Access to Justice Commission

People with civil legal problems (ones that do not involve a crime) do not have a right to a free lawyer.  Sometimes people who cannot afford a lawyer have to handle their own legal case.

In response to this problem, the Tennessee Supreme Court made access to justice its number one priority.  The Court announced their Access to Justice Initiative in December 2008.

In April 2009, the Supreme Court formed the Access to Justice Commission under Supreme Court Rule 50. The Commission was asked to create a strategic plan to help people with civil legal problems get help.  The Commission submitted the plan to the Supreme Court in April 2010.  The Court adopted the plan.  Click here to read the 2010 Strategic Plan.

The Commission must update the strategic plan every two years. Click here to read the 2012 Strategic Plan. Click here to read the 2014 Strategic Plan.

The Commission is currently operating under its 2016 Strategic Plan, available here.

The members of the Access to Justice Commission are:: 

Douglas A. Blaze
Knoxville, TN

Gail Vaughn Ashworth
Nashville, TN

Marcia "Marcy" M. Eason
Chattanooga, TN

David R. Esquivel
Nashville, TN

J. Houston Gordon
Covington, TN

George "Buck" T. Lewis, III
Memphis, TN

Ann J. Pruitt
Nashville, TN

Sharon R. Ryan
Memphis, TN

D. Billye Sanders
Nashville, TN

Anthony Alan Seaton
Johnson City, TN

Justice Cornelia A. Clark serves as the Supreme Court Liaison. 

You can find more information on the ATJ Commission on the Administrative Office of the Courts website or by contacting Anne-Louise Wirthlin, Access to Justice Coordinator, at or (615) 741-2687.