A New Public-Interest Appellate Model

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THE JOURNAL OF
APPELLATE PRACTICE
AND PROCESS

A NEW PUBLIC-INTEREST APPELLATE MODEL:
PUBLIC COUNSEL'S COURT-BASED SELF-HELP
CLINIC AND PRO BONO "TRIAGE" FOR INDIGENT
PRO SE CIVIL LITIGANTS ON APPEAL

Meehan Rasch*

INTRODUCTION

Many varieties of new "pro se" or "pro bono" appellate
programs have been sprouting up around the country in recent
years.1 Courts, bar associations, and legal services and advocacy

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* Associate, Sidley Austin LLP; 2009-10 Sidley Austin Pro Bono Fellow, Public Counsel
Appellate Law Program, Los Angeles, California. J.D., UCLA School of Law, 2008; M.A.,
Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, 2002; A.B., Stanford University, 1999. This
article is indebted to the careful program evaluation and detailed materials created by
Public Counsel staff, including Appellate Law Program Director Lisa Jaskol, who may be
reached at ljaskol@publiccounsel.org for further information about the Program. Thank
you to Lisa Jaskol and Christy Mallory for editing and helpful comments on earlier drafts
of this piece.

1. For a listing of pro bono civil appellate programs in state and federal courts of
appeals compiled in 2005, see Thomas H. Boyd & Stephanie A. Bray, ABA Council App.
Laws. Pro Se-Pro Bono Comm., Report on Pro Bono Appellate Programs Appendix (2005)
(copy on file with Journal of Appellate Practice and Process). However, Boyd and Bray's
excellent resource is no longer exhaustive or up to date; many appellate pro bono programs
have been initiated or further developed since the publication of the ABA report, including
Public Counsel's Appellate Law Program. For a more recent research paper on court
support programs and best practices for assisting self-represented civil appellate litigants,