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Supporting courts, community and legal aid self help practitioners Gallery of Honor

Sunday, December 12, 2004

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Our Gallery of Honor gives recognition to those who have made particular contributions to access to justice for self represented litigants.

Picture of Kate SampsonOur latest honoree is Kate Sampson. Kate has always been the "Queen" of self-represented litigation innovation. The 1999 Conference that she organized, which brought together teams from almost every state to develop action plans, was the major catalyst and jumping off step for innovation throughout the country.

Perhaps more than any other person she is responsible for the fact that millions of people throughout the country receive self help services and therefore have a shot at access to justice.

Her persistence, thoroughness and hard work at American Judicature Society, the many conferences she has organized, and the extensive writing she has done make her contribution truly unique. For very many in the next generation of pioneers, hers was the first voice for access for the self-represented that they ever heard, and what she taught will never be forgotten.

Her retirement is very well earned indeed.

If you have any comments about Kate that you would like to share, please submit to and she will add them to this page.

Dave TevlinThe first honoree was David Tevelin, former Executive Director of the State Justice Institute, who retired from that position in the fall of 2004. On behalf of SJI and its Board of Directors, Dave worked tirelessly in support of innovations in access. He was one of the very first to realize the relationship between the way courts treat those without lawyers and the overall legitimacy of the justice system. His insight, his vision, and his gentle commitment to collaboration are models for us all.

If you have any comments about David that you would like to share, please submit to and she will add them to this page.


As Executive Director of SJI, David has always seemed the ideal funder to me. He is a visionary, yet never imposes his vision on others. He has been supportive and encouraging, yet never lowered the standards to which SJI holds its grantees. Above all, he has had a remarkable antenna for the significant trends in court innovation and how gently to enhance them.

It is no understatement to say that David has helped facilitate all the major improvements in the state justice system: case management, self-represented litigant services, domestic violence innovation, technology, and the like. He has always made sure that the innovations were placed in broad justice and access to justice context, and that we kept our "eyes on the prize."

David, you leave a great legacy at SJI.

Thank you,

Richard Zorza

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