Access to Justice

  • February 10, 2019

    Suits Rise Against NYPD Amid Discipline Transparency Efforts

    The New York City Police Department drew nearly 200 more civil lawsuits in 2018 than in 2017, according to new data that serve as one rough measure of alleged police wrongdoing in a state whose tight protection of officers' discipline records has provoked new criticism and legislative action.

  • February 10, 2019

    3 Cases That Could Boost Immigrants' Access To Counsel

    Immigrants facing deportation are much more likely to succeed in their cases with an attorney, but most remain unrepresented. Some organizations are trying to change that through lawsuits that challenge barriers to accessing counsel and seek rights for immigrant minors who cannot represent themselves.

  • February 3, 2019

    Can Celebrities Help Close the Justice Gap?

    Blockbuster entertainers and celebrities of the business world have their pet causes, and many touch on access to justice issues. But does a worldwide platform elevate issues to the national stage or merely draw more attention to stars than to the causes they fight for?

  • February 3, 2019

    Using Power Of DNA, Finnegan Helps Sink Murder Conviction

    Arthur Davis had spent 33 years in prison for murder when the news arrived: he had been granted a new trial thanks to DNA testing that wasn't available when he was convicted.

  • February 3, 2019

    Okla. Eyes Retroactive Drug Charge Reforms To DAs' Chagrin

    Two years after Oklahoma reduced drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors, the world’s most incarcerative state is weighing a measure to apply the changes retroactively. Roughly 2,500 prisoners could potentially benefit, but district attorneys say the reforms would be an unnecessary drain on resources.

  • February 3, 2019

    Do People Give False Confessions? All Too Often, Experts Say

    Huwe Burton's conviction in 1991 for allegedly murdering his mother in her Bronx apartment might have seemed cut and dried from a distance: He confessed to the crime while in police custody. But the truth was far more complicated — so much so that a judge last month tossed the conviction altogether, ruling that Burton's confession had been coerced.

  • February 3, 2019

    Calif. Bail Groups Conspired To Set High Premium, Suit Says

    Anyone who's tried to get a California bail bond may have noticed that the nonrefundable premiums charged by various agencies hardly vary from one to the next. According to a statewide class action filed last week, that's no accident — it's a price-fixing conspiracy.

  • February 3, 2019

    DOJ Bucks Trend On Protections Against Wrongful Convictions

    Mounting awareness in the U.S. legal system of the prevalence of wrongful criminal convictions hasn't stopped federal prosecutors around the country from fighting state efforts to codify the government's duty to help right a miscarriage of justice.

  • February 3, 2019

    Legal Tech Abounds, But Not The Kind People Need Most

    There are more than 320 digital legal tools designed for regular people to use in American jurisdictions, but just a small handful of them help users with their biggest challenge: figuring out what their legal problems are, and the potential solutions, in the first place.

  • January 27, 2019

    For Inmates, Sentencing Reforms Bring Hope And Frustration

    The First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill passed in December, is beginning to take effect with many inmates taking advantage of retroactive sentencing changes. But others have been left beyond its reach.

  • January 27, 2019

    Policy Gone Awry Leaves Mentally Ill Behind Bars, Suit Says

    In New York state, a seemingly well-intentioned program to help people with serious mental health disorders or who are at risk of becoming homeless as they transition from prison is backfiring spectacularly in some cases and denying inmates their freedom, according to a new lawsuit.

  • January 27, 2019

    Shutdown Delays Leave Immigrants In Extended Legal Limbo

    The government shutdown has slowed immigration proceedings, canceling 86,000 hearings for non-detained immigrants across the country, and frustrating judges who say their dockets are bursting and the Trump administration has taken away several case management tools.

  • January 27, 2019

    David Udell Dishes On Growing Access To Justice Research

    Ever since his days as a young boy enrolled at a Quaker summer camp, David Udell has been interested in justice.

  • January 27, 2019

    Calif. Weighs Abolishing Court Fees After Landmark Ruling

    Following a landmark California appellate decision that ruled the imposition of court fees on those too poor to pay is unconstitutional, state lawmakers are considering whether to abolish mandatory criminal court fees altogether.

  • January 27, 2019

    NM Rules Discouraging Cash Bail Face 10th Circ. Test

    After a fight with her granddaughter in June 2017, Darlene Collins was arrested and taken to the Bernalillo County, New Mexico, jail, where she was when the state’s new rules governing bail bonds went into effect, kept Collins — 61 and in poor health — in jail for five days before her arraignment, according to a lawsuit that is now before the Tenth Circuit.

  • January 23, 2019

    Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Team Owners Launch Parole Reform Group

    Music mogul Jay-Z, rapper Meek Mill, and several professional sports team owners and asset managers on Wednesday launched a $50 million criminal justice reform effort aimed at revamping laws to reduce the number of people on parole or probation.

  • January 13, 2019

    Miller Canfield Cuts New Path To Help Iraqis Fight Deportation

    Some 1,400 Iraqis were arrested in immigration sweeps across the U.S. in 2017 based on a purported deal with their former homeland. However, discovery work by Miller Canfield attorneys gave their clients a key opening to fight deportation.

  • January 13, 2019

    Will A Policy Rollback Swell The School To Prison Pipeline?

    Paved with suspensions and expulsions, there’s a route from education to incarceration known as the “school to prison pipeline” that disproportionately affects students of color, those with disabilities and other minority groups across the country.

  • January 13, 2019

    Cyntoia Brown Clemency Highlights Wider Push For Reforms

    Fifteen years into a life sentence for a murder, Cyntoia Brown will walk out of prison thanks to a commuted sentence, but experts say her victory underscores the fact that there are many others with similar cases that have not attracted the same attention, or achieved the same result.

  • January 13, 2019

    NY's Outlier Status On Coughing Up Evidence May Soon End

    New York criminal discovery law allows prosecutors to wait until the eve of trial to share material like police reports with defense attorneys. Witness information isn't required to be disclosed at all. But that could change this year.

  • January 13, 2019

    Fair Sentencing? Disparities Linger, But Leniency Plays A Part

    The U.S. Sentencing Commission warned in a new report that defendants under the same courthouse roof could be facing a wide range of sentences, depending on who holds the gavel, but experts say the commission may be missing the bigger picture: judges are becoming more lenient.

  • January 6, 2019

    Shutdown Hits Federal Courts, Grows Immigration Backlog

    Immigrants uncertain if they should show up for court dates and mounting case backlogs. Judges pausing civil disputes. Planned improvements to court facilities put on hold. As the shutdown of the government enters its third week, federal workers aren't the only ones whose futures have been thrown into uncertainty.

  • January 6, 2019

    Famed Journal Lends Its Clout To Fighting Access Crisis

    The Academy of Arts and Sciences today published the winter edition of its renowned journal Daedalus, focused entirely on access to the civil justice system. Law360 spoke with its editors and contributors about why legal access is a problem that requires more than just lawyers to solve.

  • January 6, 2019

    Ex-DOJ Heavy Hitters Urge Justices To Nix Murder Conviction

    Six former top Justice Department leaders are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a murder conviction that they say poses an existential threat to the entire justice system, after a Mississippi prosecutor repeatedly blocked black citizens from serving on the defendant's six juries.

  • January 6, 2019

    Old Foe Of Criminal Sentencing Reform May Soon Oversee It

    Attorney General nominee William Barr spent decades opposing some of the criminal justice changes that President Donald Trump signed into law last month — putting him at odds with senators responsible for his confirmation and raising concerns about how he will implement the reforms.

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