Money Running Out to Pay Lawyers Representing Indigent Clients 

Maine lawyers who represent poor clients in state court proceedings might not be able to get paid much longer. John Pelletier, executive director of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services, tells TV 5 they are on track to exhaust the existing budget at the end of April. If the money runs out, they would not be able to pay lawyers. Pelletier says they are working with Governor LePage to transfer funds so they can cover costs. Pelletier says the same thing happened last year, and money was transferred, but if the decision is not made soon, lawyers could go without pay for a period in May. Lawyers are expected to continue to represent clients even if the money runs out. Right now, the lawyers make $50 per hour, but they are supposed to be getting a pay raise. The pay raise is working its way through the legislature.