As New York courts begin to lift coronavirus restrictions, a group of law school graduates who represent the indigent and have failed the bar exam twice have been forced to drop their clients for the foreseeable future. Public defender groups say the times demand an exception to the rules.
Can a prosecutor start the process of righting a wrongful conviction? The Missouri Supreme Court’s answer to that question, expected later this summer, could shape the future of exoneration efforts by progressive district attorneys in the state and around the country.
Efforts to reform cash bail mean more defendants are awaiting trial under electronic monitoring rather than behind bars. But with counties passing the ankle bracelets' costs onto those who can least afford it, some say electronic monitoring isn't any better than the bail they hoped it would replace.
With the economy in free fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Small Business Administration has disbursed billions of dollars to entrepreneurs struggling to make payroll and keep their businesses afloat. But many with criminal records say they’ve been left out to dry.
Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in March, thousands of New Yorkers have lost loved ones to COVID-19, leaving them not only to confront grief but also to navigate the often-unfamiliar and confusing legal process of dealing with a relative's estate.
In New York City, the current epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, four out of five social distancing tickets have been issued to people of color. Attorneys from the city’s landmark stop-and-frisk litigation say the racial discrepancy merits court-appointed police oversight and an end to police public health enforcement.
With a U.S. Supreme Court win freshly in hand, embassy bombing victims may ultimately see final justice in the form of a State Department deal that is in the works — if it can get Congress' blessing.
Joyce Faulkner keeps a list of the births, weddings, funerals and other family events that David Faulkner has missed following his 2001 conviction for a murder he has always insisted he did not commit. She also tallies the number of days he has been behind bars.
A recent decision from a Florida federal judge that the state cannot block ex-felons who don't pay court-ordered fines and fees from voting could, if upheld on appeal, reverberate to neighboring states that have enacted similar requirements.
For the first time ever, the Federal Reserve Board included analysis of court debt in its annual report on economic well-being. Its survey found that unpaid legal obligations afflict 6% of U.S. adults, including 1 in 5 who've had a family member incarcerated.
In-house lawyers in Nevada and Wisconsin will use a fresh dose of grant funding to assist residents with sealing certain criminal records and provide legal advice on civil matters to people living in isolated communities. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, that pro bono work could take on even greater importance.
Most legal aid providers focus their services on people living at or below the federal poverty line. But at the DC Affordable Law Firm, executive director Gabrielle Mulnick Majewski is focusing on a different group of people — those who don’t qualify for free help but can’t afford a full-cost attorney.
More than a year after the passage of the First Step Act — which, among other things, made certain sentencing reforms retroactive — courts have continued to work out the procedural questions and, in some cases, come to very different conclusions, putting defendants on disparate footing depending on where they are based.
A New York state judge has rejected a bid by a Long Island diocese of the Roman Catholic church to dismiss 44 sexual abuse complaints filed against it in a Child Victims Act suit, rejecting the church's argument that the law violates the due process clause of the state's constitution.
Attorneys for both tenants and landlords in New York have their eyes set on June 20, as they try to plan for a new executive order from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo amending rules for commercial and residential evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Changes recently announced to the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" program have confused asylum-seekers and their attorneys alike, prompting some migrants to risk infection from the coronavirus and come to the border as initially scheduled out of fear of deportation.
Thousands of law students have signed up to volunteer for coronavirus-related legal aid opportunities, which represent a chance to help with relief efforts and to cut their teeth with some real-life lawyering.
When it comes to state policies that lend themselves to high fines and court fees, Georgia is the state where citizens are most at risk for such charges, while North Carolina is the state with the most protections, according to a new report.
COVID-19's chilling effect on court operations at least presents an opportunity to rethink how consumers are treated in debt collection lawsuits, according to the group behind a new report, which found that, even before the pandemic, individuals facing such cases were often a missing element in the courtroom.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented walk-in legal aid clinics with an existential crisis, but with the assistance of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, one clinic in Dallas is using a new virtual platform to press forward and seeing more attorneys volunteering to help.
The Trump administration is staffing the Board of Immigration Appeals with former immigration judges who have high asylum-denial rates and backgrounds in law enforcement. Advocates for immigrants and lawmakers have warned that the hiring process is too politicized and could shape immigration law for years to come.
A looming U.S. Supreme Court decision could end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at any moment. Winston & Strawn attorneys are conducting virtual clinics to help DACA recipients file for two more years of legal status before it’s too late.
Coronavirus-fueled stay-at-home orders have contributed to an existing catalog of laws that are difficult for homeless people to obey. But attorneys say the pandemic has also opened the door for impact litigation that could make more safe housing available.
The American Bar Association's Disaster Legal Services program has teamed up with legal technology company Paladin to launch a pro bono portal that allows attorneys across the country to volunteer their time to people affected by COVID-19 and other disasters.
Authorities in Fresno, California, are inflicting "cruel and unusual punishment" on registered sex offenders and violating the U.S. Constitution by requiring the individuals to appear in person for registration updates during the coronavirus pandemic, three offenders contend.
The New York federal judge overseeing the mediation of a lawsuit brought by The Federal Defenders of New York against the Federal Bureau of Prisons over attorneys' access to clients in detention on Friday voiced concern over continued problems, including "brazen" conduct by prison guards who were reportedly listening in on an inmate's phone calls with lawyers.
A high court ruling last week that nonunanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases are unconstitutional could prove huge for defendants in two states who are challenging their convictions, though questions such as the ruling’s retroactive impact still need to be answered.
University of Pennsylvania law professor Eric Feldman says the novel coronavirus has revealed both the failures of international public health policy and the civil rights trade-offs of containing a pandemic in the U.S. and internationally.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to envelop the country, some consumer advocates are calling for greater protections for debtors until the crisis abates, arguing that the economic crisis is negatively impacting the ability of Americans to not only pay their debts but also fight collection actions in court.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It would seem almost obvious to conclude that the internet and proposed e-courtroom venues may be best suited to promote social distancing while ensuring the uninterrupted constitutional right to a trial by jury, but numerous questions exist, say Justin Sarno and Jayme Long at Dentons.
The 70 compassionate release rulings issued by federal courts in the past three weeks suggest that the chances of securing release from prison premised on COVID-19 are boosted significantly where the defendant is able to accomplish one or more of three goals, say attorneys at Waller.