A growing number of courts are sending those accused of drug and nonviolent crimes to addiction treatment rather than jail. But some residents of those facilities are claiming that forced, unpaid labor and debilitating injury are the only treatment being offered.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was perhaps best known for her dissents, but scholars and those who knew her say her majority opinions may better reflect her judicial philosophy, as well as her time as a law professor and civil rights lawyer.
Some BigLaw attorneys who want to transition to public interest worry about weathering a significant pay cut and skepticism about their commitment to social justice. But making the jump is not impossible, experts say, and it might be more common than originally thought.
Juries are supposed to be drawn from a pool of people who represent a cross-section of their community. But the coronavirus’ disproportionate effect on some demographic groups could jeopardize that basic trial right.
Federal law enforcement officials could soon be prohibited from reading emails sent between prison inmates and their lawyers under legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, as defense attorneys warn the issue has become more urgent now that the pandemic makes in-person visits almost impossible.
The high court bid of a rejected applicant to the Illinois bar is raising fresh questions about whether members of state bar admissions boards are best suited to make decisions about candidates' mental disabilities, especially amid calls across the legal industry to take mental health issues more seriously.
While dozens of states enacted eviction moratoriums this spring in response to the pandemic, South Dakota made no special accommodations. New efforts are focused on supporting Native American tenants in the state, where affordable housing and legal aid have been hard to come by.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some of existing court access issues, forcing many to try to preserve their legal rights through a computer screen. Nóra Al Haider, policy and design lead at the Legal Design Lab, recently spoke with Law360 about the challenges that people are experiencing, and how the organization hopes to create solutions.
The California Judicial Council accepted a committee's recommendations Friday to look at expanding the use of video technology to allow parties, counsel and witnesses to appear remotely during most noncriminal court proceedings, as part of the council's effort to enhance access to justice.
Turns out there may be a plus side after all to a long period of impeachment brawls, contentious U.S. Supreme Court nominee fights and numerous investigations and scandals: More Americans are up on their civics knowledge.
Between wildfires in the West and storms in the South, 2020 is already shaping up to be a tough year for natural disasters. And for the legal aid attorneys on the front lines, the coronavirus is eating up resources and blocking access to survivors.
COVID-19 has forced courts to find creative ways to keep operating, but a Philadelphia policy to put criminal trials and other proceedings "live" on YouTube isn't worth the privacy risks, according to victims' advocates and other critics. That policy is in limbo for now, but the controversy may serve as a warning to other jurisdictions considering similar steps.
Financial incentives and highlighting the benefits of small-town life could help draw young attorneys to practice in small, tribal and rural areas, said panelists at a conference addressing access to justice in these communities.
Marvin "Shaka" Walker has spent decades behind bars after he was convicted of fatally shooting a boy during a 1979 liquor store robbery in California. Through the work of Farella Braun & Martel LLP, he now has the opportunity either for a new trial or to walk free.
The Mississippi attorney general's dismissal of case against Curtis Flowers, a Black man who stood trial six times for the same murders, marks the latest example of an attorney general swooping into the spotlight and taking over controversial prosecutions. It's a trend that could continue as long as racial justice issues garner national attention.
Utah's online dispute resolution pilot program, which is aimed at increasing access to justice, has serious design problems with its online platform, according to an outside evaluator, which recommended that the state work to make the platform more user-friendly.
A bipartisan bill recently unveiled in the U.S. Senate would eliminate the presumption that those facing federal drug charges must be detained before their trials start, with sponsors contending the measure would empower judges and prevent unnecessary incarcerations.
As the League of Women Voters' senior director of advocacy and litigation, Celina Stewart oversees a national case portfolio that has tripled in size during the pandemic. She spoke with Law360 about the intersection of access to justice and this year's election.
Police who buried evidence, a grossly unprepared defense attorney, and prosecutors who let officers lie under oath — for Arturo Jimenez, it all added up to 25 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Earlier this month, a Morrison & Foerster pro bono team helped clear his name.
Every year, the 390,000 residents of New Orleans pay an estimated $1.9 million in criminal fines and fees. But the City Council has passed a novel resolution threatening to choke off money to the courts if criminal fines continued to be levied.
The state of Virginia recently become the sixth state to clear its rape kit backlog. With thousands of untested kits in other states, sexual assault cases remain unprosecuted despite growing efforts to get through the mountains of DNA evidence. The brutal case of one victim in New York shows why such testing can be critical.
As the Circuit Court of Cook County stares down an influx of eviction, foreclosure and other debt collection cases, the local legal community is using the calm before the storm to help Chicago residents mitigate their pandemic-era financial crises and potentially save their homes.
Navajo citizen Lezmond Mitchell was executed at an Indiana federal prison Wednesday for a 2001 double murder, a sentence carried out over the objections of many tribal advocates and the Navajo Nation itself, which opposes the death penalty.
New Jersey's highest court has defanged the powers of a civilian board meant to oversee police actions in the state's largest city, barring it from investigating alleged police misconduct at the same time that internal investigators are probing a matter.
A trio of petitions served up to the U.S. Supreme Court this month take aim at three distinct elements of the capital punishment process: conviction, sentencing and the execution itself.
Since starting as legal director of the Texas Civil Rights Project's Criminal Injustice Reform division in March, Liyah Brown has been leading the organization's effort to combat racism in the state's criminal justice system and pursue systemic change in policing, incarceration, the money bail system and more.
Could international arbitration provide a way for victims of human rights abuses at sea to finally seek redress after years of falling under the radar? A new initiative is betting that the answer to that question is yes.
President Donald Trump has tapped five people for the influential commission that sets guidelines for federal prison sentences, but advocates for change on both the left and right are calling the slate "antithetical to reform" and urging senators not to confirm the picks.
Attorneys at O'Melveny & Myers LLP helped the ACLU secure an agreement they hope will would result in real change for low-income defendants in Nevada seeking access to meaningful legal representation.
The prosecution's decision in the Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings to present a crucial, disputed fact — whether the officers knocked and announced themselves when they arrived at Taylor's apartment — as a settled question represents the partiality police officers often enjoy from prosecutors, says attorney Geoffrey D. Kearney.
A recent Trump administration proposal to limit appellate review of immigration cases would eviscerate the few existing legal protections for immigrants and asylum seekers at a time when they are already routinely denied due process in court, says Lynn Pearson at the Tahirih Justice Center.
While a video recording in Cantu v. City of Dothan — a recent Eleventh Circuit case involving a fatal shooting by a police officer — allowed the plaintiffs to clear the difficult qualified immunity hurdle, the court's ruling does not make it easier for most victims to surmount the defense, says Adriana Collado-Hudak at Greenspoon Marder.
By resisting investment in public defender offices, states and counties are overlooking the best opportunity to ensure justice for vulnerable criminal defendants and ferret out police, prosecutors and judges who cut corners — but there is some movement on the ground that warrants cautious optimism, says Jonathan Rapping at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
Over the last six months, it has become clear that many New York court proceedings can happen remotely, and we can use these new technological capabilities to create a more humane, efficient and economically responsible court system, says Joseph Frumin at The Legal Aid Society.
The Conference of Chief Justices' continuing support for the use of problematic pretrial risk assessment algorithms designed to predict criminal behavior has exacerbated disparities in the justice system and has likely increased incarceration across the U.S., says Jeffrey Clayton at the American Bail Coalition.
To tackle low-income communities' decadeslong struggle with access to healthy food, which the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated, we must first understand how food deserts are a product of policies that perpetuate racial segregation, says Jessica Giesen at Kelley Kronenberg.
Cincinnati has come a long way since the 2001 unrest following the police killings of two unarmed Black men, and the city's comprehensive revision of police practices can inform local and state policymakers seeking a way forward from the current turmoil, says former Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken now at Calfee Halter.
Many small towns and rural counties have few lawyers or none at all, which threatens the notion of justice for all Americans and demands creative solutions from legislators, bar associations and law schools, says Patricia Refo, president of the American Bar Association.
With the decennial census underway and the corresponding redistricting cycle closely approaching, it is critical that we examine the current state of gerrymandering jurisprudence and how those challenging a redistricting plan as racially motivated have very little recourse, says Tal Aburos at Levine Kellogg.
The Minnesota prosecutors who have charged Derek Chauvin with felony murder for the death of George Floyd are running the risk that the case will be dismissed on solid but esoteric grounds — while ignoring a different murder charge that would stand up to legal scrutiny, says Kyron Huigens at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Law professors must fill gaps in the U.S. legal curriculum by teaching cases and legal theories that can help students understand how the legal system and institutional structures perpetuate inequalities, says Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
The United States can no longer foreclose the possibility of recompense for African American victims of its legacy of racism while maintaining its international leadership on such issues as human rights and respect for the rule of law, say Arif Ali and David Attanasio at Dechert and Camilo Sanchez at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Lawyers have always bumped up against a professional conduct rule that prevents them from providing financial help to low-income clients, but New York's pandemic-prompted exception to the rule is a positive step toward mitigating the many hidden expenses that separate rich and poor litigants, say Sateesh Nori and Anita Desai at the Legal Aid Society.
Eliminating the legacy of slavery will not be the work of a day or a year, but there are concrete measures Congress can and should take immediately to extend the protection of the law to all Americans, says Jeff Powell at Duke University School of Law.