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Access to Justice

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • November 25, 2018

    The Bail Project's Robin Steinberg On Bail Reform

    Having served as a public defender for 35 years, Robin Steinberg knows a thing or two about the effect cash bail can have on criminal defendants. Law360 talks with Steinberg about how she launched the country's first national revolving bail fund, and what the bail reform movement needs going forward.

  • November 25, 2018

    Judicial Election Steers Texas County Toward Bail Reform

    A lawsuit challenging the cash bail system in Harris County, Texas, is at an unusual crossroads after 14 Republican municipal court judges named as defendants in the suit — all of whom opposed reforms — were voted out of office this month, a move that likely spells big changes for alleged offenders stuck behind bars because they can't pay their way out.

  • November 25, 2018

    In Ohio, Drug Sentencing Reform Down But Not Out

    On Election Day, Ohio voters resoundingly rejected major drug sentencing reforms. While the constitutional amendment failed, some of the measure's biggest opponents have already come forward with their own reform proposal, repackaging some of the referendum's key ideas into legislation instead.

  • November 18, 2018

    McGuireWoods Harnesses In-House Talent For Legal Aid

    A new program in Charlotte, North Carolina, to help low-income residents with potentially crippling legal problems is mobilizing attorneys from not only BigLaw but also corporate legal departments, including the top lawyer for one of the world's largest financial institutions.

  • November 18, 2018

    Pressure Grows On Oregon To End Non-Unanimous Verdicts

    On Election Day, Louisiana voters ended the state’s practice of allowing non-unanimous jury verdicts in felony trials. The referendum left Oregon as the only state in America that will send a defendant to prison on a split jury, but that could soon change.

  • November 18, 2018

    NY Can Learn From Other States In Bail Reform Push

    New York lawmakers are poised to revamp the state's bail system in 2019, and while the circumstances are ripe for ending the state's cash-based system, eliminating unnecessary incarcerations will require examining where other reform-minded states may have gone wrong, according to a recent panel of experts and activists.

  • November 18, 2018

    Hurdles Persist For Sentencing Bill After Trump Thumbs-Up

    President Donald Trump's formal backing of a bipartisan criminal justice overhaul still leaves reformers facing major challenges to get the bill passed, including a tight congressional calendar and conservatives who say the changes would endanger public safety.

  • November 18, 2018

    Legal Technicians Step In To Fight Justice Gap

    Marya Noyes left her job at Zillow in 2014 looking to make a difference. Law school was too expensive, but she eventually discovered a program in her home state of Washington that would allow her to practice law in a limited capacity — and help people who couldn't afford an attorney.

  • November 18, 2018

    Philly Sees New Push To Provide Attys For Poor Tenants

    A report released last week by the Philadelphia Bar Association found that the city could save millions by providing representation to low-income tenants at risk of eviction. New York City has already taken that step — could the City of Brotherly Love be next?

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