Access to Justice

  • January 24, 2021

    Milbank Advances Novel Strategy For La. Juvenile Convicts

    As the U.S. Supreme Court once again weighs cases involving juvenile sentencing and nonunanimous jury verdicts, Milbank LLP, in conjunction with the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights, has been working on the intersection of both issues in the Pelican State.

  • January 24, 2021

    Studying Justice Or Hurting It: The Fight Over A2J Research

    A small number of academics are employing the same scientific studies used to test medicines to research access to justice, but they have yet to overcome objections from activists concerned about randomizing "treatments" like legal aid and bail.

  • January 24, 2021

    Office For A2J Could Be Revived Under Biden

    The federal Office For Access to Justice sought to expand legal aid, cut court fines and protect the right to counsel — until the Trump Justice Department closed it down in 2018. Now, under a Biden administration, the office could be revived and perhaps even reimagined.

  • January 24, 2021

    After Riot, Legal Reasons For Disparate Policing Prove Elusive

    Two weeks after the U.S. Capitol riot, questions remain over disparities in the policing and prosecution of those involved compared with the response to Black Lives Matter and other recent protests. Policies and precedent, however, don’t provide clear answers, experts say.

  • January 22, 2021

    Trump Pot Pardons A Bittersweet Win For Clemency Groups

    Donald Trump's flurry of midnight pardons before leaving office gave a welcome reprieve to a dozen nonviolent cannabis offenders, but many were passed over in what advocates close to the effort described as a hectic, last-minute blitz that underscored the need for sweeping pardon reform.

  • January 22, 2021

    Conn. Policing Reformers Say More Work Needs To Be Done

    Racial disparities between Connecticut residents who are stopped for traffic violations have decreased over the past five years, but more Black and brown people are still being pulled over by traffic cops in the state.

  • January 22, 2021

    Orgs Enter Utah 'Sandbox' Trying To Reshape Legal Industry

    A mixture of tech companies and law and accounting firms are taking part in a new experiment underway in Utah designed to cut down barriers to practicing law and open doors to more innovative services for legal needs that are going by the wayside for a huge portion of Americans.

  • January 10, 2021

    Howard Henderson On Data-Driven Criminal Justice Reform

    Dr. Howard Henderson leads the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University and recently spoke with Law360 about the vision behind the center, the importance of culturally responsive research, and the disparities in the criminal justice system.

  • January 10, 2021

    NPAP's New Legal Head To Take On Law Enforcement Reform

    National Police Accountability Project, a nationwide advocacy group supporting legislation aimed at curtailing police violence, has tapped the ACLU of Kansas' top lawyer as the first legal director in its history.

  • January 10, 2021

    Top 5 Criminal Justice Reforms Advocates Want Under Biden

    Joe Biden's election as president has sparked hope among criminal justice advocates and organizations that his administration will overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system and implement reforms they have been seeking for years.

  • January 10, 2021

    Incoming New Orleans DA Vows To Upend Justice System

    An embattled City Council president and criminal defense attorney is entering a New Orleans district attorney's office with plans to overhaul its agenda and radically reform a criminal justice system that historically has had one of the higher incarceration rates in the U.S.

  • January 08, 2021

    Virtual Courtrooms Prove To Be Both Curse And Blessing

    Courtrooms adapted to the pandemic by going virtual, but what happens when technology malfunctions and diminishes the legal experience?

  • January 08, 2021

    Major Takeaways From NY's New Anti-Eviction Law

    After New York's Legislature met for a rare year-end session to pass the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, we talked to experts to break down the new pandemic-era protections, stronger than anything renters have seen for months.

  • December 20, 2020

    Virus Death Rates Make Prison Vaccine Plans A Justice Issue

    As states across the U.S. prepare to distribute limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccines within their borders, criminal justice advocates, scientists and politicians are debating whether incarcerated people should be prioritized for vaccination.

  • December 20, 2020

    Dr. Laura McGuire On Trauma Training For Legal Professionals

    As a survivor of domestic violence and sexual harassment, Dr. Laura McGuire has firsthand knowledge of how frustrating it can be navigating the legal system while dealing with trauma. McGuire spoke with Law360 about trauma-informed care certification and how she hopes that the program will fill a gap in current legal training.

  • December 20, 2020

    Federal Death Row Executions Raise Red Flags For Advocates

    Advocates say the federal executions that have been carried out throughout 2020 are legally questionable, with many defendants' original death sentences marred by substandard legal counsel, racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct and slapdash sentencing proceedings.

  • December 18, 2020

    Bill Would Restore DOJ Office Supporting Poor Communities

    A pair of Democratic lawmakers on Friday introduced legislation to reestablish an office within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to serving marginalized communities in the criminal and civil legal system.

  • December 17, 2020

    NY Courts Say Tech Improvements, Fluidity Key To Better Ops

    A New York commission released a pair of reports this month recommending a variety of technological improvements to the state's appellate courts and increasing both access to justice and residents' options for legal services.

  • December 06, 2020

    NC Prosecutor Disciplined Over Not Notifying Victim Of Deal

    A North Carolina county prosecutor who purportedly kept the family of a child rape victim in the dark about a deal he cut with an alleged rapist has received a three-year stayed suspension, allowing him to continue to practice law.

  • December 06, 2020

    MoFo Helps Spearhead Calif. 'Rebuilding Fund' For Small Biz

    A team of attorneys from Morrison & Foerster working pro bono helped launch the California Rebuilding Fund, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership allocating loans to the state's smallest businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic.

  • December 06, 2020

    George Gascón On Being LA's New Progressive Prosecutor

    George Gascón's swearing in on Monday marks a milestone for a new class of progressive prosecutors offering an alternative to the traditional "law and order" credo: They now control the district attorney's office for the most populous county in the country.

  • December 06, 2020

    Pretrial Detention In NYC Jumps After Bail Reform Rollback

    Pretrial detention in New York City is back on the rise after rollbacks to the state's nascent bail reforms went into effect this summer, worrying advocates about coronavirus cases spreading in dangerously crowded jails and the broader impact on the criminal justice movement.

  • December 02, 2020

    Experts Say The Pardon System Is Broken. Can Biden Fix It?

    President Donald Trump's pardons of political allies and potentially his own family members have cast new light on cracks in the federal clemency system, offering President-elect Joe Biden a chance to relegitimize and streamline a process that critics say has reached new lows of dysfunction.

  • November 22, 2020

    1st Circ. Adopts 'Created Danger' Limit To Qualified Immunity

    The First Circuit this month recognized for the first time a doctrine carving out an exception to qualified immunity protections for government officials, allowing a woman to pursue claims that two detectives' mishandling of her rape case led to a subsequent attack on her and the killing of her boyfriend.

  • November 22, 2020

    2nd Look Law Needed To Fix Broken Criminal Justice System

    Over the summer, people across the nation rallied around policing reform to address racism in our criminal justice system, but focusing solely on police reform ignores prisoners put behind bars as a result of existing policing practices, according to experts.

Expert Analysis

  • '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.

  • The Case Against Solitary Confinement During Pandemic

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    Prisons and corrections systems must ensure that medical isolation during the pandemic does not devolve into prolonged solitary confinement that unduly burdens the individual liberty of people behind bars, says Marc Levin at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: McCarter & English's Abdul Rehman

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    As society continues to adapt to COVID-19, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Newark-based Abdul Rehman Khan, pro bono fellow for the city of Newark at McCarter & English.

  • Legal Aid Needs Law Firm Support Now More Than Ever

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    With the need for pro bono services expected at unprecedented levels in the wake of the pandemic, and funding sources for legal aid organizations under severe stress, law firm leaders need to take measures to fill the gap, says Jeffrey Stone, chairman emeritus at McDermott.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: Cleveland Legal Aid's Colleen Cotter

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    As society continues to adapt to COVID-19, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Colleen Cotter, executive director at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

  • Problems With Tolling The Speedy Trial Act During Pandemic

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    A plethora of federal courts have responded to social distancing requirements by entering blanket orders tolling compliance with Speedy Trial Act deadlines, but because there is no case-by-case analysis of their need and other factors, the orders raise questions about whether such tolling efforts are valid, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Guantanamo 9/11 Trial Is A Failure

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    The Guantanamo military commissions — seemingly a contrived attempt to avoid federal criminal court and thereby insulate the CIA from the legal implications of its torture program — appear fatally flawed, so Congress should have the 9/11 defendants tried in civilian criminal court, says Patrick Doherty at Ropes & Gray.

  • Data Is Key To Stopping COVID-19 Spread In Prisons

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    There is an urgent need for state and county officials to publicly share accurate data about COVID-19 testing, infections and deaths in jails and prisons, so that effective, life-saving changes can be made to the criminal justice system, say criminologists Oren Gur, Jacob Kaplan and Aaron Littman.

  • A Proposal For Efficient Post-Pandemic Justice In New York

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    The litigation backlog in state courts due to COVID-19 will make swift, orderly and fair resolution of disputes almost certainly impossible, but thankfully in New York, there are three nontraditional avenues to justice that can inform a post-pandemic emergency tribunal, says Joseph Gallagher at Harris St. Laurent.

  • Downturn An Opportunity For Law Firms To Boost Pro Bono

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    While now hardly seems like the time for law firms to be volunteering their attorneys’ services, it is the right thing to do and a sensible investment that would likely not be made at any other time, says Martin Pritikin, dean of Concord Law School.

  • Inmate Release Exhaustion Rule Should Be Waived For COVID

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    The issue at the forefront of many compassionate release applications during the pandemic has been whether federal courts must wait 30 days before they can rule on them due to the statutory administrative exhaustion requirement, and those 30 days could become a matter of life or death, says Jolene LaVigne-Albert at Schlam Stone.

  • COVID-19 Highlights Access Injustice In Personal Bankruptcy

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    In the age of enforced social distancing, the limits on access to electronic filing means bankruptcy is paradoxically only available to those individuals who can afford it, says Rohan Pavuluri at Upsolve.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: Pine Tree's Nan Heald

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    With distancing and isolation the new norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Maine-based Nan Heald, executive director at Pine Tree Legal Assistance.

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