Access to Justice

  • 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.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Constitutional Lessons For Prisons Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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    With the coronavirus already infiltrating certain prison populations, jail officials must look to cases stemming from the 2009 swine flu epidemic for guidance on their legal obligations under the Eighth Amendment, say attorneys at Bradley Arant.

  • Weinstein's Survivors Got Justice, But Reform Is Still Needed

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    While the conviction and sentencing of Harvey Weinstein was a watershed moment, and vindication for the women that he abused, the scales of justice remain tipped against women in cases of sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. and around the world, say Jennifer Klein at Time's Up and Rachel Vogelstein at the Council on Foreign Relations.

  • Keep Your Client Out Of The Courtroom During Voir Dire

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    With Harvey Weinstein's defense team raising allegations of undisclosed bias among the jurors who convicted him, it's a good time to examine why it may be best if your client is not present during the jury selection process, says Christina Marinakis at Litigation Insights.

  • Justices' Border Patrol Ruling Could Extend To US Citizens

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hernandez v. Mesa, barring a Mexican family’s remedies for the fatal cross-border shooting of their son by a federal agent, sweeps broadly toward curtailing constitutional remedies for similarly aggrieved U.S. citizens, says Cori Alonso-Yoder at American University Washington College of Law.

  • Weinstein Verdict May Signal Big Step Forward For #MeToo

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    That a New York state jury convicted Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape — in the absence of substantial corroborating evidence and despite challenges to the accusers' credibility — suggests that society has turned a corner, says professor Stephen Gillers at NYU School of Law.

  • Justice Denied For A NY Domestic Violence Survivor

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    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.

  • Arbitration Is A Flawed Forum That Needs Repair

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    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

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    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

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    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

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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.

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