Access to Justice

  • November 08, 2020

    Chapman, Legal Aid Chicago Launch App To Clear Records

    Chicago Legal Aid and Chapman and Cutler LLP have launched a web application to help automate the process of clearing clients' records in an effort to meet a growing need.

  • November 03, 2020

    Don't Look To Bush v. Gore For 2020 Blueprint

    As the nation waits with bated breath for the results of the 2020 presidential contest, the prospect of litigation over mail-in ballots in battleground states has led to fear that it could once again come down to the Supreme Court to declare a winner. Here's why that's still a long shot.

  • November 01, 2020

    Prosecutors Lend Their Clout In 2 Civil Rights Cases

    This past week sizable groups of current and former prosecutors, including state attorneys general and district attorneys, filed amicus briefs in two separate civil rights cases, a move experts say can offer a boost to such cases due to the officials' prestige.

  • November 01, 2020

    Kirkland Atty Helps Assault Survivor Reunite With Her Kids

    Kirkland & Ellis partner Amir Freund helped one client overcome a saga of adversity that began with a crime and ended with a global pandemic to reunite her family and let her restart her life securely in the U.S.

  • October 30, 2020

    NYC Tenant Attys Urge State, Courts To Prevent Default Spike

    As many as 14,800 New York City heads of households that have been sued for failure to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic could soon be at risk of losing their cases by default, a major step toward eviction that can be challenging to reverse, housing lawyers warn.

  • October 28, 2020

    Native Voting Suits Take On Inequities Amplified By Virus

    Native American voting rights advocates say the coronavirus pandemic has heightened the stakes of their efforts to protect ballot collection and in-person voting options through the courts, driving home the need for strong federal laws tailored to tribes' needs.

  • October 25, 2020

    Pro Bono Attys Look To Fill Poll Worker Gap During Pandemic

    Election officials worry COVID-19 could lead to a shortage of poll workers and long lines at the ballot, so some pro bono attorneys are stepping in to fill the gap before that happens. And with elections laws in flux across the country, those attorneys could be an invaluable resource in helping voters avoid confusion at the ballot box.

  • October 25, 2020

    Carmen Alanís On Electoral Integrity And Political Rights

    As the U.S. gears up for one of the most litigated national elections in its history, Judge María del Carmen Alanís Figueroa of Mexico, a member of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s electoral integrity group, is watching with interest. Here, she discusses the role of courts in elections.

  • October 25, 2020

    From Behind Bars, Pretrial Detainees Fight To Vote

    The majority of inmates in local jails haven't been convicted of a crime and are still eligible to vote. But a lack of information, resistant jail staff and even some election laws make casting a ballot nearly impossible from behind bars.

  • October 23, 2020

    Census Halt Poses Particular Threat To NJ And Its Immigrants

    Experts fear the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the Trump administration to end census data collection early could have dire ramifications for New Jersey and its high number of immigrants, who comprise hard-to-count communities that depend on federal funding allocated in accordance with population numbers.

  • October 22, 2020

    Jenner & Block 'All In' With $250M Pro Bono Pledge

    Jenner & Block LLP said Thursday it is ramping up its commitment to pro bono legal services and pledged to provide $250 million worth of services over the next five years to clients in need of free representation.

  • October 18, 2020

    Wilkinson Walsh Helps Mo. Inmates Get Lifesaving Treatment

    In Wilkinson Walsh LLP's first major pro bono case, the litigation boutique joined forces with two nonprofit advocacy groups to win a landmark $50 million settlement in which the Missouri Department of Corrections and its prison health care provider agreed to give inmates suffering from hepatitis C much-needed treatment.

  • October 18, 2020

    Allison Charney On COVID-19's Impact On Medical-Legal Teams

    Allison Charney, the executive director of the Mount Sinai Medical-Legal Partnership, spoke with Law360 about the MLP's work, how the pandemic has affected the patients it aims to help, and what the future holds for these partnerships between health care providers and lawyers that she calls "a vital relationship."

  • October 18, 2020

    New Prosecutors See Justice, Not Convictions, As Their Goal

    Crafting new incentives for career advancement, retraining employees and designating clear objectives are some of the ways to change the culture inside prosecutors' offices following this year's broad calls for racial justice, several prosecutors said during a virtual discussion headed by Stanford Law School.

  • October 16, 2020

    Atty Gaps, Case Backlogs Set Stage As NY Eviction Hold Lifts

    New guidance from New York's court system has toppled some of the final barriers to residential evictions during the coronavirus pandemic, although how quickly cases proceed will depend on factors like case backlogs and tenants' access to counsel, lawyers say.

  • October 15, 2020

    NY Courts To Address Racial Bias Following Review

    New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said Thursday that the state courts will implement a set of recommendations proposed by a Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP partner, who was picked by the justice in June to investigate the court's response to institutional racism.

  • October 04, 2020

    NY Push To Nix Court Fines, Fees Could Spread Nationwide

    A new push to eliminate court fees and fines in New York could spur similar criminal justice reforms in other states, according to experts and advocates across the country.  

  • October 04, 2020

    Trump's Law Enforcement Group Halted Over Secret Meetings

    A judge's recent decision to halt a controversial law enforcement commission organized by Attorney General Bill Barr over a lack of a "fairly balanced" membership and closed-door meetings has reform advocates hoping for a more open process going forward.

  • October 04, 2020

    True Police Reform Lies In Rooting Out Bad Laws, Experts Say

    Those seeking to hold police officers accountable for their actions in the wake of the Breonna Taylor case must look not only at departmental protocols but also at the laws that may continue to allow racial inequities in the nation's criminal justice system, law professors said at a virtual panel Thursday by the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

  • October 04, 2020

    King & Spalding Helps Secure A Retrial In Ga. Murder Case

    A large team of King & Spalding attorneys recently brought BigLaw resources to the Georgia Innocence Project’s push to win a new chance at freedom for a man they say was wrongfully convicted of double murder nearly two decades ago.

  • September 27, 2020

    Nóra Al Haider On Improving Court Access During COVID-19

    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.

  • September 27, 2020

    Virus Compounds Challenges For Native Tenants In Rapid City

    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.

  • September 27, 2020

    In Email Atty-Client Privilege Battle, House Sides With Inmates

    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.

  • September 27, 2020

    How Should The Bar Weigh Aspiring Attorneys' Mental Health?

    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.

  • September 25, 2020

    Calif. Judicial Council Moves To Expand Remote Court Access

    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.

Expert Analysis

  • Minn. Should Consider Another Charge In George Floyd Case

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    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.

  • US Has A Legal Obligation To Provide Reparations For Slavery

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    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.

  • How We Can Equip Our Future Lawyers To Confront Injustice

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    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.

  • NY Ethics Rule Change Is Good News For Public Interest Attys

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    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.

  • History Tells Us Black Americans Need Better Legal Protection

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    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.

  • Okla. Offers Glimpse Of Eviction Challenges Amid Pandemic

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    Even in a small state such as Oklahoma, one of the first to reopen amid the pandemic, courthouses are facing the herculean challenge of conducting an escalating number of eviction cases under great restrictions — and it will be worse in larger states, says Keri Norris at LegalShield.

  • Police Reform Should Curtail, Not Codify, Qualified Immunity

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    The Justice in Policing Act passed by the House last week and intended to roll back qualified immunity protections for police officers is not perfect, but it is progress compared to the failed Reforming Qualified Immunity Act that would have clandestinely strengthened the barriers shielding officers from liability, says Edward Ibeh at Akerman.

  • How Attys Can Help As Addiction Cases Rise Post-Pandemic

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    The increase in alcohol and drug consumption during the pandemic is predicted to result in an influx of legal cases, but attorneys can establish a solid defense by ensuring their clients begin the journey to recovery, says Sue Bright at New Directions for Women.

  • We Must Do Better Than Hasty Police Reforms

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    Lawmakers are racing to enact police legislation in response to the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but this once-in-a-generation opportunity cannot be squandered by hastily drafted bills and rushed changes, says Marisa Darden at Squire Patton.

  • Unfairness In Prisoner Litigation Is Baked Into Statute

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    Inmate litigants have a new hurdle to clear because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this month in Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez, but the court merely did as Congress said in the Prison Litigation Reform Act, says David Shapiro at the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center.

  • Police Reform Must Also Address Federal Law Enforcement

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    The recently introduced Justice in Policing Act is an important step against police brutality, but without express accountability for federal agents, the bill fails to address a gaping hole in the law, says Cori Alonso-Yoder at the American University Washington College of Law.

  • Extended State Foster Care Is A Necessity During COVID-19

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    Foster children turning 18 in the midst of the pandemic are extremely vulnerable to homelessness and exploitation, so states have an obligation to issue moratoriums on discharging young adults from their care, says Alexandra Dufresne at Zurich University.

  • 'Unauthorized Practice Of Law' Rules Promote Racial Injustice

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    By prohibiting nonlawyer professionals from providing meaningful legal assistance, state rules on unauthorized practice of law guarantee that black Americans don't have equal opportunities and rights under the law, and every state supreme court and bar association has the duty to reform them, says Rohan Pavuluri at Upsolve.

  • COVID-19 Crisis Brings Opportunity To Improve Legal Aid

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    The legal community must figure out how to use the adaptations necessitated by the pandemic to permanently improve the legal services delivery model and narrow the justice gap, says Rebecca Rapp at Ascendium Education Group.

  • Illinois Must Do More To Protect Consumers In Debt

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    A recent Illinois Supreme Court order limiting debt collectors' ability to freeze personal bank accounts during the pandemic is progress, but it does not solve the underlying issue that debt courts are rigged against low-income people, says Ashlee Highland at CARPLS Legal Aid.

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