Access to Justice

  • January 08, 2021

    Virtual Courtrooms Prove To Be Both Curse And Blessing

    Courtrooms adapted to the pandemic by going virtual, but what happens when technology malfunctions and diminishes the legal experience?

  • January 08, 2021

    Major Takeaways From NY's New Anti-Eviction Law

    After New York's Legislature met for a rare year-end session to pass the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, we talked to experts to break down the new pandemic-era protections, stronger than anything renters have seen for months.

  • December 20, 2020

    Virus Death Rates Make Prison Vaccine Plans A Justice Issue

    As states across the U.S. prepare to distribute limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccines within their borders, criminal justice advocates, scientists and politicians are debating whether incarcerated people should be prioritized for vaccination.

  • December 20, 2020

    Dr. Laura McGuire On Trauma Training For Legal Professionals

    As a survivor of domestic violence and sexual harassment, Dr. Laura McGuire has firsthand knowledge of how frustrating it can be navigating the legal system while dealing with trauma. McGuire spoke with Law360 about trauma-informed care certification and how she hopes that the program will fill a gap in current legal training.

  • December 20, 2020

    Federal Death Row Executions Raise Red Flags For Advocates

    Advocates say the federal executions that have been carried out throughout 2020 are legally questionable, with many defendants' original death sentences marred by substandard legal counsel, racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct and slapdash sentencing proceedings.

  • December 18, 2020

    Bill Would Restore DOJ Office Supporting Poor Communities

    A pair of Democratic lawmakers on Friday introduced legislation to reestablish an office within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to serving marginalized communities in the criminal and civil legal system.

  • December 17, 2020

    NY Courts Say Tech Improvements, Fluidity Key To Better Ops

    A New York commission released a pair of reports this month recommending a variety of technological improvements to the state's appellate courts and increasing both access to justice and residents' options for legal services.

  • December 06, 2020

    NC Prosecutor Disciplined Over Not Notifying Victim Of Deal

    A North Carolina county prosecutor who purportedly kept the family of a child rape victim in the dark about a deal he cut with an alleged rapist has received a three-year stayed suspension, allowing him to continue to practice law.

  • December 06, 2020

    MoFo Helps Spearhead Calif. 'Rebuilding Fund' For Small Biz

    A team of attorneys from Morrison & Foerster working pro bono helped launch the California Rebuilding Fund, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership allocating loans to the state's smallest businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic.

  • December 06, 2020

    George Gascón On Being LA's New Progressive Prosecutor

    George Gascón's swearing in on Monday marks a milestone for a new class of progressive prosecutors offering an alternative to the traditional "law and order" credo: They now control the district attorney's office for the most populous county in the country.

  • December 06, 2020

    Pretrial Detention In NYC Jumps After Bail Reform Rollback

    Pretrial detention in New York City is back on the rise after rollbacks to the state's nascent bail reforms went into effect this summer, worrying advocates about coronavirus cases spreading in dangerously crowded jails and the broader impact on the criminal justice movement.

  • December 02, 2020

    Experts Say The Pardon System Is Broken. Can Biden Fix It?

    President Donald Trump's pardons of political allies and potentially his own family members have cast new light on cracks in the federal clemency system, offering President-elect Joe Biden a chance to relegitimize and streamline a process that critics say has reached new lows of dysfunction.

  • November 22, 2020

    1st Circ. Adopts 'Created Danger' Limit To Qualified Immunity

    The First Circuit this month recognized for the first time a doctrine carving out an exception to qualified immunity protections for government officials, allowing a woman to pursue claims that two detectives' mishandling of her rape case led to a subsequent attack on her and the killing of her boyfriend.

  • November 22, 2020

    2nd Look Law Needed To Fix Broken Criminal Justice System

    Over the summer, people across the nation rallied around policing reform to address racism in our criminal justice system, but focusing solely on police reform ignores prisoners put behind bars as a result of existing policing practices, according to experts.

  • November 22, 2020

    Milbank Attys Assist Muslim Nonprofit In Cemetery Fight

    Pro bono attorneys at Milbank have dedicated 5,000 hours to representing a nonprofit in a religious discrimination suit that alleges Stafford County, Virginia, purposefully changed its rules to stop the organization from building its second cemetery for Muslims in the county.

  • November 22, 2020

    Settlement Co. Offers Sex Abuse Survivors New Trust Option

    While working with survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, a New York-based associate at a settlement management company realized that these clients needed a different option for managing their settlements. So he spearheaded an account designed for them.

  • November 15, 2020

    NJ Criminal Justice Data Law Could Spur Reforms Elsewhere

    A new law pulling back the curtain on New Jersey's criminal justice system by requiring its attorney general to compile and analyze a wide range of information could serve as a model for the rest of the nation and fuel future reform efforts in the Garden State, experts say.

  • November 15, 2020

    Paul Hastings Puts Navy Vietnam Vets On Course For Benefits

    A team of pro bono lawyers from Paul Hastings LLP earned a key victory for potentially thousands of Navy veterans who were exposed to the highly toxic herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, after a federal judge ruled that the veterans could be entitled to retroactive disability benefits that could ultimately total more than $100 million.

  • November 12, 2020

    Justices Told Of Due Process Issues Without Bond Hearings

    The American Civil Liberties Union asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Trump administration's position that undocumented immigrants who have re-entered the United States can be detained indefinitely, even when their deportation is far from certain.

  • November 12, 2020

    NY Judges, Court Staff Say Budget Cuts Will Hurt Access

    New York state judges and court staff lambasted cuts to the judicial budget in a New York State Assembly hearing on Thursday, warning that the state's justice system is already spread too thin to weather more austerity.

  • November 08, 2020

    Ballot Measures Nationwide Tackled Criminal Justice Reform

    In an election that saw a record number of votes cast, voters made their voices heard on key ballot measures across the country, on the state and local level, to change the criminal justice system.

  • November 08, 2020

    Brother's Wrongful Conviction Fuels Atty's Push For Change

    Greenberg Traurig shareholder Karen Kennard had just started her second year of law school when she watched her oldest brother, Tim Cole, convicted of a rape he didn't commit.

  • November 08, 2020

    Will A New High Court Swing Against Juvenile Lifers?

    After last week's oral arguments in a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the sentencing of juvenile offenders, advocates on both sides of the issue say it's unclear how the court, which has changed in composition since the last major rulings on the issue, will interpret those precedents.

  • November 08, 2020

    Amanda Mineer On Veterans Access Issues During Pandemic

    Veterans Law Group supervising attorney Amanda Mineer talks to Law360 about how the coronavirus pandemic has upended the disability claims process for veterans and about what remains the greatest barrier for veterans seeking support after service.

  • November 08, 2020

    Orrick Helps Win Rare High Court Qualified Immunity Reversal

    A team of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP attorneys and the nonprofit Rights Behind Bars won a rare qualified immunity reversal in the U.S. Supreme Court last week, in a Texas federal case attorneys say owes much credit to their client Trent Taylor's self-representation from behind bars.

Expert Analysis

  • Remote Court Procedures Can Help Domestic Abuse Victims

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    Courts have recently adopted remote procedures to make domestic violence victims feel safer during the COVID-19 crisis, but they should consider preserving these trauma-sensitive adaptations post-pandemic as well, say Ashley Carter and Richard Kelley at the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.

  • Law Commission's New Idea For Confiscation Orders Is Unfair

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    The recent proposal by the Law Commission of England and Wales to recall prisoners who fail to settle their confiscation orders when they have already served a sentence for nonpayment would, in effect, punish them twice for the same act, says Brian Swan at Stokoe Partnership.

  • Barrett Should Be Questioned On Children's Access To Courts

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    At a time when children's lives are so threatened by avoidable climate change chaos, understanding U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's views on what standing future generations have to seek declaratory relief in Article III courts should be an essential part of her confirmation hearings, says Julia Olson at Our Children's Trust.

  • A Smarter Approach To Measuring Prosecutorial Success

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    To improve their ability to dispense justice, prosecutors should measure the efficacy of their work based on metrics such as caseload distribution, timely case handling and racial disparity trends — instead of the traditionally used conviction rates and number of trials, say Anthony Thompson at the New York University School of Law and Miriam Krinsky at Fair and Just Prosecution.

  • States Shouldn't Hinder Local Gov'ts In COVID-19 Tenant Aid

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    In the face of increasing state preemption and absent other government intervention, states should explicitly allow city and county policymakers to help renters in order to avoid a pandemic-prompted eviction crisis, say Emily Benfer at Wake Forest University School of Law and Nestor Davidson at Fordham University School of Law.

  • An Abuse Of Prosecutorial Discretion In Breonna Taylor Case

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    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.

  • Immigration Appeals Proposal Would Erode Due Process

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    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.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling Doesn't Lower Qualified Immunity Bar

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    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.

  • Reforming Public Defense Is Crucial For Criminal Justice

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    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.

  • COVID-19 Crisis Should Steer NY Toward Better Court System

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    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.

  • Pretrial Risk Assessment Is Biased And Indefensible

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    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 Eliminate Food Inequality, We Must Confront The Past

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    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's Progress Can Be A Model For 2020 Police Reform

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    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.

  • Legal Deserts Threaten Justice In Rural America

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    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.

  • Uncertainties In Gerrymandering Jurisprudence Are Unfair

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    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.

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