‘An Arm a Leg’: A Fight for the Right to Help


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Americans get sued over medical debt. A lot. And — no surprise — many folks getting sued can’t afford lawyers. 

But for a non-lawyer to give even basic advice in a lawsuit is a crime. Such a helper could go to jail. 

Some New Yorkers are waging a legal fight to change that. A nonprofit called Upsolve wants to train people like pastors, social workers, librarians to help others understtheir rights prepare them to represent themselves in court. In the Bronx, pastor John Udo-Okon wants to be one of those helpers. 

So Upsolve Udo-Okon are suing New York Attorney General Letitia James for the right to do this work. If giving super-basic legal advice is a crime, they want a federal judge to rule that it shouldn’t be. 

Here’s a transcript of the episode. 

“An Arm a Leg” is a co-production of KHN Public Road Productions.

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