Danielle Conley of Wilmer Hale and former associate Ariel Levinson have authored an issue brief on Discriminatory License Suspension Schemes. It is an important access to justice and right to counsel issue.
The American Constitution Society and the Harvard Law and Policy Review have announced a new issue on the crisis of justice in rural areas.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued a Notice to the Bar. It has rejected in part, accepted in part, and deferred in part the recommendations of its Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Malpractice Insurance. It concurred with the November 2017 report recommendation that malpractice insurance not be mandated for all private practitioners. The Court retains its Rule 1:21-1A that all limited liability firms must carry insurance in the minimum amount of $100,000 (multiplied by the number of attorneys in the firm). The Court concurred with its Committee that lawyers be required to publicly register evidence of the coverage they carry. The Administrative Office of the Courts is directed to develop procedures to implement the principle. And the Court announced that it will revisit at an unspecified date whether attorneys who lack coverage should be required to disclose that fact. – gwc
Ronald Sullivan, a former Public Defender and the Director of Harvard Law’s criminal justice program, is one of the most prominent criminal defense lawyers in the country. An African American long associated with criminal justice reform, he has drawn disapproval from some for signing on to the defense team of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul now under indictment for sexual assault.
After students criticized him, including the editors of the student-edited daily Harvard Crimson fifty two Harvard Law Professors rose to his defense in an open letter.
Sullivan has now defended himself in a long interview published today in the New York magazine.
100 years after one of the least-known and saddest chapters in American history, families of executed black soldiers have petitioned Trump for justice. Sixty-three black soldiers were represented by one lawyer in the largest court martial in U.S. history, the first of three that followed the Houston riot of 1917. In total, 110 men out of 118 were found guilty, and nineteen were sentenced to death by hanging.
The breadth of the threat to well established rights is stunning. In the past few weeks Justice Clarence Thomas has reportedly directly lobbied Senators to place a former clerk on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; questioned Times v. Sullivan; disparaged Times v. Sullivan;and declared that Roe v. Wade and Dred Scott v. Sanford are among the worst decisions of the court and the fruit of the same constitutional doctrinal defects. The targets have expanded to include a three judge attack on the expansion of right to counsel beginning with Powell v. Alabama which reversed the nine notorious death sentences in the Scottsboro cases, the injustices of which are described in this contemporaneous ACLU report. KEEP READING
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The Louisiana Supreme Court has disbarred a former Assistant United States Attorney for posting anonymous, online comments about cases being handled by his office.
From November 2007 through March 2012, Sal Perricone, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, used five anonymous pseudonyms to post over 2,600 comments on the New Orleans Times-Piscayne website. On 100 to 200 of those posts, Perricone offered his strong opinion on cases with which either he or his office were affiliated.
In one case that involved the prosecution of police officers over the shooting of unarmed civilians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Perricone wrote: “NONE of these guys should have ever been given a badge.” The officers were convicted but, the district court judge reversed the police convictions, in a 129 page opinion that cited “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct,” referring in part to Perricone’s comments.
Read the full opinion here.