Charles B. Gibbons, a shareholder in the Litigation Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Pittsburgh office, was quoted in an April 2, 2009, press release. The release was prepared by the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. — an organization for which Gibbons serves as president— and picked up by various sites, including Yahoo! News.

As explained in the release, the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) supports an April 2 order entered by Chief Justice Castille of the State Supreme Court, which calls for funding of civil legal aid programs by assessing a $25 surcharge on attorney annual registration fees.

PLAN, which is made up of 13 legal aid programs, handles about 100,000 civil cases annually for low income Pennsylvanians who need representation on matters affecting their basic needs, such as housing, income, health and protection against domestic violence.

According to the release, "Due to historically low interest rates, one major source of funding [that] has helped support legal aid services has been decimated, causing a $9 million reduction in annual funding to the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc., the umbrella for these programs. This represents about a 30 percent loss of funding for PLAN, Inc. legal aid support, in the span of two years."

The release goes on to say that "Today's action by the court will help regain 5 percent of that 30 percent loss, as legal aid programs look to other sources to help assure that important client services can continue."

"This was an excellent step by the Supreme Court, which took action to help address the immediate needs surrounding access to justice in Pennsylvania. Attorneys across the Commonwealth will each contribute a small amount to help assure that our courts can be considered truly accessible to all residents of Pennsylvania. I am proud that I, and members of my firm, will be part of this contribution," Gibbons said in the release.