Access to Justice

  • June 17, 2022

    What States Can Learn From Illinois To End Rape Kit Backlogs

    After years of reform, Illinois earlier this month became the 17th state to clear its backlog of nearly 2,000 untested rape kits. Here is what states can learn from Illinois to end their own rape kit backlogs.

  • June 17, 2022

    Legal System Ill-Equipped For Handling Dementia

    The criminal legal system is largely not prepared to handle individuals with dementia who either age into the disease while incarcerated or face criminal charges as their mental capacity diminishes, according to a report released this week by an American Bar Association commission.

  • June 17, 2022

    Young Thug Case Shows RICO's Shift From Mobs To Gangs

    The 88-page indictment charging the rappers Young Thug and Gunna with racketeering along with 26 others made headlines last month, but it was hardly surprising to legal experts familiar with these increasingly common prosecutions.

  • June 17, 2022

    Jones Walker Partner Talks Police Liabilities After Uvalde

    As questions remain unanswered about the response by police in Uvalde, Texas, to the elementary school mass shooting that left 21 dead, Jones Walker LLP partner David S. Weinstein talks to Law360 about potential liability protection for officers who responded to the scene.

  • June 17, 2022

    Fla. Firm Seeks Restart Of Fee Suit Despite Atty's Misconduct

    A Florida law firm that represented two wrongfully convicted men before one of its lawyers was caught defrauding them is continuing its fight for fees after a jury awarded the pair $75 million in a civil rights lawsuit.

  • June 17, 2022

    DA Dodges NAACP's Jury Race Bias Suit In 5th Circ.

    The NAACP and four African American citizens cannot sue a controversial Mississippi prosecutor, best known for his repeated murder prosecutions of Curtis Flowers, over his alleged policy of striking jurors based on race because the chances that any of them will actually be kept off a jury are too small, according to the Fifth Circuit.

  • June 17, 2022

    Attorneys Worked Fewer Pro Bono Hours In 2021

    Attorneys nationwide did 14% less pro bono work last year than they did in 2020, according to a study released Thursday by the Pro Bono Institute.

  • June 15, 2022

    High Court Says Child's Safety Is Priority In Repatriation

    Federal district courts are not obligated to develop more acceptable conditions that could reduce the risk of harm to children as part of determining whether minors who were wrongfully removed from a country should be sent back, the U.S. Supreme Court held Wednesday.

  • June 15, 2022

    3rd Circ. Says Inmates Have Right To Access Legal Materials

    Prisoners may bring claims alleging they were denied access to legal materials while they were pursuing civil rights cases from behind bars, the Third Circuit said Wednesday in a precedential opinion setting forth that right to access the courts.

  • June 13, 2022

    High Court Ignores Death Row Inmate's Poor Counsel Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to reconsider a Texas inmate's contention that he received inadequate counsel before being sentenced to death, about two years after the high court had sent the case back to the Lone Star State for another look.

  • June 09, 2022

    Atty Access Failures Plague ICE Detention System, ACLU Says

    The U.S immigration detention system suffers from a host of systemic failures that create "monumental barriers" for detained immigrants seeking legal representation, rendering their right to counsel "essentially meaningless," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a report released Thursday.

  • June 03, 2022

    Fla. Bar Skeptical Of Legal Services Expansion Proposals

    The Florida Supreme Court amended the Florida Bar rules Thursday to allow nonlawyers to help govern nonprofit legal service providers, but it's just one of many recommendations from a committee at odds with the Florida Bar over how to improve access to legal services and adapt to changing technology.

  • June 03, 2022

    LGBTQ Legal Groups Gear Up For More Battles Post-Dobbs

    When a draft decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was leaked, reproductive rights advocates leapt into action, while civil rights advocates began ringing alarm bells over the future of their movements as legal experts examined how the drafted decision could ripple far beyond the topic of abortion.

  • June 03, 2022

    Why Funding Is Top Priority For Legal Aid Society's New Head

    When she assumes leadership of the nation's largest legal aid provider in August, Twyla Carter, a former public defender and civil rights attorney and newly appointed leader of The Legal Aid Society, will make funding a priority, she told Law360.

  • June 03, 2022

    Court Watchers Fight To Keep Remote Access

    Some volunteer court watchers had to fight to observe criminal justice proceedings remotely during the pandemic. With courts beginning to shut down that remote public access, now they're fighting to keep it.

  • June 03, 2022

    How Baker McKenzie Attys Helped Ukraine Apply To Join EU

    Baker McKenzie LLP attorneys based in Ukraine helped prepare the war-torn country's application to join the European Union, which was submitted last month during the ongoing Russian invasion.

  • June 03, 2022

    Port Authority Settles Civil Rights Suit Over Bathroom Patrols

    Winston & Strawn LLP attorneys and The Legal Aid Society secured a settlement ending the Port Authority Police Department’s bathroom patrols practice that appeared to target members of the LGBTQ community. The settlement will have a far-reaching impact, attorneys say.

  • June 01, 2022

    ABA Lauds 3 Firms, 2 Texas Attys As Pro Bono Standouts

    The American Bar Association this August will honor a lawyer from Baker Botts LLP, a partner from Holland & Knight LLP and the law firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC for pro bono work ranging from tenant advocacy to refugee assistance, the organization announced Wednesday.

  • May 23, 2022

    NY Lawmakers Grant 1-Year Grace Period For Sex Abuse Suits

    The New York Assembly on Monday passed the Adult Survivors Act, which, if signed by the governor, would open up sexual assault and abuse litigation by creating a one-year window for adult survivors whose claims are otherwise time-barred.

  • May 23, 2022

    Justices Shut Door On Inmates Claiming Ineffective Counsel

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said two Arizona death row inmates could not present evidence in federal court they said proved they were provided with ineffective trial counsel, narrowing the options the prisoners and others convicted in state court have to escape the death penalty.

  • May 20, 2022

    Push For Gov't-Funded Deportation Defense Gains Steam

    Programs that provide government-funded attorneys to noncitizens facing deportation are becoming more common in cities and states across the country, and immigration advocates hope to harness that momentum to scale up those initiatives to the federal level.

  • May 20, 2022

    Who, Where, How: Mapping Pandemic Rent Aid Across NY

    Jada, a tenant from the Bronx, was relieved last summer when her management company sent out an email encouraging her to apply for New York's $2.4 billion federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP. Combing through application and payment data, Law360 explores the pandemic program's effectiveness.

  • May 20, 2022

    Sanctions On Russia Raise Complex Ethical Questions

    The sanctions regime imposed on Russia for its war on Ukraine is the most extensive in history, dwarfing all sanctions previously imposed on other countries combined.

  • May 20, 2022

    Calif. 'CARE Courts' Spark Concerns Over Forced Treatment

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom is pioneering a court model that he claims is supportive and empowering to people who have severe mental illnesses, but civil rights advocates oppose the plan, arguing it subjects individuals to involuntary mental health treatment.

  • May 20, 2022

    DOJ Picks Ex-Public Defender To Head Access To Justice Unit

    The U.S. Department of Justice has picked a deputy associate attorney general who previously served as a Los Angeles public defender to lead its revamped Office for Access to Justice that was shuttered under the Trump administration.

Expert Analysis

  • 8th Circ. Ruling Further Narrows Qualified Immunity

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    The recent Eighth Circuit ruling in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship/USA v. University of Iowa seems to align with a growing body of case law suggesting that government officials may have a harder time obtaining qualified immunity for their actions if they involve calculated choices to enforce unconstitutional policies, says Thomas Eastmond at Holland & Knight.

  • 6 Ways To Improve Veterans' Access To Civil Legal Aid

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    Veterans often lack adequate help when confronting civil legal issues such as evictions, foreclosures and child custody disputes, so legal aid organizations should collaborate with veteran-serving programs and state and local governments to offer former military members better access to legal resources, say Ronald Flagg at Legal Services Corp. and Isabelle Ord at DLA Piper.

  • Better Civil Legal Resources Are Key To Justice For All

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    Fulfilling the promise of equal justice requires disruptive change to the civil legal system, where millions of Americans lack adequate resources and information — and attorneys have many opportunities to help their states build the tools necessary to navigate civil disputes, say retired California Judge Laurie Zelon and Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack.

  • User Feedback Is Key To Running Virtual Diversion Programs

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    Judicially led diversion programs have adapted to the COVID-19 era by providing services online, but recent research points to a disconnect between practitioner and participant perspectives, showing that soliciting user input is crucial to success, says Tara Kunkel at Rulo Strategies. 

  • Justices Must Reject Police Shield Against Civil Rights Claims

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    The Institute for Justice’s Marie Miller lays out four reasons why, in deciding Thompson v. Clark, the U.S. Supreme Court should reverse an arcane circuit court rule that abandons the foundational presumption of innocence principle and ultimately provides a shield for police and other government officers who violate constitutional rights.

  • NY Courts Should Protect Housing Rights Of All Tenants

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    New York courts should adopt a construction of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act that expands on the rights of tenants without a traditional landlord-tenant relationship, in order to not only promote justice, but also adhere to the law as written, say law student Giannina Crosby, and professors Sateesh Nori and Julia McNally, at NYU Law.

  • Legally Recognizing Coercive Control Can Help Abuse Victims

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    The ongoing expansion of state laws to establish coercive control as a form of domestic violence will encourage victims to seek help, and require law enforcement and the judiciary to learn about the complexities surrounding emotional abuse, say attorneys Allison Mahoney and Lindsay Lieberman.

  • High Court Gun Case Has Implications For Police Violence

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    A U.S. Supreme Court decision to weaken gun regulations in the pending New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett could mix with the court's existing precedents regarding police use of force to form a particularly lethal cocktail for police violence against Black people, says Christopher Wright Durocher at the American Constitution Society.

  • Justices' Life Sentence Ruling Is A Step Back For Youth Rights

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent refusal to limit juvenile life-without-parole sentences in Jones v. Mississippi is a break from a line of cases that cut back on harsh punishments for children and reflects a court that is comfortable with casual treatment of minors' constitutional rights, says Brandon Garrett at Duke University School of Law.

  • States Must Factor Race In COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization

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    In order to ensure equity and efficiency in controlling the pandemic, states should use race as a factor in vaccine prioritization — and U.S. Supreme Court precedent on affirmative action and racial integration offers some guidance on how such policies might hold up in court, say law professors Maya Manian and Seema Mohapatra.

  • Chauvin May Walk, But Calls For Police Reform Must Continue

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    As the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd nears closing arguments, the prosecution still faces an uphill battle, but what sets this case apart is its potential to change the discourse on racial justice and policing, says Christopher Brown at The Brown Firm.

  • A Criminal Justice Reform Premise That Is Statistically Flawed

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    Underlying calls for defunding the police and numerous other proposals for criminal justice reform is the belief that generally reducing adverse outcomes will tend to reduce racial disparities, but statistical analysis shows the opposite is true, says attorney James Scanlan.

  • Improving Protections For Immigrant Domestic Abuse Victims

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    With the slow crawl of federal immigration reform, people vulnerable to immigration status threats from domestic abusers continue to feel the effects of hostile Trump administration policies, but 2019 amendments to the D.C. blackmail statute reveal the ways state laws can provide more effective relief, say Ashley Carter and Richard Kelley at the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.

  • Tougher Petition Drive Laws Would Constrict Key Citizen Right

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    Several states' proposed revisions to petition drive rules would make ballot initiatives harder to pass and rein in citizens' right to enact important policy changes, says Melanie Wilson Rughani at Crowe & Dunlevy.

  • Garland Alone Cannot Transform Our Criminal Legal System

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    Attorney general nominee Merrick Garland is an encouraging choice for criminal justice reform advocates, but the work of transforming our racially fraught institutions falls largely on prosecutors and defenders, say former prosecutor Derick Dailey, now at Davis & Gilbert, and public defender Brandon Ruben.

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