As state lawmakers begin preparing for upcoming legislative sessions amid a resurgent pandemic, a scattered but largely grim outlook for state court funding is beginning to take shape.
President-elect Joe Biden will likely move quickly to reestablish Obama-era priorities within the Department of Justice and focus on advances in police accountability as well as public defense investment, criminal justice experts told Law360.
Up and down the ballot this election season there have been several hotly contested races, but among key prosecutor face-offs one decisive winner was criminal justice reform, a trend that experts expect will continue in future elections.
Though "law and order" has repeatedly been invoked during the presidential election, the vast majority of criminal justice decisions are made by local lawyers whose names appear much further down the ballot. And this year, a handful of local prosecutor races are drawing national attention.
The First Circuit this month recognized for the first time a doctrine carving out an exception to qualified immunity protections for government officials, allowing a woman to pursue claims that two detectives' mishandling of her rape case led to a subsequent attack on her and the killing of her boyfriend.
Over the summer, people across the nation rallied around policing reform to address racism in our criminal justice system, but focusing solely on police reform ignores prisoners put behind bars as a result of existing policing practices, according to experts.
Pro bono attorneys at Milbank have dedicated 5,000 hours to representing a nonprofit in a religious discrimination suit that alleges Stafford County, Virginia, purposefully changed its rules to stop the organization from building its second cemetery for Muslims in the county.
While working with survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, a New York-based associate at a settlement management company realized that these clients needed a different option for managing their settlements. So he spearheaded an account designed for them.
A new law pulling back the curtain on New Jersey's criminal justice system by requiring its attorney general to compile and analyze a wide range of information could serve as a model for the rest of the nation and fuel future reform efforts in the Garden State, experts say.
A team of pro bono lawyers from Paul Hastings LLP earned a key victory for potentially thousands of Navy veterans who were exposed to the highly toxic herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, after a federal judge ruled that the veterans could be entitled to retroactive disability benefits that could ultimately total more than $100 million.
The American Civil Liberties Union asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Trump administration's position that undocumented immigrants who have re-entered the United States can be detained indefinitely, even when their deportation is far from certain.
New York state judges and court staff lambasted cuts to the judicial budget in a New York State Assembly hearing on Thursday, warning that the state's justice system is already spread too thin to weather more austerity.
In an election that saw a record number of votes cast, voters made their voices heard on key ballot measures across the country, on the state and local level, to change the criminal justice system.
Greenberg Traurig shareholder Karen Kennard had just started her second year of law school when she watched her oldest brother, Tim Cole, convicted of a rape he didn't commit.
After last week's oral arguments in a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the sentencing of juvenile offenders, advocates on both sides of the issue say it's unclear how the court, which has changed in composition since the last major rulings on the issue, will interpret those precedents.
Veterans Law Group supervising attorney Amanda Mineer talks to Law360 about how the coronavirus pandemic has upended the disability claims process for veterans and about what remains the greatest barrier for veterans seeking support after service.
A team of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP attorneys and the nonprofit Rights Behind Bars won a rare qualified immunity reversal in the U.S. Supreme Court last week, in a Texas federal case attorneys say owes much credit to their client Trent Taylor's self-representation from behind bars.
Chicago Legal Aid and Chapman and Cutler LLP have launched a web application to help automate the process of clearing clients' records in an effort to meet a growing need.
As the nation waits with bated breath for the results of the 2020 presidential contest, the prospect of litigation over mail-in ballots in battleground states has led to fear that it could once again come down to the Supreme Court to declare a winner. Here's why that's still a long shot.
This past week sizable groups of current and former prosecutors, including state attorneys general and district attorneys, filed amicus briefs in two separate civil rights cases, a move experts say can offer a boost to such cases due to the officials' prestige.
Kirkland & Ellis partner Amir Freund helped one client overcome a saga of adversity that began with a crime and ended with a global pandemic to reunite her family and let her restart her life securely in the U.S.
As many as 14,800 New York City heads of households that have been sued for failure to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic could soon be at risk of losing their cases by default, a major step toward eviction that can be challenging to reverse, housing lawyers warn.
Native American voting rights advocates say the coronavirus pandemic has heightened the stakes of their efforts to protect ballot collection and in-person voting options through the courts, driving home the need for strong federal laws tailored to tribes' needs.
Election officials worry COVID-19 could lead to a shortage of poll workers and long lines at the ballot, so some pro bono attorneys are stepping in to fill the gap before that happens. And with elections laws in flux across the country, those attorneys could be an invaluable resource in helping voters avoid confusion at the ballot box.
As the U.S. gears up for one of the most litigated national elections in its history, Judge María del Carmen Alanís Figueroa of Mexico, a member of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s electoral integrity group, is watching with interest. Here, she discusses the role of courts in elections.
The majority of inmates in local jails haven't been convicted of a crime and are still eligible to vote. But a lack of information, resistant jail staff and even some election laws make casting a ballot nearly impossible from behind bars.
Experts fear the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the Trump administration to end census data collection early could have dire ramifications for New Jersey and its high number of immigrants, who comprise hard-to-count communities that depend on federal funding allocated in accordance with population numbers.
Jenner & Block LLP said Thursday it is ramping up its commitment to pro bono legal services and pledged to provide $250 million worth of services over the next five years to clients in need of free representation.
In Wilkinson Walsh LLP's first major pro bono case, the litigation boutique joined forces with two nonprofit advocacy groups to win a landmark $50 million settlement in which the Missouri Department of Corrections and its prison health care provider agreed to give inmates suffering from hepatitis C much-needed treatment.
Blanket rules that bar recording or dissemination of remote public court proceedings impede presumptive common law and First Amendment right of access, greatly expand courts' powers over nonparties, and likely run afoul of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, says Matthew Schafer at ViacomCBS.
A recent review of the New York state court system recommends addressing pervasive racism through anti-bias trainings and better discrimination complaint protocols, but such efforts only scratch the surface of systemic racism in the law, says Jason Wu at the Legal Aid Society.
Equitable, research-based pretrial prison release decisions are not lucrative for the bail bond industry, which has led to misleading attacks against data-driven assessment tools, say Madeline Carter and Alison Shames at the Center for Effective Public Policy.
Courts must simplify their procedures to make bankruptcy more accessible to those who can't afford lawyers, especially as the pandemic drives bankruptcies to unprecedented levels, says Robert Gordon, a principal at Lerch Early and a former bankruptcy judge.
William Pizzi's argument in "The Supreme Court's Role in Mass Incarceration" that the U.S. Supreme Court is responsible for the high rate of incarceration is compelling, but his criticism overlooks the positive dimensions of the criminal procedure decisions under Chief Justice Earl Warren, says U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Prison releases resulting from coronavirus and earlier legislation proved that not all nonviolent offenders need to be jailed; this should spur penal system reform that includes expanded probationary alternatives, tax incentives for companies that employ ex-offenders and government transparency to ensure unbiased sentencing, says Abbe Lowell at Winston & Strawn.
Gerald Knapton at Ropers Majeski analyzes U.S. and U.K. experiments to explore alternative business structures and independent oversight for law firms, which could lead to innovative approaches to increasing access to legal services.
Courts have recently adopted remote procedures to make domestic violence victims feel safer during the COVID-19 crisis, but they should consider preserving these trauma-sensitive adaptations post-pandemic as well, say Ashley Carter and Richard Kelley at the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.
The recent proposal by the Law Commission of England and Wales to recall prisoners who fail to settle their confiscation orders when they have already served a sentence for nonpayment would, in effect, punish them twice for the same act, says Brian Swan at Stokoe Partnership.
At a time when children's lives are so threatened by avoidable climate change chaos, understanding U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's views on what standing future generations have to seek declaratory relief in Article III courts should be an essential part of her confirmation hearings, says Julia Olson at Our Children's Trust.
To improve their ability to dispense justice, prosecutors should measure the efficacy of their work based on metrics such as caseload distribution, timely case handling and racial disparity trends — instead of the traditionally used conviction rates and number of trials, say Anthony Thompson at the New York University School of Law and Miriam Krinsky at Fair and Just Prosecution.
In the face of increasing state preemption and absent other government intervention, states should explicitly allow city and county policymakers to help renters in order to avoid a pandemic-prompted eviction crisis, say Emily Benfer at Wake Forest University School of Law and Nestor Davidson at Fordham University School of Law.
The prosecution's decision in the Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings to present a crucial, disputed fact — whether the officers knocked and announced themselves when they arrived at Taylor's apartment — as a settled question represents the partiality police officers often enjoy from prosecutors, says attorney Geoffrey D. Kearney.
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.
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.