Access to Justice

  • August 09, 2020

    High Court Clash Shines Light On Virus's Threat To Prisoners

    A U.S. Supreme Court decision that frees a California jail from implementing stricter health measures amid the coronavirus pandemic comes as advocates and health experts warn that such facilities are a "powder keg" for COVID-19 and that authorities must do more to prevent outbreaks.

  • August 09, 2020

    Legal Helpers In Tribal Lands Work To Adapt As Virus Lingers

    The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated how attorneys everywhere serve their clients. For lawyers who serve older Native Americans in rural parts of Oklahoma, that has meant getting creative to safely continue their work.

  • August 09, 2020

    Janai Nelson On Racial Justice Work In The 2020s

    As associate director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Janai Nelson helps to oversee operations and steer the strategic vision of the 80-year-old civil rights organization, whose work she says is more important now than ever.

  • August 09, 2020

    Amid Calls For Police Scrutiny, Cities Look To Law Firms

    A series of high-profile officer-involved killings has thrown a spotlight on police oversight. As the federal government steps back from providing departments with road maps for reform, a number of cities are hiring private attorneys to do the job, which some say could help lend credibility to findings and diffuse political tension.

  • August 07, 2020

    Ohio Court Upholds $50M Verdict In Police Brutality Case

    An Ohio appeals court on Thursday upheld a $50 million jury verdict in favor of a man who said he was detained without probable cause, beaten and kept in a storage closet for four days by East Cleveland police.

  • August 07, 2020

    NY Courts Say Eviction Pause Continues, For Now

    The New York Office of Court Administration on Friday said that a pause on evictions and most related proceedings remains in place, perpetuating an uneasy status quo for tenants, landlords and their attorneys.

  • August 05, 2020

    Judge Blasts Qualified Immunity As He Reluctantly Grants It 

    A Mississippi federal judge has begrudgingly granted qualified immunity to a police officer accused of violating a Black motorist's civil rights during a traffic stop, saying the U.S. Supreme Court should reconsider the legal doctrine that serves as de facto absolute immunity for law enforcement.

  • July 31, 2020

    Judges Warn Partisan Attacks Undercut Their Independence

    Recent political attacks that have destabilized the Polish judiciary and democracy serve as a warning as the U.S. grapples with an uptick in partisan attacks that also threaten to undermine judicial independence, according to jurists on an American Bar Association panel.

  • July 31, 2020

    COVID-19 Threatens To Worsen US Legal Deserts

    Nearly half of the United States' counties have fewer than one attorney for every resident and the coronavirus pandemic threatens to intensify the rural area-centered problem of "legal deserts," according to panelists at a recent American Bar Association conference.

  • July 31, 2020

    Pa. Bail Reformers Look For Hope After High Court Loss

    A yearlong investigation into allegations of excessive bail practices by Philadelphia arraignment judges ended with a whimper last week as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected calls for wholesale reform, but advocates say they hope a series of recommendations will help protect criminal defendants from being jailed simply because they're poor.

  • July 31, 2020

    Sidley Austin Secures Ariz. Death Penalty Reforms

    The execution of Joseph Woods went terribly wrong, lasting nearly two hours and prompting officials to turn off the audio feed for observers. Sidley Austin's recent court win should help prevent a repeat scenario in Arizona.

  • July 31, 2020

    BigLaw Brings Brawn To Racial Justice Protest Suits

    Perkins Coie, Gibson Dunn and other BigLaw firms have jumped into racial justice battles in recent weeks, backing organizations and individuals who assert the Trump administration and local authorities are violating the U.S. Constitution in their response to protests over the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

  • July 30, 2020

    Nonprofits Pushing For Family Release Can't Join Flores Case

    A California federal judge on Wednesday thwarted nonprofits' attempt to join a long-running class action defending the rights of detained migrant children, finding that the children's current attorney has offered "more than adequate representation" despite the nonprofits' claims.

  • July 28, 2020

    DOI Opens Cold Case Office For Murdered Native Americans

    The first of seven offices focused on solving cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives recently opened in Minnesota during a visit by Ivanka Trump to promote a newly established presidential task force that targets the crisis.

  • July 26, 2020

    High Court Rebuffs Still Leave Paths To Fight Executions

    While the U.S. Supreme Court in July allowed federal authorities to execute three individuals using lethal injection, its rulings did not go as far as greenlighting executions for the nearly 60 prisoners who are currently on death row in federal prisons, several legal experts on capital punishment said.

  • July 26, 2020

    Alexis Hoag On 'Movement Lawyering' As A Tool For Justice

    As the practitioner-in-residence at Columbia University's Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights, Alexis Hoag is teaching the lawyers of tomorrow about "movement lawyering," a grassroots style of advocacy that she believes is critical to increasing access to justice.

  • July 26, 2020

    After Stone Clemency, Activists Rally For Elder Parole

    In commuting the sentence of Republican political operative Roger Stone earlier this month, President Donald Trump highlighted his 67-year-old friend's age and medical conditions. State and national advocates for elderly parole say his logic should lead to the release of far more people, especially during a pandemic.

  • July 24, 2020

    Legal Aid Orgs Say Demand Will Keep Rising Amid Pandemic

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause economic upheaval, 97% of legal aid organizations funded by the Legal Services Corp. anticipate a sharp increase in the need for legal aid for issues such as eviction, foreclosure and consumer debt, according to a new survey.

  • July 24, 2020

    Migrant Families Face Choice Between Unity And Virus

    Recent court orders requiring the government to release migrant children from detention — but not their parents — could usher in another family separation crisis and pave the way for prolonged detention of families.

  • July 19, 2020

    Execution Cases Show High Court Divide On Death Penalty

    Federal executions resumed last week following a 17-year hiatus, greenlighted by a spate of late-night divided orders from the U.S. Supreme Court that have sparked calls from dissenting justices to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty.

  • July 19, 2020

    Kirkland & Ellis Helps Secure Victory For Immigrant Teens

    Two years after filing a class action behalf of teenagers held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kirkland & Ellis and its nonprofit partners at the National Immigrant Justice Center and the American Immigration Council won a major court victory saying that the agency had not followed proper procedure.

  • July 19, 2020

    Progressives Target Vance In Manhattan DA Race

    The most diverse and progressive field to ever compete for the position of Manhattan district attorney participated in a virtual forum last week, tackling questions about bail reform, police brutality and the tenure of current DA Cy Vance Jr., who's yet to announce whether he'll seek a fourth term.

  • July 19, 2020

    At NYC Protests, A New Collective Of Black Legal Observers

    Julian Hill, a lawyer and grassroots organizer from Harlem, joined a celebratory Black-led bicycle ride through Central Brooklyn last month on Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Texas with news that slavery had been abolished.

  • July 19, 2020

    'Good Faith': Breonna Taylor And The Broad Search Standard

    The botched drug raid that killed Breonna Taylor has made her name a rallying cry for police accountability. But her death also raises thorny Fourth Amendment questions about whether the search of her apartment was invalid even before police shot her.

  • July 12, 2020

    Ronal Serpas On Why Police Reform Is A Justice Issue

    Ronal Serpas ended his 34-year law enforcement career to teach at Loyola University in 2014, but he hasn’t given up on police reform. Here, the co-chair of the Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration explains why police reform is an access to justice issue.

Expert Analysis

  • Coping With A Pandemic: ASU's Rebecca Sandefur

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    With self-isolation and social distancing now the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Rebecca Sandefur, a professor at Arizona State University and faculty fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

  • Coronavirus Crisis Shows Need For Permanent Bail Reform

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    All states should follow Florida's lead and reduce the number of people held in jails unnecessarily during the pandemic, and use this tragic time as a catalyst to make lasting, long overdue changes in our criminal justice system, says Matt Morgan at Morgan & Morgan.

  • Constitutional Lessons For Prisons Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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    With the coronavirus already infiltrating certain prison populations, jail officials must look to cases stemming from the 2009 swine flu epidemic for guidance on their legal obligations under the Eighth Amendment, say attorneys at Bradley Arant.

  • Weinstein's Survivors Got Justice, But Reform Is Still Needed

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    While the conviction and sentencing of Harvey Weinstein was a watershed moment, and vindication for the women that he abused, the scales of justice remain tipped against women in cases of sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. and around the world, say Jennifer Klein at Time's Up and Rachel Vogelstein at the Council on Foreign Relations.

  • Keep Your Client Out Of The Courtroom During Voir Dire

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    With Harvey Weinstein's defense team raising allegations of undisclosed bias among the jurors who convicted him, it's a good time to examine why it may be best if your client is not present during the jury selection process, says Christina Marinakis at Litigation Insights.

  • Justices' Border Patrol Ruling Could Extend To US Citizens

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hernandez v. Mesa, barring a Mexican family’s remedies for the fatal cross-border shooting of their son by a federal agent, sweeps broadly toward curtailing constitutional remedies for similarly aggrieved U.S. citizens, says Cori Alonso-Yoder at American University Washington College of Law.

  • Weinstein Verdict May Signal Big Step Forward For #MeToo

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    That a New York state jury convicted Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape — in the absence of substantial corroborating evidence and despite challenges to the accusers' credibility — suggests that society has turned a corner, says professor Stephen Gillers at NYU School of Law.

  • Justice Denied For A NY Domestic Violence Survivor

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    New York's Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act was enacted to reduce sentences for people like Nicole Addimando, who was just given 19 years to life in prison for killing her sadistically abusive partner, so the court’s failure to apply it here raises the question of whether it will be applied at all, say Ross Kramer and Nicole Fidler at Sanctuary for Families.

  • Arbitration Is A Flawed Forum That Needs Repair

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    While arbitration is a good vehicle for ensuring timely dispute resolution, the existing system lacks protections for workers and consumers, and legislative efforts to outlaw forced arbitration prove it’s time to finally fix it, says Gerald Sauer at Sauer & Wagner.

  • Sentencing Insights From A Chat With Judge Nancy Gertner

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    While many judges say there isn’t much criminal defense attorneys can do at sentencing hearings, retired U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner — an outspoken critic of the federal sentencing guidelines — disagrees, says criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis.

  • Rigged Forfeiture Law Seizes Property In 4 Steps

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    Nationwide, law enforcement agencies rely on a four-pronged attack to generate billions of dollars in civil forfeiture revenue to use for police perks, depriving defendants of property without due process of law, says Daryl James of the Institute for Justice.

  • To Honor The Promise Of Liberty, Reform Pretrial Detention

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    As criminal justice reform advocates focus on the critical need to reduce unjust pretrial detention, jurisdictions must commit to a range of policy changes that include, but also go beyond, risk assessments, says former Wisconsin Judge Jeffrey Kremers.

  • USCIS Work Proposals Add To LGBTQ Asylum Seekers' Risks

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    Pending U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proposals to prolong employment ineligibility and charge for employment authorization documents would be particularly detrimental to already-vulnerable LGBTQ asylum seekers, says Richard Kelley at the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.

  • Understanding What Restorative Justice Is And Isn't

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    A hearing in the Jeffrey Epstein case featuring victim impact statements and a White House meeting between a hit-and-run driver and the victim's parents have been described as restorative justice, but the reality is more complex, says Natalie Gordon of DOAR.

  • 5 Most-Read Access To Justice Law360 Guests Of 2019

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    On topics ranging from public trial rights to electronic monitoring technology to the rules of evidence in the context of sexual harassment trials, 2019 brought a wide array of compelling commentary from the access to justice community.

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