Want to get the Governor to support legal access? Here’s Justice Lambden’s $400M tip

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
January 16, 2023

Motivated by his sister’s deafness, Justice James Lambden has long advocated for improved access to our court system. “Without access,” he says, “there is no justice.”

But by the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor, California still had no real funding for access. So Justice Lambden urged a budget line item for legal services.

It failed. So he tried again the next year.

It failed again.

Not one to bang his head against a wall, Justice Lambden tried political savvy. He renamed the budget item. It’s name: The Sargent Shriver Access Issue. “We always suspected Maria Shriver probably had a little influence on the governor.”

This time, it passed. “It was the first time California actually funded legal services at that level,” Justice Lambden says, “and it’s been a line item ever since,” responsible for $300 million in access funding.

Watch the clip here.

This is a clip from episode 51 of the California Appellate Law Podcast. Listen to the full episode here.

Tim Kowal helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at www.CALPodcast.com, and publishes a newsletter of appellate tips for trial attorneys at www.tvalaw.com/articles. His appellate practice covers all of California's appellate districts and throughout the Ninth Circuit, with appellate attorneys in offices in Orange County and Monterey County. Contact Tim at tkowal@tvalaw.com or (714) 641-1232.