Access to Justice

  • February 23, 2020

    Debt-Based License Suspensions Get Fresh Scrutiny In NY

    New York lawmakers are taking a closer look at doing away with driver’s license suspensions based on debt, which a New York Law School report this month determined disproportionately impacts minority motorists.

  • February 23, 2020

    How Attys Can Help Dismantle The School-To-Prison Pipeline

    As the rise of school shootings spurs an increase in spending on school police officers, experts at a recent conference said students need more due process protections when those officers handle routine disciplinary matters: Police involvement, they said, should mean attorney involvement too.

  • February 23, 2020

    Homeboy Industries' Harati On Giving People A Fresh Start

    As the director of legal services for LA-based Homeboy Industries, Donna Harati helps former gang members and convicted felons rejoin society by working with them on expungements, custody disputes and more. Here, Harati discusses traffic fines, trauma and finding reasons to smile during tough situations.

  • February 23, 2020

    Coin Toss: Are Risk-Measuring Tools Accurate Enough?

    Most of the algorithms used to assess someone's risk of recidivism before they are released on bail are correct about 60 and 70% of the time — better than a coin flip, but still prone to misclassification, especially in cases that involve people of color. The tools’ potential for error has left stakeholders clashing over their use.

  • February 21, 2020

    Ex-Felons In Fla. Race Against Clock To Vote In 2020

    Former felons in the Sunshine State who are fighting a requirement that they pay all outstanding fines and fees before being able to vote may have scored a recent win at the Eleventh Circuit, but with just eight months to go before the general election and the state vowing to battle on, time may be running out for them to cast a ballot in 2020.

  • February 18, 2020

    ABA Says Industry Regs Need A Rethink, But Will It Matter?

    The passage of a revised American Bar Association resolution intended to encourage a new look at legal industry regulation and increase access to justice represents a major step forward, even in the absence of any recommended changes on nonlawyer participation in the market, some experts say.

  • February 09, 2020

    Ariz. Tests Nonlawyer Advice For Domestic Violence Victims

    For many survivors of domestic violence, trying to leave an abusive situation presents an array of legal issues, but affordable legal help can be hard to come by. The state of Arizona is hoping to fill that need with a new type of legal adviser.

  • February 09, 2020

    Could Fee-Based Voting Restrictions Tilt The 2020 Election?

    In Florida, a perennial political battleground, efforts to reenfranchise those with felony convictions have been stymied by requirements that they pay off legal debts before voting. Individual confusion over what people owe and uneven court efforts to help them find out could lead to echoes of the contested 2000 election.

  • February 09, 2020

    NY Prosecutor Watchdog At Crossroads After Court Setback

    Backers of a New York commission for policing prosecutors are facing hard choices after a court found the watchdog to be in conflict with the state constitution, including whether to erase the group’s authority to hand out punishments altogether.

  • February 09, 2020

    DoNotPay Founder Opens Up On ‘Robot Lawyers’

    Last month, an app that allows users to “sue anyone at the press of a button” won recognition for its contribution to legal access from the American Bar Association. Law360 caught up with its creator, 23-year-old Joshua Browder, to learn more about his “robot lawyer.”

  • February 09, 2020

    Crime Victims Can See Costs Pile Up, But New Law May Help

    A newly signed law in New Jersey allowing victims of violent crime to receive greater compensation for legal fees represents a critical milestone in the Garden State’s efforts to financially support that vulnerable population, who can face mounting costs in the wake of a tragedy, advocates say.

  • February 02, 2020

    Will Others Follow NJ's Lead In Banning Facial Recognition App?

    The New Jersey attorney general's recent decision to ban law enforcement in the state from using a controversial facial recognition technology should encourage other governments to pump the brakes and take a harder look at police use of such software, some lawyers say.

  • February 02, 2020

    Morgan Lewis Helps Fuel Man's Murder Conviction Fight

    Recently released from prison, Demond Weston says life on the outside can make him feel like “a 46-year-old baby learning to walk.” Still, it’s a challenge he welcomes after serving nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn’t commit.

  • February 02, 2020

    Ill. Gov. Calls For State Lawmakers To Phase Out Cash Bail

    Illinois should eliminate cash bail as a step along the "long path toward a fairer criminal justice system," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in his state of the state address, calling for lawmakers to act on the idea in the spring session. 

  • February 02, 2020

    California Adds To Growing Scrutiny Of Jury Selection Bias

    In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial discrimination in jury selection was unconstitutional, and ever since, prosecutors and defense attorneys have been required to provide a “race-neutral” reason when accused of striking jurors unfairly.

  • February 02, 2020

    In New Mexico, Nonattorney Helpers Could Ease Justice Crisis

    In courts where an enormous number of litigants do not have legal counsel, “everything takes dramatically longer,” but some are hopeful that a number of new initiatives approved by the New Mexico Supreme Court will mitigate some of the challenges rural counties face in order to help people access justice in a way that is useful to them and which will lead to a more effective and efficient court system.

  • February 02, 2020

    UK Not Immune To Global Problem Of Accessing Legal Help

    A new survey of legal needs in England and Wales found that although a majority of citizens has dealt with a legal issue in the past four years, many people are still uncertain about how to get legal help and many did not get the help they needed, issues that also common in other countries, including the United States.

  • January 26, 2020

    Alec Karakatsanis On The Rule Of Law’s ‘Usual Cruelty’

    In “Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System,” Civil Rights Corps founder Alec Karakatsanis argues that “rule of law” is neither objective nor neutral. He spoke with Law360 about the need for radical transformation in the legal industry.

  • January 26, 2020

    Will 5th Circ. Sanction Threat Chill Death Penalty Appeals?

    A sharply worded sanction warning by a Fifth Circuit judge about “disorderly” filings in death penalty cases could discourage lawyers from pursuing every legitimate appeal in the court before a client’s execution, experts said.

  • January 26, 2020

    Perjury Scandal Can’t Blot Out Prosecutor’s Conspiracy Claim

    Kim Gardner, St. Louis’ first black top state prosecutor, has accused the city and its police union of a racist conspiracy to undermine her. Critics say it’s a ploy to distract from a special prosecutor investigation against her office, but experts agree she’s faced an unusual level of scrutiny — and threats.

  • January 26, 2020

    Legal Aid Org’s Departing Chief Praised For Funding Boost

    The long-serving president of the Legal Services Corporation, who recently announced that he is leaving his post atop the country’s largest funder of legal aid, will be remembered for fostering innovation and for increasing LSC’s funding despite calls from the Trump administration to defund it entirely, those in the legal aid community say.

  • 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.”

Expert Analysis

  • Justice Denied For A NY Domestic Violence Survivor

    Author Photo

    New York's Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act was enacted to reduce sentences for people like Nicole Addimando, who was just given 19 years to life in prison for killing her sadistically abusive partner, so the court’s failure to apply it here raises the question of whether it will be applied at all, say Ross Kramer and Nicole Fidler at Sanctuary for Families.

  • Book Review: A Lawyer Reflects On Defending Guilty People

    Author Photo

    In her new book, "Guilty People," Abbe Smith successfully conveys that seeing ourselves in people who commit crime may be the first step to exacting change in our justice system, says U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa of the District of Arizona.

  • Arbitration Is A Flawed Forum That Needs Repair

    Author Photo

    While arbitration is a good vehicle for ensuring timely dispute resolution, the existing system lacks protections for workers and consumers, and legislative efforts to outlaw forced arbitration prove it’s time to finally fix it, says Gerald Sauer at Sauer & Wagner.

  • Sentencing Insights From A Chat With Judge Nancy Gertner

    Author Photo

    While many judges say there isn’t much criminal defense attorneys can do at sentencing hearings, retired U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner — an outspoken critic of the federal sentencing guidelines — disagrees, says criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis.

  • Rigged Forfeiture Law Seizes Property In 4 Steps

    Author Photo

    Nationwide, law enforcement agencies rely on a four-pronged attack to generate billions of dollars in civil forfeiture revenue to use for police perks, depriving defendants of property without due process of law, says Daryl James of the Institute for Justice.

  • To Honor The Promise Of Liberty, Reform Pretrial Detention

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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.

Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Beta
Ask a question!