Access to Justice

  • February 02, 2020

    In New Mexico, Nonattorney Helpers Could Ease Justice Crisis

    In courts where an enormous number of litigants do not have legal counsel, “everything takes dramatically longer,” but some are hopeful that a number of new initiatives approved by the New Mexico Supreme Court will mitigate some of the challenges rural counties face in order to help people access justice in a way that is useful to them and which will lead to a more effective and efficient court system.

  • February 02, 2020

    California Adds To Growing Scrutiny Of Jury Selection Bias

    In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial discrimination in jury selection was unconstitutional, and ever since, prosecutors and defense attorneys have been required to provide a “race-neutral” reason when accused of striking jurors unfairly.

  • February 02, 2020

    Ill. Gov. Calls For State Lawmakers To Phase Out Cash Bail

    Illinois should eliminate cash bail as a step along the "long path toward a fairer criminal justice system," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in his state of the state address, calling for lawmakers to act on the idea in the spring session. 

  • February 02, 2020

    Morgan Lewis Helps Fuel Man's Murder Conviction Fight

    Recently released from prison, Demond Weston says life on the outside can make him feel like “a 46-year-old baby learning to walk.” Still, it’s a challenge he welcomes after serving nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn’t commit.

  • February 02, 2020

    Will Others Follow NJ's Lead In Banning Facial Recognition App?

    The New Jersey attorney general's recent decision to ban law enforcement in the state from using a controversial facial recognition technology should encourage other governments to pump the brakes and take a harder look at police use of such software, some lawyers say.

  • February 02, 2020

    UK Not Immune To Global Problem Of Accessing Legal Help

    A new survey of legal needs in England and Wales found that although a majority of citizens has dealt with a legal issue in the past four years, many people are still uncertain about how to get legal help and many did not get the help they needed, issues that also common in other countries, including the United States.

  • January 26, 2020

    Will 5th Circ. Sanction Threat Chill Death Penalty Appeals?

    A sharply worded sanction warning by a Fifth Circuit judge about “disorderly” filings in death penalty cases could discourage lawyers from pursuing every legitimate appeal in the court before a client’s execution, experts said.

  • January 26, 2020

    Perjury Scandal Can't Blot Out Prosecutor's Conspiracy Claim

    Kim Gardner, St. Louis’ first black top state prosecutor, has accused the city and its police union of a racist conspiracy to undermine her. Critics say it’s a ploy to distract from a special prosecutor investigation against her office, but experts agree she’s faced an unusual level of scrutiny — and threats.

  • January 26, 2020

    Legal Aid Org's Departing Chief Praised For Funding Boost

    The long-serving president of the Legal Services Corporation, who recently announced that he is leaving his post atop the country’s largest funder of legal aid, will be remembered for fostering innovation and for increasing LSC’s funding despite calls from the Trump administration to defund it entirely, those in the legal aid community say.

  • January 26, 2020

    Alec Karakatsanis On The Rule Of Law's 'Usual Cruelty'

    In “Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System,” Civil Rights Corps founder Alec Karakatsanis argues that “rule of law” is neither objective nor neutral. He spoke with Law360 about the need for radical transformation in the legal industry.

  • January 12, 2020

    Lawmakers Push To Extend Atty-Client Shield To Prison Emails

    For defense attorneys, talking privately with federally incarcerated clients requires either an in-person visit or a specially requested unmonitored phone call. But a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House aims to increase access by affording attorney client privilege to a more convenient forum: prison emails.

  • January 12, 2020

    With DA Out, What's Next For Curtis Flowers?

    Mississippi prosecutor Doug Evans, who tried defendant Curtis Flowers six times for the same crime, has taken the rare step of recusing himself from the case. With a new attorney general possibly taking over prosecution, and a motion to dismiss pending, Flowers may have “a moment of hope.”

  • January 12, 2020

    Fla. Firm Launches Novel Practice Group For Children's Law

    Most attorneys that work specifically to protect children work through nonprofits or legal aid groups, but Florida-based firm Kelley Kronenberg is cutting a different path.

  • January 12, 2020

    Sex Predator Case Tests 'Right To Appear' In Court

    What it really means to be present in court — and whether the use of video technology counts — recently took center stage at the Texas Supreme Court, as justices grappled with that due process question in the context of a state law intended to protect the public from sex criminals.

  • January 12, 2020

    Simpson Thacher Helps Thwart Police Bias In Mississippi

    Simpson Thacher attorneys helped win a landmark consent decree to end long-standing discriminatory policing practices in Mississippi’s highly segregated Madison County, where black residents said they were subjected to warrantless searches and targeted roadblocks.

  • January 12, 2020

    House OKs Bills To Help Ex-Prisoners Start Businesses

    The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bipartisan bills that would offer entrepreneurship training and mentorship to people leaving federal prisons with the goal of reducing recidivism by helping former inmates gain employment and overcome the stigma of a criminal record.

  • January 10, 2020

    Small Firm Can't Slip Prisoner's Pro Bono Civil Rights Case

    When a judge tells a private lawyer to represent someone for free, does the lawyer have to do it?

  • January 05, 2020

    Why Preventing Jury Selection Bias May Need A Fresh Look

    Connecticut is preparing to take a hard look at the long-simmering issue of how bias might affect jury selection, beginning a process that could close loopholes in the law and address concerns that experts have raised for years.

  • January 05, 2020

    Wanted In Pennsylvania: A Fairer Justice System For Minors

    Pennsylvania’s plan to examine reforms to its juvenile justice system should tackle the technical parole violations that can send young people to detention centers and squarely address the system’s disparate impact black people, according to some advocates, who say recent actions in other states offer a humane path forward.

  • January 05, 2020

    MoFo Helps Afghan Defenders Take On Corruption Crackdown

    As Afghanistan’s corruption court has targeted more low-income government officials — and fewer of the high-ranking ones it was designed to prosecute — public defenders in the war-torn country have turned to Morrison & Foerster’s white collar attorneys for guidance.

  • January 05, 2020

    For Curtis Flowers, A Long Road To Bail

    Last month, Curtis Flowers was released on bail after 23 years in prison. He’s been tried six times since 1996 for the same quadruple murder, and he could still face a seventh trial. Law360 takes a look at how we got here.

  • January 02, 2020

    Philly Inks $4M Settlement With Wrongfully Convicted Man

    The city of Philadelphia has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for nearly a quarter century before being exonerated for a murder he maintains he didn't commit.

  • December 15, 2019

    Shearman Wins Man's Release After 33 Years In Prison

    The evidence that would eventually clear Jack Sagin of a murder conviction came to light in 2009, but it took an intense, decadelong legal battle and the pro bono help of Shearman & Sterling LLP before he was able to walk out of prison.

  • December 15, 2019

    The Other Access To Justice Rulings That Mattered In 2019

    The U.S. Supreme Court often dominates legal news headlines, but some state and appellate court decisions have even bigger impacts on access to justice. Here’s four landmark rulings from 2019 you might have missed.

  • December 15, 2019

    High Court Rebuff Highlights Post-Conviction Quagmire

    When a Supreme Court justice last week singled out allegations in one unusual pro se petition, it highlighted how Louisiana judges prevented habeas corpus review for hundreds of prisoners — a scheme exposed by a suicide note — and what some see as larger procedural problems with post-conviction proceedings.

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