Access to Justice

  • June 05, 2023

    Davis Wright Among ABA's 2023 Pro Bono Honorees

    Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and four individuals are set to receive honors from the American Bar Association later this year for their pro bono efforts in areas such as gender-based violence and Social Security disability fraud, the ABA announced Monday.

  • June 02, 2023

    Venable Wins Resentencing For Last Md. Death Row Inmate

    The last Maryland resident on federal death row is now awaiting resentencing for the fatal 2002 kidnapping of a Washington, D.C., police officer's son after a Venable LLP team recently helped persuade a judge to vacate his death sentence and three firearms convictions.

  • June 02, 2023

    COVID Bottleneck Continues To Delay Federal Courts

    Though new filings fell dramatically over the course of the pandemic, the length of time it took cases to resolve rose, a sign that though the public health emergency has ended, COVID’s effects are still being felt in federal courts, raising access to justice concerns for both litigants and criminal defendants.

  • June 01, 2023

    NY Legal Aid Orgs. Cheer New Law Ditching Civil Notarization

    New York could soon become the latest state to eliminate the process of requiring documents to be notarized in civil matters, a move that civil legal aid organizations say will improve people's access to the state's court system.

  • June 01, 2023

    40 DC Firms Honored In Effort To Improve Access To Justice

    Forty law firms in Washington, D.C., have qualified for an annual campaign recognizing those that donate a certain percentage of their revenue to local legal services organizations, the D.C. Access to Justice Commission announced Thursday.

  • May 30, 2023

    Ariz., Utah OK Nonlawyer Program For Housing Advice

    A new legal service model that aims to keep more low-income families in their homes has received approval from the Arizona and Utah supreme courts — which have waived restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law.

  • May 25, 2023

    Texas Man Exonerated Of Sex Assault After 26 Years in Prison

    Tyrone Day inside Dallas County Criminal Court on May 24, 2023 after a judge exonerated him from sexual assault charges for which he spent 26 years in prison. (Montinique Monroe/Innocence Project)

  • May 22, 2023

    Civil Rights Suit Against NYC Cop Tossed After High Court Win

    A New York federal judge dismissed a civil rights suit against a New York City Police Department officer brought by a Brooklyn man who won the right to present his claims last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, ending a nearly decade-long legal battle, attorneys confirmed on Monday.

  • May 19, 2023

    Texas Riding Growing Wave Of Bail Reform Rollbacks

    Amid a wave of harsher bail laws sweeping through the nation, Texas is considering bills that would give judges more power to set bail for people charged with serious offenses and a constitutional amendment that would categorically deny bail for those accused of the most serious crimes.

  • May 19, 2023

    Study Shows NYC Judges Who Are More Likely To Incarcerate

    A recent study by decarceration advocates analyzing public pretrial data identified 14 New York City judges who are more likely than their peers to order defendants held in jail while awaiting trial.

  • May 19, 2023

    Willkie, Freshfields Help Score NY Medicaid Dental Expansion

    Attorneys with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP partnered with the Legal Aid Society to secure a recent class action settlement that will expand dental care coverage to an estimated 5 million Medicaid recipients in New York. Here’s how they did it.

  • May 18, 2023

    NYC Faces Suits Alleging Racial Bias In Child Removals

    Bronx Defenders and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP filed two lawsuits Thursday against New York City's Administration for Children's Services, accusing the agency of discriminating against parents of color in its child removal decisions.

  • May 17, 2023

    Calif. Judge Halts Some Pre-Arraignment Cash Bail In LA

    A California judge temporarily blocked Los Angeles city and county from enforcing cash bail systems against arrestees detained for low-level offenses before arraignment, finding the system's constitutional harm is "pervasive in that each year it likely affects tens of thousands of impoverished persons detained solely because they are poor."

  • May 15, 2023

    Justices To Hear Cases On Gun Sentencing For Repeat Felons

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to clarify the legal standards used to determine whether repeat felony offenders convicted of federal gun charges must receive prison sentences of at least 15 years.

  • May 11, 2023

    Calif. County To Pay $7.5M In Fatal Shooting Of Black Man

    Orange County, California, has agreed to pay $7.5 million to the family of a homeless Black man who was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in San Clemente in 2020, an attorney confirmed to Law360 on Thursday.

  • May 05, 2023

    Judge Pauses Miss. GOP's Foray Into Capital City Courts

    A state judge in Mississippi has ordered a temporary halt to a controversial new law that would give the majority-white state government greater control over the court system in the majority-Black capital city, Jackson.

  • May 05, 2023

    Old Pot Felonies Hard To Erase Despite NY's New Law

    Confusion about New York's law legalizing marijuana — and a possible typo — means some judges are denying requests to clear old felony pot convictions. Defense attorneys, meanwhile, claim what they're really doing is denying the legislature's intent.

  • May 05, 2023

    Justices Halt Execution Of Okla. Man After AG Admits Errors

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday halted the looming execution of an Oklahoma man after the state's attorney general conceded his murder conviction was riddled with constitutional errors and possible prosecutorial misconduct.

  • May 05, 2023

    New Legal Aid DC Leader Faces Growing Needs, Budget Cuts

    Vikram Swaruup is settling into his new role as executive director of Legal Aid of the District of Columbia at a time when the organization's clients have been hit hard by inflation, the end of enhanced safety-net benefits and the halting of pandemic-related protections against evictions, foreclosures and debt collection.

  • May 05, 2023

    Justice At Guantanamo: Atty Attends Bali Bombing Hearings

    Pretrial motions are moving forward for three detainees who have been held at Guantanamo Bay for two decades on charges related to a deadly terrorist bombing in Bali in 2002. Here, trial lawyer George Donnini shares his experience traveling to Cuba to be a witness to the proceedings on behalf of the American Bar Association.

  • May 05, 2023

    14-Year Restraining Order Battle Shows Court Reporter Need

    When a faulty audio recording left a New Jersey judge unable to rule on a bid to dissolve a decade-old restraining order, the couple embroiled in the dispute was forced to relive their trauma as part of a court-ordered bid to recreate the record in their 2004 restraining order hearing. Experts say the case highlights the important role of court stenographers amid a growing national shortage.

  • May 03, 2023

    3½-Hour Ala. Execution Was Needlessly Cruel, Suit Says

    The family of an Alabama man killed in what is believed to be the longest recorded execution in U.S. history has accused the state of subjecting him to unnecessary cruelty in violation of his constitutional rights, according to a suit filed Wednesday.

  • April 27, 2023

    Family Gets $7M Settlement Over Texarkana Jail Death

    The family of a 46-year-old woman who died in the custody of a private East Texas jail has reached a $7 million settlement in what attorneys say is the largest known jail death settlement in the state's history and one of the largest reached nationwide over an in-custody death.

  • April 26, 2023

    Okla. Parole Board Denies Clemency For Death Row Inmate

    The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Wednesday declined to recommend clemency for Richard Glossip, a death row inmate whose murder conviction has been criticized by legal experts — and the state's top prosecutor — as tainted by errors and constitutional violations.

  • April 24, 2023

    3 Justices Protest Court's Snub Of Death Row Inmate's Appeal

    Three U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday called "disheartening" their colleagues' decision not to hear the case of a Tennessee death row inmate whose murder sentence has been clouded by claims of ineffective counsel.

Expert Analysis

  • Inside Immigration Court: The Pros, Cons Of Remote Hearings

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    Technology introduced during the pandemic has improved the quality and efficiency of virtual immigration court hearings, but concerns still linger over the court system's ability to provide full and complete simultaneous interpretation in these hearings, as well as its effect on due process, says Immigration Judge Mimi Tsankov.

  • How Attorneys Can Help Combat Anti-Asian Hate

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    Amid an exponential increase in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, unique obstacles stand in the way of accountability and justice — but lawyers can effect powerful change by raising awareness, offering legal representation, advocating for victims’ rights and more, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • Well-Equipped Public Defenders Can Help Reduce Recidivism

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    Public defenders are uniquely positioned to connect clients with essential services that are proven to address the root drivers of crime, thus reducing recidivism and promoting public safety — but they need adequate resources to bring about this change, says Emily Galvin-Almanza at Partners for Justice.

  • Inside Immigration Court: Making The Case For Bond Release

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    Immigration Judge Samuel Cole offers a guide to help attorneys practicing in immigration court — against a backdrop of high stakes and fast-moving dockets — better prepare for bond hearings, so proceedings run more smoothly and with less delay.

  • LA County Should Loosen Strict Reentry Program Criteria

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    Los Angeles County’s recent fair chance ordinance proposal is an important step toward reducing recidivism, but the county should also make its reentry programs available to all formerly incarcerated individuals and focus on prerelease job training, say Sophia Lowe, Eleanor Pearson and Samuel Mistrano at USC.

  • Why Trump Sexual Abuse Verdict May Be Hard To Replicate

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    Survivors of sexual assault may be emboldened to file suit after writer E. Jean Carroll’s trial victory against former President Donald Trump, but before assigning too much significance to the verdict, it’s worth noting that the case’s unique constellation of factors may make it the exception rather than the rule, says Jessica Roth at Cardozo School of Law.

  • New Ideas For Using Litigation Finance To Close Justice Gap

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    Bob Koneck at Woodsford outlines new ways in which the growing litigation finance industry could work with foundations, law firms and schools to address the urgent access to justice crisis.

  • Meeting The Legal Aid Needs Of Human Trafficking Survivors

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    Human trafficking survivors have a wide range of unmet legal needs, but there are several ways law firms and attorneys can provide more comprehensive and trauma-informed support, say Sarah Dohoney Byrne at Moore & Van Allen and Renata Parras at Paul Hastings.

  • Broader Problems Remain After Justices' DNA Test Ruling

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in Reed v. Goertz straightforwardly resolves a statute of limitations question on post-conviction DNA testing, but it does not address the underlying issue that judges remain hostile to granting access to new evidence of innocence, much less relief based on that new evidence, says Brandon Garrett at Duke University.

  • It's Time For Lawyers To Stand Up For Climate Justice

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    The anniversary this week of the Deepwater Horizon disaster offers an opportunity for attorneys to embrace the practice of just transition lawyering — leveraging our skills to support communities on the front lines of climate change and environmental catastrophe as they pursue rebuilding and transformation, says Amy Laura Cahn at Taproot Earth.

  • Lessons On Litigating Wrongful Death Cases Against The BOP

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    With the process of litigating wrongful death claims against the Federal Bureau of Prisons littered with roadblocks, attorneys at HWG share some key lessons for navigating these challenges to ensure families can pursue justice for loved ones who died in custody.

  • Eviction Cases Need Tiered Legal Help, Not Unlimited Counsel

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    The concept of right to counsel in civil cases, particularly in the context of evictions, is hotly debated, but rather than giving every tenant full representation regardless of the merits of their case, we should be focused on ensuring that everyone has the right amount of legal help, says Bob Glaves at the Chicago Bar Foundation.

  • US Self-Defense Law Is Neither Overly Harsh Nor Disappearing

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    The inaccurate caricatures of U.S. self-defense law distract us from engaging in a more fully informed debate about the appropriate role of, and justification for, self-defense in a modern, pluralistic society, says Markus Funk at Perkins Coie.

  • High Court Death Penalty Ruling Presents A Troubling Future

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    While the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Cruz v. Arizona — which said the Arizona high court misinterpreted state criminal procedure and warranted federal review was — came as a pleasant surprise in its prioritization of due process, the 5-4 ruling also portends poorly for the future with a low bar in death penalty cases, says Christopher Durocher at the American Constitution Society.

  • What Landmark Ruling Means For Civil Rights Suits In Nevada

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    The Nevada Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Mack v. Williams ends the use of qualified immunity in the state, and though the defense will likely be revived by the Legislature, the decision provides a framework for litigants to hold state actors accountable for violations of state constitutional protections, says Austin Barnum at Clark Hill.

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