Access to Justice

  • June 08, 2023

    Businesses Sue Seattle Over 2020 Protest Response

    A Seattle-based ice cream chain and a property owner sued the city in federal court this week, accusing officials of encouraging and condoning a protest zone in 2020 that shut down parts of the business's neighborhood, which they say resulted in lost revenue and an illegal taking by the local government.

  • June 07, 2023

    Homeowners Say NY Courts Defy Law On Foreclosure Aid

    Two Brooklyn homeowners accused New York's court administrators and justices of the state's Supreme Court in Brooklyn of failing to implement a state law requiring courts to assess if homeowners who are facing foreclosure and cannot afford an attorney should be given free legal representation, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

  • June 06, 2023

    Legal Ethicists Back Inmate's Innocence Case At High Court

    A group of renowned legal ethics scholars has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of an Oklahoma death row inmate whose murder conviction has been deemed by the state's attorney general to be plagued by errors and possible prosecutorial misconduct, court filings show.

  • 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

    More States Turn To Paraprofessionals To Fill Justice Gap

    The number of states implementing programs to license paraprofessionals to practice law has swiftly multiplied over the last three years, growing from two states to six and counting as courts seek ways to meet the legal needs of low- and moderate-income residents.

  • 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

    Debt Firm's Flameout A Cautionary Tale For Consumers

    The collapse of a California debt resolution law firm has impacted tens of thousands of consumers across the country, leaving many deeper in debt and with ruined credit. It’s an extreme example of predatory behavior across an industry where marketing companies and law firms urge vulnerable debtors to pay big money for services that advocates say have little to no real value.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Immigration Appeals Proposal Would Erode Due Process

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    A recent Trump administration proposal to limit appellate review of immigration cases would eviscerate the few existing legal protections for immigrants and asylum seekers at a time when they are already routinely denied due process in court, says Lynn Pearson at the Tahirih Justice Center.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling Doesn't Lower Qualified Immunity Bar

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    While a video recording in Cantu v. City of Dothan — a recent Eleventh Circuit case involving a fatal shooting by a police officer — allowed the plaintiffs to clear the difficult qualified immunity hurdle, the court's ruling does not make it easier for most victims to surmount the defense, says Adriana Collado-Hudak at Greenspoon Marder.

  • Reforming Public Defense Is Crucial For Criminal Justice

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    By resisting investment in public defender offices, states and counties are overlooking the best opportunity to ensure justice for vulnerable criminal defendants and ferret out police, prosecutors and judges who cut corners — but there is some movement on the ground that warrants cautious optimism, says Jonathan Rapping at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.

  • COVID-19 Crisis Should Steer NY Toward Better Court System

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    Over the last six months, it has become clear that many New York court proceedings can happen remotely, and we can use these new technological capabilities to create a more humane, efficient and economically responsible court system, says Joseph Frumin at The Legal Aid Society.

  • Pretrial Risk Assessment Is Biased And Indefensible

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    The Conference of Chief Justices' continuing support for the use of problematic pretrial risk assessment algorithms designed to predict criminal behavior has exacerbated disparities in the justice system and has likely increased incarceration across the U.S., says Jeffrey Clayton at the American Bail Coalition.

  • To Eliminate Food Inequality, We Must Confront The Past

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    To tackle low-income communities' decadeslong struggle with access to healthy food, which the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated, we must first understand how food deserts are a product of policies that perpetuate racial segregation, says Jessica Giesen at Kelley Kronenberg.

  • Cincinnati's Progress Can Be A Model For 2020 Police Reform

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    Cincinnati has come a long way since the 2001 unrest following the police killings of two unarmed Black men, and the city's comprehensive revision of police practices can inform local and state policymakers seeking a way forward from the current turmoil, says former Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken now at Calfee Halter.

  • Legal Deserts Threaten Justice In Rural America

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    Many small towns and rural counties have few lawyers or none at all, which threatens the notion of justice for all Americans and demands creative solutions from legislators, bar associations and law schools, says Patricia Refo, president of the American Bar Association.

  • Uncertainties In Gerrymandering Jurisprudence Are Unfair

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    With the decennial census underway and the corresponding redistricting cycle closely approaching, it is critical that we examine the current state of gerrymandering jurisprudence and how those challenging a redistricting plan as racially motivated have very little recourse, says Tal Aburos at Levine Kellogg.

  • Minn. Should Consider Another Charge In George Floyd Case

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    The Minnesota prosecutors who have charged Derek Chauvin with felony murder for the death of George Floyd are running the risk that the case will be dismissed on solid but esoteric grounds — while ignoring a different murder charge that would stand up to legal scrutiny, says Kyron Huigens at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

  • US Has A Legal Obligation To Provide Reparations For Slavery

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    The United States can no longer foreclose the possibility of recompense for African American victims of its legacy of racism while maintaining its international leadership on such issues as human rights and respect for the rule of law, say Arif Ali and David Attanasio at Dechert and Camilo Sanchez at the University of Virginia School of Law.

  • How We Can Equip Our Future Lawyers To Confront Injustice

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    Law professors must fill gaps in the U.S. legal curriculum by teaching cases and legal theories that can help students understand how the legal system and institutional structures perpetuate inequalities, says Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

  • NY Ethics Rule Change Is Good News For Public Interest Attys

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    Lawyers have always bumped up against a professional conduct rule that prevents them from providing financial help to low-income clients, but New York's pandemic-prompted exception to the rule is a positive step toward mitigating the many hidden expenses that separate rich and poor litigants, say Sateesh Nori and Anita Desai at the Legal Aid Society.

  • History Tells Us Black Americans Need Better Legal Protection

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    Eliminating the legacy of slavery will not be the work of a day or a year, but there are concrete measures Congress can and should take immediately to extend the protection of the law to all Americans, says Jeff Powell at Duke University School of Law.

  • Okla. Offers Glimpse Of Eviction Challenges Amid Pandemic

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    Even in a small state such as Oklahoma, one of the first to reopen amid the pandemic, courthouses are facing the herculean challenge of conducting an escalating number of eviction cases under great restrictions — and it will be worse in larger states, says Keri Norris at LegalShield.

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