Access to Justice

  • January 12, 2020

    Fla. Firm Launches Novel Practice Group For Children’s Law

    Most attorneys that work specifically to protect children work through nonprofits or legal aid groups, but Florida-based firm Kelley Kronenberg is cutting a different path.

  • January 12, 2020

    Lawmakers Push To Extend Atty-Client Shield To Prison Emails

    For defense attorneys, talking privately with federally incarcerated clients requires either an in-person visit or a specially requested unmonitored phone call. But a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House aims to increase access by affording attorney client privilege to a more convenient forum: prison emails.

  • January 12, 2020

    Simpson Thacher Helps Thwart Police Bias In Mississippi

    Simpson Thacher attorneys helped win a landmark consent decree to end long-standing discriminatory policing practices in Mississippi’s highly segregated Madison County, where black residents said they were subjected to warrantless searches and targeted roadblocks.

  • January 12, 2020

    With DA Out, What’s Next For Curtis Flowers?

    Mississippi prosecutor Doug Evans, who tried defendant Curtis Flowers six times for the same crime, has taken the rare step of recusing himself from the case. With a new attorney general possibly taking over prosecution, and a motion to dismiss pending, Flowers may have “a moment of hope.”

  • January 12, 2020

    House OKs Bills To Help Ex-Prisoners Start Businesses

    The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bipartisan bills that would offer entrepreneurship training and mentorship to people leaving federal prisons with the goal of reducing recidivism by helping former inmates gain employment and overcome the stigma of a criminal record.

  • January 12, 2020

    Sex Predator Case Tests 'Right To Appear' In Court

    What it really means to be present in court — and whether the use of video technology counts — recently took center stage at the Texas Supreme Court, as justices grappled with that due process question in the context of a state law intended to protect the public from sex criminals.

  • January 10, 2020

    Small Firm Can't Slip Prisoner's Pro Bono Civil Rights Case

    When a judge tells a private lawyer to represent someone for free, does the lawyer have to do it?

  • January 05, 2020

    Why Preventing Jury Selection Bias May Need A Fresh Look

    Connecticut is preparing to take a hard look at the long-simmering issue of how bias might affect jury selection, beginning a process that could close loopholes in the law and address concerns that experts have raised for years.

  • January 05, 2020

    MoFo Helps Afghan Defenders Take On Corruption Crackdown

    As Afghanistan’s corruption court has targeted more low-income government officials — and fewer of the high-ranking ones it was designed to prosecute — public defenders in the war-torn country have turned to Morrison & Foerster’s white collar attorneys for guidance.

  • January 05, 2020

    Wanted In Pennsylvania: A Fairer Justice System For Minors

    Pennsylvania’s plan to examine reforms to its juvenile justice system should tackle the technical parole violations that can send young people to detention centers and squarely address the system’s disparate impact black people, according to some advocates, who say recent actions in other states offer a humane path forward.

  • January 05, 2020

    For Curtis Flowers, A Long Road To Bail

    Last month, Curtis Flowers was released on bail after 23 years in prison. He’s been tried six times since 1996 for the same quadruple murder, and he could still face a seventh trial. Law360 takes a look at how we got here.

  • January 02, 2020

    Philly Inks $4M Settlement With Wrongfully Convicted Man

    The city of Philadelphia has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for nearly a quarter century before being exonerated for a murder he maintains he didn’t commit.

  • December 15, 2019

    Shearman Wins Man's Release After 33 Years In Prison

    The evidence that would eventually clear Jack Sagin of a murder conviction came to light in 2009, but it took an intense, decadelong legal battle and the pro bono help of Shearman & Sterling LLP before he was able to walk out of prison.

  • December 15, 2019

    High Court Rebuff Highlights Post-Conviction Quagmire

    When a Supreme Court justice last week singled out allegations in one unusual pro se petition, it highlighted how Louisiana judges prevented habeas corpus review for hundreds of prisoners — a scheme exposed by a suicide note — and what some see as larger procedural problems with post-conviction proceedings.

  • December 15, 2019

    The Other Access To Justice Rulings That Mattered In 2019

    The U.S. Supreme Court often dominates legal news headlines, but some state and appellate court decisions have even bigger impacts on access to justice. Here’s four landmark rulings from 2019 you might have missed.

  • December 15, 2019

    This Global Key To Unlocking Justice Is Reaching More People

    International efforts to increase the number of children registered at birth — which can help a person access courts, banks, schools and more — have paid off in the past decade, though further gains could require capitalizing on technology and existing community programs, according to a new report.

  • December 08, 2019

    As Parole Drives Incarceration, Can NY’s Bar Spur Reforms?

    Parole violations like missed meetings and unpaid fees are the reason why an estimated 40% of those in in New York state prison wind up behind bars. Now, the state bar association is calling on the governor and Legislature to address the “woefully high reincarceration rate.”

  • December 08, 2019

    Appearances Matter If Jurists Want To Talk Justice Reform

    Discipline meted out against a now former judge who slammed Black Lives Matter should serve as a warning that jurists looking to join the conversations around criminal justice reform can all too easily raise questions of bias if they aren’t careful with their comments.

  • December 08, 2019

    Reform Alliance’s CLO On Overhauling Probation And Parole

    Backed by Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Van Jones, the Reform Alliance aims to transform the justice system’s use of community supervision through parole and probation. Law360 caught up with Monique Haughton Worrell, the alliance’s chief legal officer, to learn why change is needed.

  • December 06, 2019

    US Accused Of Denying Asylum-Seekers Access To Counsel

    Immigrants seeking asylum at the southern border are being wrongfully deprived of legal counsel, according to a new lawsuit filed in D.C. federal court that claims U.S. officials are detaining asylum-seekers in facilities that are effectively “legal black holes.”

  • December 06, 2019

    Arrest Records Aren't Fodder For Sentences, 3rd Circ. Says

    Federal judges cannot rely on an arrest record, as opposed to a conviction record, when determining an appropriate sentence, the Third Circuit has ruled in the case of a man sentenced to 85 years in prison for various drug and weapons possession charges.

  • December 01, 2019

    How Dechert Lent Muscle To Man's Forced Confession Claim

    With the aid of Dechert LLP attorneys and the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Willie Veasy was able to prove something he’d steadfastly maintained during the nearly three decades he spent in prison for murder: his innocence.

  • December 01, 2019

    'Why Is My City Monitoring Me?'

    More and more cities are using automated license plate readers to scan millions of license plates, generating a wave of privacy concerns and calls for more regulations to increase transparency about how the technology is being used.

  • December 01, 2019

    Prosecutors May Hold Key To New Start For Trafficking Victims

    As survivors of human trafficking try to clear their criminal records of related offenses, prosecutors may play a crucial gatekeeping function. They should help streamline the process, not throw up roadblocks, according to a new report.

  • December 01, 2019

    NJ Bail Reform Sees Strides Despite Growing Pains

    Shortly after Robert Bianchi became Morris County, New Jersey's top prosecutor in 2007, and a decade before the state implemented significant bail reforms, he combed through a list of old cases and discovered something troubling.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Inside The Key Federal Sentencing Developments Of 2019

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    Raquel Wilson, director of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice, discusses this year's developments in federal sentencing, including new legislation in the Senate and U.S. Supreme Court cases invalidating certain statutes.

  • ODonnell Consent Decree Will Harm Criminal Justice In Texas

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    In Odonnell v. Harris County, a Texas federal court ordered that misdemeanor offenders could be released without bail, marking a fundamental deterioration of the Texas criminal justice system, says attorney Randy Adler.

  • Judges Cannot Rehabilitate Offenders With Extra Prison Time

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    Although they may mean well, federal judges should stop attempting to help criminal defendants get into drug rehabilitation programs by unlawfully sending them to prison for longer than their recommended sentences, says GianCarlo Canaparo at The Heritage Foundation.

  • Time To Rethink License Suspensions Without Due Notice

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    In North Carolina, one in seven adults has a suspended driver’s license, but our research suggests that many of them never received actual notice of their license suspension, or of the court proceeding that led to it, making this a fundamentally unfair sanction, say Brandon Garrett, Karima Modjadidi and William Crozier at Duke University.

  • Changing The Way We Dialogue About Justice Reform

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    Dawn Freeman of The Securus Foundation discusses why humanizing the language used to discuss justice-involved individuals is a key aspect of reform and how the foundation’s upcoming campaign will implement this change in mainstream publications and on social media.

  • High Court Should Restore Sentencing Due Process

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    If the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari in Asaro v. U.S. and rules that sentencing judges cannot consider uncharged, dismissed and acquitted conduct, a peculiar and troubling oddity of criminal and constitutional law will finally be rectified, say criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis and sentencing consultant Mark Allenbaugh.

  • Book Review: Who's To Blame For The Broken Legal System?

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    The provocative new book by Alec Karakatsanis, "Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System," shines a searing light on the anachronism that is the American criminal justice system, says Sixth Circuit Judge Bernice Donald.

  • High Court Should Affirm 3-Strikes Rule For Prisoner Pleading

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    The U.S. Supreme Court in Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez should hold that any case dismissed for failure to state a claim should count as a strike for purposes of Section 1915(g), which allows incarcerated people to file three complaints free of charge, says GianCarlo Canaparo at The Heritage Foundation.

  • Acquitted Conduct Should Not Be Considered At Sentencing

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    Congress should advance the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act, which seeks to explicitly preclude federal judges from a practice that effectively eliminates the democratic role of the jury in the criminal justice system, says Robert Ehrlich, former governor of Maryland.

  • Thank A Female Veteran With Access To Legal Services

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    Women returning from military deployment often require more legal assistance than their male counterparts, and Congress can alleviate some of these burdens by passing the Improving Legal Services for Female Veterans Act, says Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa.

  • California Should Embrace Nonlawyer Providers

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    Despite criticisms from the legal profession, a California proposal to allow some legal service delivery by nonlawyers is a principled response to the reality that millions of Americans currently must face their legal problems without any help, says Chris Albin-Lackey, legal and policy director at the National Center for Access to Justice.