Access to Justice

  • April 01, 2022

    NYC Housing Court Memo On Atty Shortages Meets Pushback

    New York City tenants who are unable to match with a lawyer on their first court date due to staffing shortages will be assigned counsel promptly with help from a city government office, according to new guidance that has been met with skepticism from advocates.

  • April 01, 2022

    Advocates Push For More Public Access To Legal Data

    In order to increase access to the law, both attorneys and non-attorneys need to strive to open up the legal system by obtaining and sharing data related to the law, and inspire others to do the same, a panel of experts said at an American Bar Association event on Thursday.

  • March 28, 2022

    Supreme Court To Weigh In On Arizona State Habeas Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of an Arizona death row inmate who says he had a right to tell his state trial jurors he was ineligible for parole if they chose not to sentence him to death.

  • March 25, 2022

    Tent Camps To Court: The Legal Fight Over Homelessness

    An increase in homelessness has meant an increase in lawsuits over the issue, but two different sets of cases are seeking two very different and often opposing solutions, with cities caught in the middle.

  • March 25, 2022

    New Mexico Justice Leads States' Civics Ed Expansion

    New Mexico's high court will temporarily move its arguments session to the state's second-largest city on April 1 as part of a program to educate students on the role of the judiciary.

  • March 25, 2022

    Pillsbury Attys Advance Law To Protect Kids In Family Courts

    Two Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP attorneys worked pro bono on the passage of a provision in the recently enacted Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 that, in exchange for grants, requires family courts to protect children from parental abuse during custody proceedings.

  • March 25, 2022

    Stroock Special Counsel On Protecting Voting Rights In US

    Fordham University School of Law announced that Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP special counsel and adjunct professor Jerry Goldfeder will be director of its new voting rights project. Here, Goldfeder spoke with Law360 about the importance of protecting voting rights in the U.S.

  • March 25, 2022

    New Legal Nonprofit Will Seek Accountability In Child Welfare

    Going into law school, David Shalleck-Klein dreamed of becoming a criminal defense lawyer. But after taking part in the Family Defense Clinic at New York University School of Law, he changed his mind. Defending parents in Family Court proceedings was his true calling, he said.

  • March 25, 2022

    How To Balance 'Cause Lawyering' And Client Needs

    People who wear hats of both attorney and advocate must balance several interests in helping clients and a broader cause, according to leading lawyers in the push for obtaining rights for people with disabilities.

  • March 25, 2022

    Law360's 2022 Access To Justice Editorial Advisory Board

    Law360 is pleased to announce the formation of its 2022 Access to Justice Editorial Advisory Board.

  • March 15, 2022

    Extra Federal Rent Aid For NY A Fraction Of Its $1.6B Request

    New York will receive just a small portion of its latest request for additional federal funding to fulfill tens of thousands of pending rental assistance applications, new U.S. Treasury Department figures show — roughly $119.2 million of $1.6 billion sought in late January.

  • March 11, 2022

    Can New York's Tangled Court System Be Fixed?

    As decadeslong inequities in New York’s court system reach a breaking point, court leaders and reformers say fixing the state’s intricate court structure could lead to solutions. But politics and skepticism might stand in the way.

  • March 11, 2022

    How The ABA Helped Answer Over 200,000 Legal Qs

    An American Bar Association initiative enlisting volunteer attorneys to answer civil legal questions posed by lower-income users surpassed 200,000 total questions in January. Here, David F. Bienvenu, who oversees ABA Free Legal Answers, talks about how the program is closing the justice gap.

  • March 11, 2022

    Calif. Rape Victim DNA Debacle Spotlights Legal Loopholes

    Revelations that the San Francisco Police Department stored rape victims' DNA in a database used to identify crime suspects has raised questions about the practice's legality, and prompted California and New York lawmakers to propose new state legislation to protect sexual assault victims.

  • March 11, 2022

    Nonlawyers Fill Void At Overwhelmed Immigration Courts

    Jaqueline Llanas of the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, or ProBAR, doesn't have a law degree, but she was still able to guide a young Honduran man through the asylum process and reunite him with his mother after more than a decade apart.

  • March 11, 2022

    Fish & Richardson's Role In Making The Web Safer For Teens

    A technology that detects and stops online hate is patented thanks in large part to a pro bono team at intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson PC.

  • March 10, 2022

    Compassionate Release Grants Vary Without Advisory Board

    How federal circuit courts apply a 2018 resentencing law varies greatly, underscoring the need to restore the U.S. Sentencing Commission that issues sentencing guidelines for all federal courts, according to a report released Thursday.

  • March 07, 2022

    'Night Of Crime' Burglar Is No Career Criminal, Justices Say

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that a man who burglarized 10 storage units in the same facility did not commit crimes on separate "occasions" and cannot be considered a career criminal subject to a mandatory minimum sentence.

  • March 04, 2022

    NYC Housing Court Rejects 'Inundated' Attys' Slowdown Ask

    New York City housing courts will not schedule lighter calendars or direct judges to adjourn certain cases at the behest of legal service providers who say they are struggling to keep up with mounting caseloads, a court spokesperson said Friday.

  • March 01, 2022

    How Jackson Would Shake Up High Court As 1st Ex-Defender

    D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson would become the first former public defender to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court if confirmed, breathing new life into what some experts say is a neglected area of the high court's docket.

  • March 01, 2022

    Calif. Bar Leak Reveals Wider Exposure Of Court Records

    Thousands of confidential or restricted records leaked from courts across the nation appear to have been published online, Law360 has found, with several affected courts confirming they use popular case management software recently alleged to have a security flaw.

  • February 25, 2022

    Courts Struggle With Handling Juror History Of Sexual Abuse

    Criminal courts often use juror questionnaires to screen prospective jurors for any personal history of sexual abuse before seating them on juries for cases involving sex crimes — but as the Ghislaine Maxwell case spotlights, the screening process doesn’t always work, and experts tell Law360 it is causing problems for jurors, attorneys and courts.

  • February 25, 2022

    Rise In Violent Crime Could Slow Resentencing Momentum

    Criminal justice reform advocates are pushing for reforms that would redefine sentencing laws in New York, including eliminating mandatory minimums and allowing rehabilitating prisoners to ask for reduced sentences. But a rise in violent crime could hinder their momentum.

  • February 25, 2022

    3 BigLaw Attorneys Work To Improve NY Family Court Access

    Three attorneys from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Proskauer Rose LLP and Clifford Chance LLP were members of a New York City Bar Association and Funds for Modern Courts work group that recently released a report with recommendations for improving access to New York City family courts.

  • February 25, 2022

    Wilson Sonsini's First-Ever Pro Bono Chief On His Ambitions

    Wearing two hats as a securities and corporate governance attorney and pro bono counsel since 2018, Luke Liss helped deepen Wilson Sonsini’s pro bono reach amid record revenues. Now, he’s ready to take on pro bono work full time.

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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