Access to Justice

  • 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

    After 29 Years, 'The Poster Child For Clemency' Comes Home

    In December, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul granted clemency to 12 convicts. Last month, several of them finally made it home, including Bruce Bryant, whom advocates call "the poster child for clemency" and who spent nearly 30 years in prison for a murder he's always maintained he didn't commit.

  • 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.

  • April 24, 2023

    NAACP Sues Over Miss. GOP's Foray Into Capital City Courts

    The NAACP and other organizations are pushing back against the Republican-controlled Mississippi state government over its recent moves that give white state officials greater power over Jackson, the state's majority-Black capital city.

  • April 21, 2023

    $2M False Arrest Win May Spawn New Legal Fights For NYPD

    When Jawaun Fraser was charged for robbery in October 2014, the New York Police Department and Manhattan prosecutors never told him that his arresting officers had been targeted in dozens of civil lawsuits over alleged evidence fabrication, abuse of power and other misconduct. Now, after a $2 million civil rights verdict last month over the disclosure failures, Fraser's case could lead to new legal challenges for criminal cases in the city.

  • April 21, 2023

    Major Payout Likely In Tyre Nichols Beating Case, Experts Say

    It's hard to sue the police and win, but the fatal beating of motorist Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police in January was so egregious and highly publicized that experts say the city is likely facing a big settlement.

  • April 21, 2023

    Justices To Hear Whether Post-Seizure Hearings Are Required

    Every year, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. confiscate billions of dollars worth of assets, including cash, cars, weapons and real estate, from people they arrest and prosecute. The process, called civil forfeiture, is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, which this week agreed to hear a case centering on when people are entitled to court hearings where they can ask for their property back.

  • April 21, 2023

    After High Court Win, O'Melveny Clears La. Man Of Murder

    Although his lawyers notched a landmark victory at the U.S. Supreme Court three years ago when the justices declared nonunanimous criminal verdicts unconstitutional, Evangelisto Ramos remained stuck behind bars on a murder conviction until a team from O'Melveny & Myers LLP finally secured his acquittal at a retrial last month.

  • April 21, 2023

    Growing US Senior Population Faces Unmet Legal Needs

    As the U.S. population ages, more Americans need the services of attorneys who specialize in helping seniors and people with disabilities. But the number of lawyers trained in this subspecialty is small, and the number of elder law attorneys who offer services to low-income people is even smaller.

  • April 20, 2023

    NY High Court Skeptical On Murder Trial Courtroom Closure

    New York's highest court suggested on Thursday that a state trial judge may have violated a murder suspect's constitutional right to a public trial when she closed her courtroom to the public halfway through an eight-day criminal proceeding because of what she called "very intimidating" behavior on the part of spectators.

Expert Analysis

  • The Case Against Solitary Confinement During Pandemic

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    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.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: McCarter & English's Abdul Rehman

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    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.

  • Legal Aid Needs Law Firm Support Now More Than Ever

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    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.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: Cleveland Legal Aid's Colleen Cotter

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    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.

  • Problems With Tolling The Speedy Trial Act During Pandemic

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    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.

  • Guantanamo 9/11 Trial Is A Failure

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    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.

  • Data Is Key To Stopping COVID-19 Spread In Prisons

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    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.

  • A Proposal For Efficient Post-Pandemic Justice In New York

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    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.

  • Downturn An Opportunity For Law Firms To Boost Pro Bono

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    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.

  • Inmate Release Exhaustion Rule Should Be Waived For COVID

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    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.

  • COVID-19 Highlights Access Injustice In Personal Bankruptcy

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    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.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: Pine Tree's Nan Heald

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    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.

  • Social Distancing And Right To Jury Trial Must Be Reconciled

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    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.

  • Tips For Prisoner Release Requests During Pandemic

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    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.

  • States Must Toll Court Deadlines To Ensure Access To Justice

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    There are several reasons why a state should consider temporarily lifting statutes of limitations during this pandemic, including protecting the rights of litigants who are vulnerable, say Adam Mendel and Rayna Kessler at Robins Kaplan.

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