In October 1997 the Chief Judge of the State of New York, Judith S. Kaye, appointed a Legal Services Project and charged its members with finding a means of "promot[ing] constancy in the flow of resources for professional legal services organizations so that they may continue their excellent work and serve greater numbers of litigants." At the time of announcing the project, Chief Judge Kaye stated: "A justice system that allows disparities in justice based on the ability to pay is inconsistent with a fundamental principle of our free democratic society - equal justice for all." The Project therefore viewed its mandate as identifying a potential source of permanent state funding for civil legal services programs - one that would be "substantial, stable from year to year, and secure (that is, permanent).

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