DC Community Leaders Appointed to DC Access to Justice Commission

Twenty-five individuals were appointed to three-year terms to support the work of the DC Access to Justice Commission.

Washington, DC – The DC Court of Appeals announced the reappointments and new appointments of twenty-five members to the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission on February 28, 2023. The court also announced Professor Peter B. Edelman as Chair and James J. Sandman as Vice Chair. The appointments are for a three-year term beginning on March 1, 2023 and going through February 28, 2026.

First established by the DC Court of Appeals in 2005, the D.C. Access to Justice Commission seeks to increase significantly the resources for civil legal services for District residents, reduce barriers that prevent equal access to justice by low- and moderate-income District residents, advocate for increased pro bono work by local attorneys, and improve planning and coordination of legal services delivery. It also strives to call attention to the importance of legal services for District residents and the significant disparity between the need for such services and the resources available to meet those needs. In January 2022, the Commission adopted a set of ‘justice for all’ priorities that aim to ensure that 100% of all District residents facing civil legal problems receive some form of effective assistance.

“The DC Access to Justice Commission plays a critical role in advancing civil justice in our community,” said Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the D.C. Court of Appeals. “The DC Courts look forward to our continued partnership with the Commission in working towards this important goal.”

"We are delighted to welcome these new and returning members to the Commission," said Professor Peter Edelman, who has chaired the Commission from its founding. "They include distinguished leaders from the courts, legal services, academia, the private bar, business, and the community. Each member will provide a critical and unique perspective to the Commission’s ongoing efforts to ensure equal access to justice."

The twenty-five Commissioners include five individuals nominated by the DC Courts; four individuals nominated by the DC Consortium of Legal Services Providers; two individuals nominated by the DC Bar; and two individuals nominated by the DC Bar Foundation; with the balance of Commissioners promoted at-large based on their demonstrated commitment to access to justice. Sixteen members have been reappointed past their initial terms, while nine members are new to the Commission with this 2023-2026 term.

With this new set of appointments, the Court and Commission give thanks to those Commissioners whose term of service has now expired. These include the Honorable Phyllis Thompson, the Honorable Anthony Epstein, the Honorable Maribeth Raffinan, Professor Stacy L. Brustin, Chinh Q. Le, and Rebecca Troth. “The time, talent, and expertise that these individuals have committed to the Commission’s important work has been invaluable,” said Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby. “We are deeply grateful for their service,” added Professor Edelman, “especially during the last three, challenging years as we navigated the impact of the pandemic on civil justice in the District.”

A copy of the court’s appointment order and another Commission listing is below:

Current Commissioners 2023-2026

Access to Justice Commission Appointment Order February 28, 2023


For more information, contact:

Douglas Buchanan,
Director of Media and Public Relations - 
DC Courts -
(202) 879-1705  - 

Nancy Drane,
Executive Director DC Access to Justice Commission -
(202) 736-8334 -