will appear on the ballot is Nov. 7, 2017. "I think it is really a tremendous opportunity," Lippman, told the panel meeting at the Court of Appeals in Albany. Lippman made civil legal services for the poor his signature issue during the time he served as the state's top judge. "We need to change the priorities of society," Lippman told the panel Tuesday. He said legal representation for the poor in civil matters is as important as schools and hospitals and housing. The panel also heard from Albany businessman Edward P. Swyer, who is involved with The Legal Project, which offers pro bono legal support to the working poor in civil cases. Read the full story in the Times Union.