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How COVID can pave the way to a more accessible court system

A frequent complaint about the American court system is that it is complex and hard to understand, and therefore presents barriers to many members of the general public.

Lo and behold, the system had to work differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Social distancing" meant it was a bad idea to cram people into courtrooms together, so court systems began using new tools, including filing of documents without the need for lawyers.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, already well into a project on Civil Legal System Modernization, has some ideas on how courts can go further still.

Project officer Qudsiya Naqui visits with details.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.