Your Support for Access to Justice

By Ted Leopold
President, Public Justice

Every good cause comes with a price, one that requires a commitment of time, money or both.  We often accept invitations to join organizations with a sense of weariness, wondering, “how much is this good cause going to cost me?”  And sometimes, the sense is that “the ask” is never ending and we are chipping at a boulder with a toothpick.  

I have raised these same questions through my career, but I can say with certainty that supporting Public Justice is one cause that has never been shadowed by doubts. The Access to Justice campaign is the perfect example of how this organization has succeeded in affecting change.   The “ask” may be ongoing, but the progress we have made has yielded measurable results and affected public policy in the highest courts.

This year, the Access to Justice campaign celebrates its 10th anniversary.  As we honor this milestone, I hope you will take a moment to fully appreciate what your support has been able to accomplish over the past decade.  

  • We have won dozens of reported decisions from federal and state courts across the US refusing to enforce forced arbitration clauses in particular cases, opening the courthouse doors to our clients and setting precedents that reduced and discouraged a variety of abuses of these fine print contracts
  • We have won a number of landmark decisions where courts have rejected corporations’ claims that federal laws that would provide injury victims or consumers no remedies for illegal acts preempted better state laws, helping preserve some important legal claims for our clients and many others
  • We have defeated attempted abuses of court secrecy where corporations caught in serious wrongdoing that threatened the public health had convinced courts to hide crucial documents or facts from public scrutiny before we became involved.

“Power unchecked is power abused.  That’s why we work to preserve everyone’s right to a day in court.”   Those are the opening words that started our groundbreaking initiative 10 years ago to keep the courthouse doors open and provide access to the courts for ALL individuals.   Over the last ten years, the importance of our work has had a significant impact on the rights of individuals.  We have fought large corporations who have done all they can to prevent consumers, the poor and aggrieved from seeking justice. 

And YES, there is so much more to do.  But imagine what the state of affairs would be had we not advanced this campaign ten years ago?  As a watchdog, we are not only proactively affecting change, but we are deterring corporate wrongdoers from abusing consumers.  That is why, I encourage you to take pride in what we have achieved, and invest in the future by generously supporting Access to Justice this year.  

It is an anniversary worth celebrating, and a cause that not only inspires hope but also truly creates change.  As advocates for consumer justice, our allegiance to the organization and its causes are rooted in our personal beliefs.  They are the reasons we became advocates, and the reason we offer a voice to those who have been silenced. Our work is tireless, but our resolve is endless. Please join me in honoring and celebrating Access to Justice with a generous contribution in 2014.  

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