Louisiana is one of only four states that do not fund legal support for workers in civil courts. As a result, in 75% of civil court cases in the state, people represent themselves, whether they have any understanding of the law or not. While the rich are able to hire as many lawyers as they need to protect their interests, workers can’t afford to defend themselves against predatory landlords, businesses who have ripped them off, or bosses who have stolen from or harassed them.
Even with the right to sue, even with anti-discrimination laws or other protections on the books, workers can’t protect themselves without affordable access to the courts. While there was once state funding to help workers get legal support in the courts, this fund did not meet the needs of workers who struggle with Louisiana’s right-to-work laws, rampant environmental devastation created by oil companies, and insurance fraud in the wake of natural disasters. Even with access to legal representation, workers cannot rely on the courts for justice when corporations and capitalists’ money buys them the power to trample over the rights of workers. We workers have to organize to demand funding for civil legal representation so that we can better defend our class against the attacks of the bosses and the owners.