Access to Justice

  • November 12, 2021

    NY Appellate Court Sets New Family Trial, Fees Standards

    A New York state appellate court set new precedents Tuesday with an opinion that is meant to cut down lengthy delays in family court and ensure low-income plaintiffs are provided early relief through attorney fees.

  • November 12, 2021

    NY To Curb Rent Relief Application Process As Funds Dwindle

    New York's pandemic rental assistance program will stop considering new applications across much of the state on Sunday night, a state agency said Friday, as it requests nearly $1 billion in additional federal funding to cover coronavirus arrears.

  • November 12, 2021

    O'Melveny Pro Bono Aid Helps Maintain Calif. Execution Ban

    By drilling down into the issue of standing, a team with O'Melveny & Myers LLP recently beat back a challenge to Gov. Gavin Newsom's moratorium on executions in the Golden State.

  • October 29, 2021

    In-House And Law Firm Attys Join Hands On Pro Bono

    Unlike their counterparts at law firms, corporate in-house attorneys have traditionally had less opportunities to engage in pro bono work. That, however, is starting to change as more legal departments team up with outside counsel on national access to justice projects, experts say.

  • October 29, 2021

    Why State High Courts Unlikely To Act As Independent Force

    A new book from political scientists James Gibson and Michael Nelson says that state supreme courts largely reflect the dominant political coalitions of their states and are unlikely to serve as an independent force in matters around inequality. Here, the authors tell Law360 why state supreme courts deserve more attention and what questions are left unanswered by their research.

  • October 31, 2021

    What To Know About The Proposed Green Amendment In NY

    When New Yorkers head to the polls Tuesday, they will have a chance to add "a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment" to the state constitution. If approved, the amendment would provide New Yorkers with an additional legal tool to protect their communities.

  • October 31, 2021

    Varnum Attorneys Keep Disabled US Army Vet In Her Home

    A Varnum LLP team led by commercial litigator William Thompson helped a disabled U.S. Army veteran stay in her Michigan home after she was sued by a construction company for refusing to pay for dubious renovations.

  • October 29, 2021

    Tech Could Lead To Better Courtrooms And Improved Access

    Technology has helped keep the legal industry afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It also allowed Judge Jeanne Robison to hop in a kayak to serve justice.

  • October 29, 2021

    Garland To Reopen DOJ Office For Access To Justice

    The U.S. Department of Justice is reopening its Office for Access to Justice, which previously operated for eight years before being shuttered by the Trump administration, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday.

  • October 25, 2021

    NYC Court 'Scraps' Foreclosure Hearings Amid Scrutiny

    A Brooklyn judge's plan to delve into homeowners' financial hardship during the pandemic has been "scrapped," according to the state's Office of Court Administration, as legal service providers continue to challenge him in court.

  • October 22, 2021

    'Threatening' NYC Foreclosure Hearing Notice Prompts Outcry

    A notice directing certain homeowners facing foreclosure to appear before an administrative judge in Brooklyn with financial documents in hand has prompted outcry from legal service providers who say the "threatening" notice disregards state law.

  • October 18, 2021

    Supreme Court Bolsters Police Immunity In Face Of Criticism

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted qualified immunity to several police officers accused of civil rights violations, indicating that despite growing criticism, the qualified immunity doctrine is here to stay, an expert said.

  • October 17, 2021

    Wilson Sonsini Scores Win In Paramilitary Assassination Case

    Over two decades after a paramilitary group killed a local community leader in Colombia, attorneys with Wilson Sonsini and the Center for Justice & Accountability secured a "measure of justice" for the victim: a landmark ruling holding a paramilitary leader liable for his death. It was the first time a U.S. court acknowledged the support of the Colombian government for paramilitary groups that carried out human rights violations.

  • October 17, 2021

    Class Suit Involving NYPD Use Of Sealed Info Heats Up

    The New York Police Department has for decades used sealed arrest information — mugshots, arrest history, fingerprints and other identifying information — in active investigations. Public defenders and criminal defense attorneys have for just as long claimed that practice violates state law. A class action could now settle the matter.

  • October 17, 2021

    Low Pay A Deterrent To Would-Be Public Defenders

    The average starting salary attorneys can expect from public defender work remains low nationwide, according to new data, with experts noting that the lack of pay parity with competing law agencies and mounting law school student loan debt make the job a tough sell to new attorneys.

  • October 17, 2021

    Military Justice System Problems Go Beyond Sexual Assaults

    The U.S. military’s mishandling of sexual assaults has put a spotlight on how its court system permits alleged offenders in the armed forces to escape punishment. Lawmakers have proposed federal legislation to help victims achieve justice in their cases, but some experts say Congress needs to overhaul the whole military court system.

  • October 15, 2021

    Prosecutors Warn Calif. Court Order Is 'Dangerous Precedent'

    More than 70 current and former elected prosecutors on Friday urged a California appellate court to overturn a trial court's decision declining to allow the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to withdraw previously requested sentencing enhancements, saying the ruling sets a "dangerous precedent."

  • October 12, 2021

    No Innocence Required In Suits Against Cops, Justices Told

    A former criminal defendant told the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday he has the right to sue his arresting officers for an alleged Fourth Amendment violation under a federal civil rights statute without first having to prove his innocence in his underlying case.

  • October 04, 2021

    Justices Dubious About Feds' 'Career Criminal' Interpretation

    U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared unconvinced by the reasoning lower courts applied to impose a longer sentence on a convicted felon caught possessing firearms, showing stronger skepticism toward the government's position that the defendant qualified as a "career criminal."

  • September 30, 2021

    Supreme Court Will Seek To Solve Crack Resentencing Puzzle

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a case of a convicted Massachusetts drug dealer who sought to reduce his prison time in light of sentencing reforms enacted after his proceedings.

  • September 26, 2021

    Fish & Richardson Helps Free Mississippi Man On Death Row

    After more than a quarter-century, a Mississippi man wrongly convicted of murdering three women walked free after DNA testing disproved his prosecutors' case. Attorneys with Fish & Richardson PC took the lead of a pro bono team that helped Sherwood Brown in his long quest for freedom.

  • September 26, 2021

    Emery Celli Attys On Their FOIA Project With The Intercept

    New York-based litigation boutique Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP has forged an innovative partnership with The Intercept. Here, two partners discuss with Law360 what spurred the FOIA-focused partnership and the ambitions of the project.

  • September 26, 2021

    4 Supreme Court Cases Involving Access To Justice To Watch

    Lawyers are eagerly anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming term and arguments on several legal issues touching on the core of the Constitution. Law360 has compiled a list of top cases that will examine issues related to civil rights and access to justice.

  • September 26, 2021

    Eviction Case Data Often Inaccessible, Inconsistent

    Inconsistencies in access to state courts' eviction case records and a lack of standardization in that data are frustrating researchers at Legal Services Corp. and elsewhere trying to analyze national eviction trends. But some jurisdictions are working hard to make sure these records are available.

  • September 22, 2021

    Conn. Bar Honors Trailblazing Judge's Fight Against Racism

    Family and colleagues of the late Judge Constance Baker Motley, the NAACP civil rights attorney turned influential jurist for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, on Tuesday offered remembrances and tributes to the Connecticut-born civil rights trailblazer at a Connecticut Bar Association event that included a screening of a short documentary about her legacy and life.

Expert Analysis

  • Coping With A Pandemic: ASU's Rebecca Sandefur

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    With self-isolation and social distancing now the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Rebecca Sandefur, a professor at Arizona State University and faculty fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

  • Coronavirus Crisis Shows Need For Permanent Bail Reform

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    All states should follow Florida's lead and reduce the number of people held in jails unnecessarily during the pandemic, and use this tragic time as a catalyst to make lasting, long overdue changes in our criminal justice system, says Matt Morgan at Morgan & Morgan.

  • Constitutional Lessons For Prisons Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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    With the coronavirus already infiltrating certain prison populations, jail officials must look to cases stemming from the 2009 swine flu epidemic for guidance on their legal obligations under the Eighth Amendment, say attorneys at Bradley Arant.

  • Weinstein's Survivors Got Justice, But Reform Is Still Needed

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    While the conviction and sentencing of Harvey Weinstein was a watershed moment, and vindication for the women that he abused, the scales of justice remain tipped against women in cases of sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. and around the world, say Jennifer Klein at Time's Up and Rachel Vogelstein at the Council on Foreign Relations.

  • Keep Your Client Out Of The Courtroom During Voir Dire

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    With Harvey Weinstein's defense team raising allegations of undisclosed bias among the jurors who convicted him, it's a good time to examine why it may be best if your client is not present during the jury selection process, says Christina Marinakis at Litigation Insights.

  • Justices' Border Patrol Ruling Could Extend To US Citizens

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hernandez v. Mesa, barring a Mexican family’s remedies for the fatal cross-border shooting of their son by a federal agent, sweeps broadly toward curtailing constitutional remedies for similarly aggrieved U.S. citizens, says Cori Alonso-Yoder at American University Washington College of Law.

  • Weinstein Verdict May Signal Big Step Forward For #MeToo

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    That a New York state jury convicted Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape — in the absence of substantial corroborating evidence and despite challenges to the accusers' credibility — suggests that society has turned a corner, says professor Stephen Gillers at NYU School of Law.

  • Justice Denied For A NY Domestic Violence Survivor

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    New York's Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act was enacted to reduce sentences for people like Nicole Addimando, who was just given 19 years to life in prison for killing her sadistically abusive partner, so the court’s failure to apply it here raises the question of whether it will be applied at all, say Ross Kramer and Nicole Fidler at Sanctuary for Families.

  • Arbitration Is A Flawed Forum That Needs Repair

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    While arbitration is a good vehicle for ensuring timely dispute resolution, the existing system lacks protections for workers and consumers, and legislative efforts to outlaw forced arbitration prove it’s time to finally fix it, says Gerald Sauer at Sauer & Wagner.

  • Sentencing Insights From A Chat With Judge Nancy Gertner

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    While many judges say there isn’t much criminal defense attorneys can do at sentencing hearings, retired U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner — an outspoken critic of the federal sentencing guidelines — disagrees, says criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis.

  • Rigged Forfeiture Law Seizes Property In 4 Steps

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    Nationwide, law enforcement agencies rely on a four-pronged attack to generate billions of dollars in civil forfeiture revenue to use for police perks, depriving defendants of property without due process of law, says Daryl James of the Institute for Justice.

  • To Honor The Promise Of Liberty, Reform Pretrial Detention

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    As criminal justice reform advocates focus on the critical need to reduce unjust pretrial detention, jurisdictions must commit to a range of policy changes that include, but also go beyond, risk assessments, says former Wisconsin Judge Jeffrey Kremers.

  • USCIS Work Proposals Add To LGBTQ Asylum Seekers' Risks

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    Pending U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proposals to prolong employment ineligibility and charge for employment authorization documents would be particularly detrimental to already-vulnerable LGBTQ asylum seekers, says Richard Kelley at the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.

  • Understanding What Restorative Justice Is And Isn't

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    A hearing in the Jeffrey Epstein case featuring victim impact statements and a White House meeting between a hit-and-run driver and the victim's parents have been described as restorative justice, but the reality is more complex, says Natalie Gordon of DOAR.

  • 5 Most-Read Access To Justice Law360 Guests Of 2019

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    On topics ranging from public trial rights to electronic monitoring technology to the rules of evidence in the context of sexual harassment trials, 2019 brought a wide array of compelling commentary from the access to justice community.

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