After three decades as an in-house attorney for GlaxoSmithKline, Donald Paman was no stranger to complex legal work, but the job hadn’t exactly prepared him for this: a 90-year-old widow fighting to stay in her West Philadelphia home after falling behind on a loan she and her late husband had taken out to repair a leaky roof.
A program that pools the interest that attorneys earn on some money temporarily held for clients was once called “a blank check for the public good,” but declining interest rates following the 2008 recession have meant difficult choices for the legal aid organizations the program funds.
With California looking to ease the way for in-house attorneys to donate legal services, access to justice advocates hope rule changes in the largest U.S. legal market will put momentum behind similar reforms in other states with heavy concentrations of corporate legal teams.
A lawsuit challenging the cash bail system in Harris County, Texas, is at an unusual crossroads after 14 Republican municipal court judges named as defendants in the suit — all of whom opposed reforms — were voted out of office this month, a move that likely spells big changes for alleged offenders stuck behind bars because they can't pay their way out.
Having served as a public defender for 35 years, Robin Steinberg knows a thing or two about the effect cash bail can have on criminal defendants. Law360 talks with Steinberg about how she launched the country's first national revolving bail fund, and what the bail reform movement needs going forward.
A convicted drug dealer's fight to recover his seized Land Rover will allow the U.S. Supreme Court to wrestle with a boom in property and cash taken through state civil forfeiture actions that some advocates say is hobbling people with criminal records as they try to move on with their lives.
On Election Day, Ohio voters resoundingly rejected major drug sentencing reforms. While the constitutional amendment failed, some of the measure's biggest opponents have already come forward with their own reform proposal, repackaging some of the referendum's key ideas into legislation instead.
A new program in Charlotte, North Carolina, to help low-income residents with potentially crippling legal problems is mobilizing attorneys from not only BigLaw but also corporate legal departments, including the top lawyer for one of the world's largest financial institutions.
On Election Day, Louisiana voters ended the state’s practice of allowing non-unanimous jury verdicts in felony trials. The referendum left Oregon as the only state in America that will send a defendant to prison on a split jury, but that could soon change.
New York lawmakers are poised to revamp the state's bail system in 2019, and while the circumstances are ripe for ending the state's cash-based system, eliminating unnecessary incarcerations will require examining where other reform-minded states may have gone wrong, according to a recent panel of experts and activists.
A departing move by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has effectively removed a legal tool that the U.S. Department of Justice has used to battle police misconduct and will restrict the federal government from pursuing such changes until a new administration changes course, which is no sure thing, experts say.
President Donald Trump's formal backing of a bipartisan criminal justice overhaul still leaves reformers facing major challenges to get the bill passed, including a tight congressional calendar and conservatives who say the changes would endanger public safety.
A report released last week by the Philadelphia Bar Association found that the city could save millions by providing representation to low-income tenants at risk of eviction. New York City has already taken that step — could the City of Brotherly Love be next?
Marya Noyes left her job at Zillow in 2014 looking to make a difference. Law school was too expensive, but she eventually discovered a program in her home state of Washington that would allow her to practice law in a limited capacity — and help people who couldn't afford an attorney.
At first glance, Gene Russianoff's efforts to make New York City's mass transit system more accessible and Dr. Joseph Shin's advocacy for detained immigrants have little in common. But the advocates are alike in one important way — each has made helping others his life's work.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy organizations have challenged the federal government’s practice of detaining immigrants for months without bond before their immigration hearings, alleging in a proposed class action in Manhattan federal court on Thursday that the prolonged detention violates New Yorkers’ constitutional rights.
New York is turning heads with a first-of-its-kind commission tasked with investigating prosecutorial misconduct. All eyes are on the Empire State to see if the watchdog will survive a lawsuit by district attorneys and, if so, become an effective check on the justice system.
Should a nonunanimous jury be capable of sentencing a defendant to life in prison? Should the repeal of a criminal law be retroactive? Here, Law360 looks at those ballot questions and other proposed criminal justice reforms going before voters on Tuesday.
A long-simmering struggle over whether and how to reform not only the federal prison system but also sentencing laws could boil up into a major conflict this month in Congress.
It would be easy for Valentino Dixon to harbor animosity and anger after being wrongly imprisoned for 27 years. But instead he wants to take that experience and use it to teach society about the abuses of the prison system and sentencing reform.
Where the U.S. Supreme Court’s newest justice might land on important access to justice cases received little attention during his confirmation. Here, Law360 looks at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s track record when it comes to ensuring court access for the masses.
For decades, a quirk of America’s legal system has blocked veterans from banding together in class action lawsuits over benefits. But after a string of recent court rulings leveled that hurdle, a newly proposed class suit is challenging the denial of medical reimbursements to veterans under a controversial new rule.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s look at a class action settlement with Google could rock the world of legal aid funding, and while that possibility went largely undiscussed during recent oral arguments, the justices’ skepticism of payouts from such deals to charities raises concerns for legal aid providers.
Greenberg Traurig partner Adam Siegler last year retired from active military service with the rank of colonel and more than two decades working as a judge advocate in the military legal system. His work with armed forces members and veterans, however, is far from over.
What if, while sitting on death row, you had a chance to overturn your conviction by arguing the jury was not properly instructed, but the exact wording of those instructions had been lost to time?