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Maryland's Strategy for Securing a Right to Counsel in Civil Cases

Frase v. Barnhart and Beyond

By John Nethercut

The 2003 Frase v. Barnhart case is an important first step in Maryland’s ongoing campaign to establish a right to counsel in civil cases. In Frase Maryland’s highest appellate court narrowly avoided ruling on the right-to-counsel issue, but three judges stated in the concurring opinion that the court should have recognized a constitutional right to counsel in certain cases. To inform and inspire others, Maryland attorneys share some of the strategic decisions and tactical considerations that have shaped Maryland’s continuing effort to establish a right to counsel.

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