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Access to Justice

  • December 16, 2018

    Calif. Move From 'Tough On Crime' Marks New Era Of Reform

    Just before leaving office, California Gov. Jerry Brown passed a slew of progressive criminal justice reforms — many of which signaled a turnaround from his early career, which featured tough-on-crime policies credited with ushering in mass incarceration. His about-face could be a bellwether of things to come.

  • December 16, 2018

    New Learning Lab Connects Young Minds With Rule Of Law

    After exploring the exhibits and touch-screen kiosks at a new Manhattan-based center that aims to illuminate why courts matter, high school senior Ashley Santacruz said the facility, and the high-powered jurists who created it, had helped narrow her career goals.

  • December 9, 2018

    Loomis Look-Back Previews AI Sentencing Fights To Come

    Two high-profile litigators — one bombastic, the other reserved — walked into a New York University School of Law conference hall to take a stab at something the U.S. Supreme Court refused to do: air arguments on whether or not the use of risk assessment technology in criminal sentencing can stack the deck against defendants.

  • December 9, 2018

    Advocates Seek A Rare Right For Felons: Jury Duty

    James Binnall, an attorney and professor at California State University in Long Beach, was thrilled when he received a call for jury duty and a chance to feel “normal” again.

  • December 9, 2018

    New Trial Watchdog Aims To Expose Courtroom Abuses

    The American Bar Association is combining forces with Columbia Law School and the Clooney Foundation for Justice to monitor trials that pose a high risk of human rights violations, part of an effort to promote greater transparency in courtrooms around the world.

  • December 9, 2018

    Cameras Cast A Chill On Atty-Prisoner Consults, Court Says

    The initial meeting between an attorney and a criminal client who is "tired, hungry, confused, distrusting and frustrated" from arrest and imprisonment can be fraught, but what if you also include a mention that the room where the defendant is supposed to spill his or her guts is outfitted with a video camera?

  • December 9, 2018

    Bail Flaws Leave NYC Corrections Facing Lawmaker Scrutiny

    Fax machine trouble, unexplained delays and unresponsive clerks at payment windows are just some of the issues that community members pressed the New York City Department of Correction to address at a contentious meeting over its compliance with local laws.

  • December 9, 2018

    Juror Bias Case Runs Into Skepticism At Mass. High Court

    The argument that courts must probe potential jurors for bias against immigrants or those who don't speak English was met with some skepticism Thursday by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, as several justices seemed concerned about the implications of imposing a blanket requirement.

  • December 9, 2018

    Clergy Victims Press States To Open Window On Abuse Suits

    George Koharchik had a reputation as his Johnstown, Pennsylvania, parish's "favorite priest" when Shaun Dougherty met him in 1980 at the age of 10, and the time they spent together started out innocently enough.

  • December 9, 2018

    How Myanmar's Broken Courts Sent 2 Reporters To Prison

    They say a picture’s worth a thousand words; in the case of Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two pictures were worth a conviction and seven years in a Myanmar jail cell.

  • December 2, 2018

    NYC Bar To Lawmakers: End Criminal Court Fees

    The New York City Bar Association is calling on state lawmakers to end a requirement that people convicted of a crime pay various court fees, saying in a new report that the fines function as a "regressive tax" that disproportionately harms low-income offenders, including those convicted of nonviolent misdemeanors.

  • December 2, 2018

    Courts Turn To Cellphone Bans Despite Access Concerns

    Facing a court date in Massachusetts over a potential eviction, Erin O'Leary knew she couldn't bring her cellphone. Her daughter had recently been forced to stash her own phone in bushes outside the courthouse after security barred her from taking it inside, even though she didn't have a car.

  • December 2, 2018

    Battle Over Preventing Juror Bias Heads To Mass. High Court

    The ability of criminal defendants who don't speak English to screen potential jurors for anti-immigrant bias will come before Massachusetts' top appeals court on Thursday, though procedural issues in the case may muddle what advocates see as a chance to bolster protections for those who need an interpreter in court.

  • December 2, 2018

    Justices' Jokes In Seized SUV Row Have Advocates Grinning

    Can a state seize your car if you're caught speeding, and does it matter if that car is a Bugatti or a beat-up old clunker? The U.S. Supreme Court asked these questions and more in a case that could have huge ramifications for America's booming fines and fees industry.

  • December 2, 2018

    Steptoe Taps Ex-Dechert Atty As New Pro Bono Chief

    Steptoe & Johnson LLP has tapped a former Dechert LLP attorney to oversee the firm’s volunteer legal work, adding a pro bono veteran with a deep background in public interest issues including immigration law, veterans benefits and homelessness.

  • December 2, 2018

    Pillsbury Lends Lobbying Muscle To Saving Kids From Abuse

    Jacqueline Franchetti was going through a contentious custody battle for her 2-year-old daughter with Roy Eugene Rumsey, who she said was abusive and suicidal.

  • December 2, 2018

    Senior Service: How Retired Attys Are Battling The Justice Gap

    After three decades as an in-house attorney for GlaxoSmithKline, Donald Paman was no stranger to complex legal work, but the job hadn’t exactly prepared him for this: a 90-year-old widow fighting to stay in her West Philadelphia home after falling behind on a loan she and her late husband had taken out to repair a leaky roof.

  • November 25, 2018

    A ‘Blank Check’ For Legal Aid Gets Harder To Cash

    A program that pools the interest that attorneys earn on some money temporarily held for clients was once called “a blank check for the public good,” but declining interest rates following the 2008 recession have meant difficult choices for the legal aid organizations the program funds.

  • November 25, 2018

    Calif. May Propel In-House Pro Bono Changes In Other States

    With California looking to ease the way for in-house attorneys to donate legal services, access to justice advocates hope rule changes in the largest U.S. legal market will put momentum behind similar reforms in other states with heavy concentrations of corporate legal teams.

  • November 25, 2018

    Seized SUV Spurs High Court Look At Forfeiture Boom

    A convicted drug dealer's fight to recover his seized Land Rover will allow the U.S. Supreme Court to wrestle with a boom in property and cash taken through state civil forfeiture actions that some advocates say is hobbling people with criminal records as they try to move on with their lives.

Expert Analysis

  • How BigLaw Pro Bono Pros Can Promote Access To Justice

    Allegra Nethery

    Allegra Nethery, president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, discusses opportunities for large law firms to make a difference.

  • Aggressive Stops And Frisks Won’t Make Chicago Safer

    Deborah Ramirez

    Speaking recently to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, President Donald Trump called for stop-and-frisk practices in Chicago to reduce violent crime. But beyond the negative consequences of this approach, data supporting its effectiveness is sparse, say Dr. Tara Lai Quinlan and Northeastern University School of Law professor Deborah Ramirez.

  • The Pro Bono Policies Worth Adopting In Every State

    Latonia Haney Keith

    A recent survey of attorneys across the country found that, despite broad opposition to mandatory pro bono, strong support exists for a number of statewide policies and initiatives to more effectively engage the private bar in pro bono work, says Latonia Haney Keith, associate dean of academics at Concordia University School of Law.

  • Using The Constitution To End Punishment Of The Poor

    Brandon Garrett

    One hundred and fifty years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, lawyers are achieving real victories on the ground with new constitutional theories striking at both inequality and unfair process, says Brandon Garrett of Duke University School of Law.