By Meymo Lyons
A panel says inadequate funding for legal services for the poor is among several factors leaving many Maryland residents without access to courts or help for legal problems.
A report released Wednesday by the Maryland Access to Justice Commission says the recession is one reason for the critical shortage of funding for civil legal services. It also says Maryland residents are appearing in record numbers in court without lawyers.
The report also said other factors interfering with legal access include language or literacy issues, physical abilities and a lack of understanding of the civil justice system.
The commission was created in 2008 to develop, coordinate and implement ways to expand access to the state's civil justice system.