Archive for November, 2011

The Race to Incarcerate: A Country of Inmates

by Kristen Pavón

Friends! I leave you with this post until next week — I have to pick up my already-cooked, just-gotta-heat-it-up-tomorrow thanksgiving dinner and get ready to pick up my dad at the airport (read: clean the house!)!

Have a safe and happy holiday.  :)

On Monday, the New York Times ran a piece titled “A Country of Inmates” that detailed our country’s mass incarceration epidemic.

This is an issue that I’m passionate about because it disproportionately affects minorities and consequently trickles down and affects entire communities. Overall, the article is a good read, especially if you have no familiarity with incarceration policies. Here are a few excerpts:

The United States has 2.3 million people behind bars, almost one in every 100 Americans. The U.S. prison population has more than doubled over the past 15 years, and one in nine black children has a parent in jail.

Proportionally, the United States has four times as many prisoners as Israel, six times as many as Canada or China, eight times as many as Germany and 13 times as many as Japan.

The prison explosion hasn’t been driven by an increase in crime. In fact, the crime rate, notably for violent offenses, is dropping across the United States, a phenomenon that began about 20 years ago.

The latest F.B.I. figures show that murder, rape and robberies have fallen to an almost half-century low; to be sure, they remain higher than in other major industrialized countries.

Read more here.

However, if you’re interested in learning more (and I hope you are), I recommend reading Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I found it to be a compelling read full of statistics and information about our War on Drugs and the skyrocketing rate of incarceration in the U.S.

I’m always up for  a chat about mass incarceration — let me know what you think!

Comments

Job o' the Day: Summer 2012 PAID Legal Internship at the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico!

U.S. Magistrate Judge McGiverin is looking for a law student for an internship in his chambers in the Summer of 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Judge McGiverin’s docket includes a wide range of civil and criminal cases.

The intern would work alongside the judge and law clerk, assisting with research and drafting opinions and orders on civil and criminal law topics. In addition, knowledge of Spanish is preferred.

If interested, check out the listing at PSLawNet!

Comments

PSLawNet Public Interest News Bulletin – November 23, 2011 (Turkey Edition!)

By: Steve Grumm

Happy Friday Wednesday, dear readers, from a dreary Washington, DC.  I did quite a bit of grumbling before arriving at the office this morning.  A car running through a puddle splashed me but good while I was jogging.  And at 8am I still didn’t manage to beat the last-minute food rush at the super market.  But now, here I sit with coffee, a bagel, and some quiet.  “Hell is breakfast with other people” is a humorous variation on a quote from John Paul Sartre.  And this morning, a quiet breakfast is perfect.  But as Thanksgiving approaches, I eagerly look forward to sharing a table and a meal with others.  Between the people who inhabit my life, the comforts I enjoy, and the work I do, I have much to be thankful for.  And I will try hard amidst the food and the football (yay!) and the minor holiday stresses to keep feelings of gratitude at the fore.  I hope that you will do the same.  Happy Thanksgiving.   

But you’re not here for sappy rumination.  This is what we’ve got:

  • a restrictive cy pres decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals;
  • troubles plaguing Michigan’s indigent defense system;
  • public defender’s office in Sonoma County, CA feeling $ strains;
  • Defense Department to kick a little funding toward pro bono programs for service-members;
  • speaking of service-members, this veteran who joined a DA’s office isn’t, well, human;
  • LSC cut to hit the Pennsylvania Legal Action Network hard;
  • ditto for the two Wisconsin LSC grantees;
  • ditto ditto in Virginia;
  • A law graduate work program in Utah will have students offering “low bono” services.

This week:

  • 11.21.11 – cy pres news from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, coming down against an award that would have gone (in part) to the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA).  From the Recorder: “The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a class action settlement that called for AOL Inc. to give $110,000 to random charities, sending a message that courts should be more careful in doling out money under the cy pres doctrine.  A unanimous panel said the charities had nothing to do with the plaintiffs’ email privacy claims and that too much money was being funneled to Los Angeles groups, despite a class spread out across the country. And the court expressed skepticism about whether judges or mediators should make recommendations on how large sums of money get paid out when the money doesn’t go to the class members.”  
  • 11.21.11 - public defense funding woes in Sonoma County, CA.  From the Press-Democrat: “The recession has increased demand in Sonoma County for court-appointed lawyers at a time when the public defender’s office is short-handed.  Retirements and a round of layoffs have reduced the number of lawyers available to serve indigent clients to the lowest level in years. The office is down to 27 lawyers and 18 support staff representing clients in criminal, civil and juvenile courtrooms.  At the same time, caseloads have spiked. Attorneys made 115,000 court appearances in fiscal 2009-2010 compared to about 71,000 appearances a decade earlier.  This month’s loss of two attorney positions through budget cuts forced Public Defender John Abrahams to suspend misdemeanor court coverage and focus on more serious felony cases.” 
  • 11.21.11 – good news for service-members who need legal services.  From the National Law Journal: “The U.S. Senate this week is expected to vote on a measure that would help fund programs that provide pro bono legal services to active military personnel. The amendment was introduced by sens. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)… The amendment would allow the Defense Department to designate up to $500,000 of its $184 billion fiscal year 2011 operation and maintenance budget for programs similar to those set up by the ABA and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.”  $500,000 isn’t exactly a huge chunk of change in the larger appropriations scheme, but it’s signifies a recognition that service-members can be hamstrung when confronted with legal problems on the home-front.
  • 11.20.11 – speaking of service-mmebers, a veteran of operations in Afghanistan has recently returned to the U.S. and taken up a post in a local D.A.’s office.  Nothing terribly newsworthy about this, right?  Well the veteran, Andy, isn’t a person.  Andy’s a pooch.  When Assistant District Attorney Jason Beato – who is human -joined the DeKalb County (Georgia) prosecutor’s office after service in the Army, he brought with him Andy, a bomb detection dog whom Beato had adopted when Andy’s primary handler was injured.  Of Andy’s service abroad, Beato says, “For all practical purposes he [was] a team member—he just can’t talk and that’s about it—and he sheds a lot more.”  Andy will likely go to work in the D.A.’s office doing courthouse security work – and probably boosting morale along the way.  good story. Read more in the blog post from the Champion Newspaper.  
  • 11.20.11 - “Legal aid: The need is there, so should the funding” is the verb-deficient title of an otherwise well-intentioned editorial from the Patriot-News in the Glorious Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The editorial laments the recent LSC cut coming on top of legal services funding cuts on the state level: “The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network expects a $2 million cut in federal funding plus frozen allocations, and funding cuts on the state level during past years have put the organization close to what the appropriation was in 1976…. Legal Aid predicts the funding imbalance means another 10 percent staffing cut, and this is after the service already is at bare bones. It also could mean closing at least two offices statewide.”

       

  • 11.19.11 -  the circumstances are similar in Wisconsin. Both Badger State LSC grantees (Wisconsin Judicare and Legal Action of Wisconsin) are bracing for LSC funding cut’s impact.  This will come on top of a complete loss of state funding.  From the Capital Times in Madison: “The 2011-13 state budget cuts, which took effect this year, stripped Judicare of $350,000 per year in funding, about 17.5 percent of last year’s budget, and cut about $1.3 million a year in revenue for Legal Action. The federal cuts will strip $176,000 more from Judicare’s budget, and $540,000 from Legal Action’s.”
  • 11.18.11 – the LSC cut will impact the Virginia Legal Aid Society to the tune of about 7% of its budget, or $180,000.  According the VLAS executive director David Neumeyer (as quoted in the Suffolk News Herald), “Keeping up with the demand for our services is already a huge challenge, and now with this cut I’m afraid we’ll have to turn away even more people who have nowhere else to turn…. This loss of funding will mean we cannot increase capacity and will need to start reducing staff size in 2012 if we do not bring in significant new income,” he said. “Private giving, like donations, foundations and United Ways, are the only hope we have of making up part of the loss, because government funding will not increase for the foreseeable future.”
  • 11.18.11 – the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law is launching a program through which recent grads will provide legal services to moderate-income clients.  From the Salt Lake City Tribune:  “The…new University Law Group is intended to expand the availability of legal services and service-learning opportunities, according to law dean Hiram Chodosh.”  This is a variation of the law school “bridge” programs which provide work-experience opportunities for recent grads who face a tough employment market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments

Job o' the Day: Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Miami!

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is looking for a staff attorney with a strong commitment to social justice to work collaboratively with FYI’s directors and staff in Miami, Florida.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) works to improve educational outcomes and reduce the imprisonment of children by advocating for educational and juvenile justice reform.  SPLC works to limit policies and practices that push children into the juvenile justice system; end school disciplinary practices that exclude students from public schools; stop the abuse and neglect of children in the juvenile justice system; and ensure that all child-serving systems are humane.

The staff attorney will develop and execute campaigns to reform school discipline practices that push children into the juvenile justice system. The responsibilities of the staff attorney will include litigating education cases, including class actions, and taking other legal action to protect children’s right to a quality education. In addition, the staff attorney will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with stakeholders, parents, elected officials, the faith-based community, and other advocacy organizations to reform Florida’s juvenile justice and educational systems.

If you’re interested, check out the listing at PSLawNet

Comments

5 Steps to Better Networking

by Kristen Pavón

I read a super informative article by small biz expert Melinda Emerson on pbSmart Essentials and I just had to share her tips on how to make networking more effective.

  1. Be Early: The networking reception is the main event. Once you are seated or the program starts it is very difficult to keep talking with people without being rude. So have your business cards ready to share in one of your jacket pockets. (That way you don’t need to go digging in that bottomless purse, ladies.)
  2. Have a Plan: Learn as much as you can about who will be attending the event. Look online at the board list and pay close attention to the honorary chairs on the invitation. Make friends with the event planner when you call to confirm your attendance. If you are really nice, you’ll get even more details about who will be at the event.
  3. Use the Rule of Five: Your target should be to secure five quality contacts at any networking event. Aiming for any more and you’ll struggle to make a real connection. Don’t be the chicken with their head cut off doing drive-by networking. Spend the time to have a real conversation, even if the person really isn’t a good contact. You never know who their brother or sister-in-law is and how they could help you down the line. All contacts have some value, even if you don’t see it immediately. Be present while you are talking — that means don’t look over your new friend’s shoulder for a better connection.
  4. Take a Friend and Split Up: You can cover more ground with two people than one. Many people make the mistake of bringing a friend and then standing at the food table with that friend. Go for the connections, not the salad! You should eat at home before you come to the event anyway. You want the friend there so you can swap business cards and contacts later.
  5. The Fortune is in the Follow-Up: Write notes on the backs of business cards as they are given to you. Have a plan for how you will follow up with each new contact. You should reach out to all of the contact through LinkedIn first, then you should decide if they will get an email, call or handwritten note. Give yourself a 10-day window to follow up. The sooner a new contact hears from you the better.

I especially like her tip on using the rule of five. This way, you have a concrete goal for the event and are more focused.

Anything else you’d add to her list?

Comments (2)

Job o' the Day: Summer Advocate for Migrant Workers at Friends of Farmworkers, Inc. in PA!

Friends of Farmworkers, Inc., is looking for a two law students with strong commitments to social justice for internships during the summer of 2012. The interns will advocate for migrant workers in Pennsylvania.

Friends of Farmworkers (FOF) aims to improve the living and working conditions of indigent farmworkers, mushroom workers, food processing workers, and other workers from immigrant and migrant communities by providing direct legal services for claims arising out of employment to workers throughout PA and to organizations whose members are client-eligible workers and their families.

The summer advocate is responsible for drafting complaints, pleadings, or briefs for filing with administrative bodies (OSHA, NLRB, EEOC, and state equivalents) and state and federal courts. The interns are able to observe and participate in meetings with clients, advocacy organizations, governmental agencies. In addition, Friends of Farmworkers prefers the intern to be fluent in Spanish, Chin, Burmese, or Dzongkha.

A stipend can only be offered to one of the interns, but Friends of Farmworkers will work with the other candidate to help secure funding through their law schools or other sources.

If interested, check out the listing at PSLawNet!

Comments

Occupy Biglaw(?)

Should the grievances motivating the ”Occupy” movement cause corporate law firms to rethink their role in the financial services industry?  Are attorneys who counsel banks and investment outfits really acting as counselors, or merely as facilitators?  Interesting questions.

Writing in today’s National Law Journal, Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke argues that “the [Occupy Wall Street] protests should motivate us to consider anew what it means to be a professional lawyer, particularly in a climate where our expertise is being used to provide cover for otherwise unethical financial practices.”

Franke writes:

By and large, it’s investment bankers who have been in the protesters’ crosshairs, but the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demonstrations also offer an opportunity to consider what role lawyers may have played in the creation of these sophisticated financial instruments, enabling the overreaching decried on the OWS protesters’ placards. Behind every credit default swap or short of subprime mortgage-backed assets sit legal counsel sanctioning these practices. The greed that has motivated bankers to sacrifice the public’s interests for short-term personal gain has been made possible, in no small part, by the work of lawyers.

As legal educators, we are reminded to teach our students that being a “good lawyer” must include the cultivation of responsible moral judgment. Implicit in the OWS protests is a condemnation of an approach to lawyering that regards all legal rules simply as the price of misconduct discounted by the probability of enforcement: Skirting too close to, if not over, the limits of law is seen as the cost of doing business, or as my colleagues trained in economics call it, “efficient breach.”

This kind of zeal at the margins was wholeheartedly condemned by the likes of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who taught us that responsible lawyers play a regulatory role with regard to their clients: “Instead of holding a position of independence, between the wealthy and the people, prepared to curb the excesses of either, lawyers have, to a large extent, allowed themselves to become adjuncts of great corporations and have neglected the obligation to use their powers for the protection of the people.” These words of Brandeis are as true today as they were when he wrote them in 1914.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments

Maryland Governor takes strike at University of Maryland's Environmental Law Clinic…Again

by Kristen Pavón

Last year, we told you all about the controversy surrounding U. of Maryland’s Environmental Law Clinic’s case against chicken farmers, or as we called it — Big Chicken.

Just to catch you up to speed –

The clinic is representing the Waterkeeper Alliance, a New York-based environmental group with 18 chapters in Maryland. The group filed suit in March 2010 against Perdue and the Hudsons, who raise more than a half-million chickens a year on their 293-acre farm, after spotting water running into a drainage ditch from a pile of what was later identified as treated sewage sludge. The group also measured high levels of bacteria from waste in the ditch, which ultimately drains into the Pocomoke River.

[Gov.] O’Malley voiced his concern last year about the clinic’s lawsuit, when rural legislators unhappy with the case threatened but eventually backed off from withholding funds for the law school.

After about 19 months, Gov. Martin O’ Malley has renewed his complaints about the ongoing case.

In a letter that became public Thursday, O’Malley wrote to law school Dean Phoebe Haddon this week to complain about the “ongoing injustice” of the environmental law clinic pursuing “costly litigation of questionable merit” against Alan and Kristin Hudson, who raise chickens for Perdue on their Worcester County farm.

“He just thinks it’s gotten to the point of being a misuse of resources,” Guillory said. . . .

Haddon countered that the governor’s letter contained “some inaccuracies,” though she did not cite any. She noted that a judge had denied an early motion by the Hudsons and Perdue to dismiss the case. She told O’Malley that the state’s rules of professional conduct bar the clinic from dropping its client, and she warned that his views, which have now become public, could prejudice the case and interfere with the student lawyers’ relationship with their clients.

“I urge you to let the judicial process resolve this matter,” she concluded.

Read more here.

Comments

Job o' the Day: PAID Segregation Reduction Project Internship at Vera Institute of Justice in DC!

Vera Institute is looking for a graduate-level intern to work with the Center on Sentencing and Corrections staff in Vera’s Washington DC office to begin in January and work until June 2012.

Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) provides non-partisan support to judges, corrections administrators, state legislators, and other officials who are seeking to improve their systems and outcomes. CSC provides an integrated mix of research, technical assistance, and planning services to advance criminal justice policies that promote fairness, protect public safety, and ensure that resources are used efficiently.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for a motivated student to join a dynamic and innovative staff on a cutting edge project. The intern will work closely with Vera’ Segregation Reduction Project (SRP) staff.

The SRP partners with state’s departments of corrections to reduce their reliance on segregation, transfer prisoners in segregation to other levels of security safely, and improve conditions of confinement for prisoners who remain in segregation.

The position may include conducting literature reviews and best practices searches, doing legal research, tracking litigation filed in partner states, drafting findings and recommendation memos, and performing basic tasks to assist with quantitative analysis of large administrative data sets.

If you’re interested, check out the listing at PSLawNet!

Comments

Public Interest News Bulletin – November 18, 2011

By: Steve Grumm

Happy Friday, dear readers.  The News Bulletin took a break last week, so I didn’t get a chance to offer Veterans Day thanks to my favorite vet: Thanks Dad!  This week we return with a broad range of content.  Sadly the most significant story is that of the congressional cut of $56 million in Legal Services Corporation funding.  In summary here’s what we’ve got:

  • Themes emerge from ABA’s October pro bono summit;
  • Large LSC funding cut;
  • A look at “veterans court” programs;
  • Best places to work in federal government;
  • Funding woes facing NC legal aid lawyers;
  • More LSC: a development in the LSC/CRLA legal proceedings;
  • More more LSC: 5 additions to the Pro Bono Task Force (including a friend of mine!);
  • LAFLA + TCC = SoCal MLP;
  • USAJobs Version 3 stumbles out of the gates;
  • Funding news about Minnesota legal aid lawyers, defenders, and prosecutors;
  • The worst of the foreclosure crisis yet to hit NY courts;
  • Demand for Maryland Legal Aid Bureau’s services going nowhere but up;
  • The Big Easy’s public defender seeks more local funding; and
  • Practice-area specialization in law firm pro bono: yea or nay?   

This week(s):

  • 11.16.11 – in the L.A.-based Daily Journal, O’Melveny & Myers’s managing counsel for pro bono David Lash recaps his experience at a first-ever Pro Bono Summit hosted by the ABA last month: “We agreed upon and built on a number of themes:
      • Pro bono involvement by the private bar leverages meager resources right now;
      • Professionalization of the pro bono legal services delivery system is critical to maximizing that leverage;
      • Pro bono programs will be only as effective and help only as many clients as the size and strength of the country’s legal aid providers will allow;
      • The advantages of technology must be better tapped …to bring more services to more people in more areas.”
  • 11.15.11 – the week’s biggest news is bad news.  Congress has cut Legal Services Corporation funding by over $56,000,000 (about 14%).  Here is National Law Journal coverage, and here is a press release from LSC.  The most recent news, that of the House and Senate passing the bill and of its expected signature by President Obama, comes from The Hill.  No good comes from this.  Programs will be forced to cut staff and reduce services at a time when more and more Americans need legal assistance.  One partially mitigating factor is that some LSC grantee programs planned to absorb a budget-cut shock in their budgets.  But that doesn’t change the underlying reality: a cut in legal services funding at a time of acute need means fewer poor people will be served.  And there will be fewer lawyers to serve them.  Indeed, the NLJ article reports: “In 2010, the groups had 9,059 employees, including 4,351 lawyers. But they shed 445 staffers – including more than 200 lawyers – during the first half of 2011.”
  • 11.15.11 – Should some veterans’ offenses be adjudicated in a specialized civilian court?  A piece in the The Atlantic explores this question: “Nearly 80 veterans courts have sprung up across the country over the past four years, and 20 more are expected to open by the end of this year. Many courts accept only nonviolent offenses. Some, like Dallas County, also take violent crimes on a case-by-case basis. Most consider only those veterans who are struggling with mental-health or substance-abuse problems. Many of the judges, lawyers, bailiffs, and court administrators have served or have family in the military, and some volunteer for the courts before or after normal hours. (One attraction of veterans courts is their low local cost, a result of this volunteerism and the provision of counseling by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.)”
  • 11.15.11 – want to know who’s happiest working for Uncle Sam?  The Partnership for Public Service has released its 2011 “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report.  There are no specific ratings for lawyers’ job satisfaction, but the report offers general insight about which agencies cultivate happy, motivated workforces. 
  • 11.14.11 – more LSC news.  From a press release: “John G. Levi, Chairman of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), today announced the addition of five new members to the Board’s Pro Bono Task Force.  The new Task Force members are Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Deborah Leff, Deputy Counselor for Access to Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice; Larry S. McDevitt, Chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service; Linda K. Rexer, Executive Director of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and Angela C. Vigil, Partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP and the firm’s Director of Pro Bono and Community Service for North America.”  Hey, that’s my buddy Angela!  Good choice.  The task force is playing an important role for LSC because a message that came from Capitol Hill in the appropriations process is that engaging the private bar must be a priority.  LSC has long done this but I suppose that the funding cut will necessitate a re-exploration of the best ways to harness private bar support.
  • 11.9.11 – Fun with abbreviation: in SoCal, LAFLA and TCC have formed an MLP.  From a press release: “The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) and The Children’s Clinic, “Serving Children and Their Families” (TCC) in Long Beach have formed the Greater Long Beach Medical-Legal Partnership to provide an integrated approach to health-related, legal challenges faced by low-income individuals and families in their everyday lives, particularly in the areas of housing, family law and public benefits.”
  • 11.8.11 – Government Executive catches us up on the federal government’s efforts to solve glitches in the new USAJobs website: [An official] announced that the number of resumes uploaded to the redesigned website is fast approaching 1 million. Many users have complained that not all the information on their resumes is being properly uploaded to their online applicant profile.  [The official] explained that though all the information is there, users cannot see the resumes in their entirety. The USAJobs team will be addressing these visibility issues in the coming week, along with a continued focus on password-reset complaints, which remain the topic generating the most help desk tickets.”
    • [S]tate funding makes up one-third of [Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance’s] budget. This year, the state reduced its contribution…by $1.6 million.  [MMLA] has already had to cut positions because of decreases in funding from their other public and private sources…. In 2009…they had 73 attorneys; at the beginning of 2012, they’ll be down to 55.
    • Unlike Legal Aid, the State’s Board of Public Defense got a slight increase in their state funding…. but it’s not enough to make up for past years of budget cuts [according to Hennepin county’s chief defender]…. [H]e doesn’t have enough lawyers to keep up with caseloads that are more than double the amount recommended by the American Bar Association.
    • [Hennepin County Attorney Mike] Freeman said county attorneys haven’t received pay raises in several years. And his office hasn’t hired a new attorney in the last 10 years, he said.
  • 11.7.11 – a Thomson Reuters piece conjures up a scary prospect: the full impact of the foreclosure crisis has yet to hit New York courts.  “The flood of foreclosure cases created by the subprime mortgage fallout and high unemployment rates is expected to clog cash-strapped New York courts for the next several years, a New York judge told members of the state Assembly….  [T]he number of homeowners in foreclosure cases who are unrepresented by attorneys has risen from 63 percent in 2010 to roughly 67 percent in 2011….And cuts to the state court budget have decreased the number of judicial hearing officers available to preside over foreclosure settlement conferences, which were made a mandatory part of foreclosure cases in 2009….According to a 2010 report from the New York State Unified Court System, the number of foreclosure cases pending in 2010 rose to 77,815, up from 54,591 the year before.”
  • 11.5.11 – the Times-Picayune on indigent defense funding in New Orleans:  “The head of the Orleans Parish public defender’s office…asked City Council members to increase the agency’s budget for next year, saying the state cannot bail the agency out of its $1.9 million shortfall. Derwyn Bunton, the chief public defender, said his office is looking at cost-cutting measures and whether some of the clients can afford to pay for part of their legal representation. But the sheer magnitude of cases at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and cutbacks from the state will leave the agency with a deficit next year unless the city provides more money….”
  • 11.4.11 – on his “Access to Justice” blog, Richard Zorza explores whether law firms should focus on an area (or areas) of pro bono practice in order to build institutional expertise and deliver high-quality, efficient representation.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments