Access to Justice

  • 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.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 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.

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