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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

The importance of civil rights in our society is underscored by the availability of legal redress to individuals who have suffered a deprivation of those rights. The vindication of civil rights, however, often depends upon the people least able to afford the legal fees involved in commencing a civil rights action. While contingent fee arrangements! may provide personal injury plaintiffs who cannot afford counsel the opportunity to have their day in court, such arrangements generally do not entice lawyers to accept civil rights cases that "frequently involve substantial expenditures of time and effort but produce only small monetary recoveries." ' Accordingly, the "vast majority of the victims of civil rights violations [cannot] * . . present their cases to the courts."

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