Health and Environmental Law Positions Bubble Up

Northwest Health Law Advocates Hiring Staff Attorney

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Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that works to achieve accessible and affordable health care for all through policy and legal advocacy, public education and support to community-based organizations in Washington State. Founded in 1999, NoHLA is a leader of consumer advocacy on health care reform in Washington State.

We are seeking a full-time Staff Attorney to advocate on issues related to Medicaid, the Health Benefit Exchange, health reform implementation, innovation and changes to health care delivery systems, and securing access to quality health care for all, regardless of income, ability, language or national origin. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of health laws and experience as a health advocate; strong communication, research and writing skills; and the ability to work individually and in teams or coalitions. The work will be in Washington State with opportunities to collaborate with advocates on a national level.

Act now! Applications accepted on a rolling basis. For full description and application instructions please click here.

Judicial Vacancies in King County Superior Court to be Filled by the Governor

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Gov. Jay Inslee is now seeking interested and qualified members of the Washington State Bar Association to submit applications to fill the following judicial vacancyKing County Superior Court — application deadline: Oct. 25, 2013 

To be considered for this vacancy, applicants are encouraged to submit complete applications, along with the Waiver and Authorization to Release Information, and schedule judicial evaluations with the King County Bar Association and the statewide minority bar associations. All applications must be completed and submitted to the Governor’s Office by Oct. 25, 2013, with all judicial evaluation ratings submitted to the Governor’s Office of General Counsel by Nov. 1, 2013. For further information and application materials, visit the Governor’s website.

Trustees for Alaska Seeking Summer 2014 Interns

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Trustees for Alaska, a public interest environmental law firm with a busy and interesting docket, is now accepting applications for Summer 2014 legal internships. For 40 years, Trustees has been working to protect Alaska’s environment.  Trustees provides counsel to local, regional and national conservation organizations, Alaska Natives and tribal councils, fishing organizations, and others in environmental and natural resource matters.  Trustees’ work generally focuses on state and federal law issues concerning oil and gas leasing, exploration and development; coal mining and combustion; hard rock mining; fisheries; endangered species; public land use; and transportation projects.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis through October 21. For complete description and application instructions please click here.

Dolores Street Community Services in San Francisco Looking for Summer 2014 Interns

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Dolores Street Community Services (DSCS) is seeking a summer law clerk for its Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program for the summer of 2014 to assist attorneys in handling removal cases.  DSCS provides free immigration legal services to low income San Francisco residents facing imminent deportation.  As the fiscal sponsor for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network, DSCS is part of a groundbreaking collaboration of thirteen organizations, including some of the region’s pioneering immigrant service providers.  For the past several years, DSCS has been on the cutting edge of providing innovative legal defense in removal cases.   The summer clerkship will provide the law student with the opportunity to engage in a broad range of legal tasks and advocacy, depending on the needs of the clients, and the student’s goals. Spanish fluency is required. For complete info and application instructions please click here (must be a psjd.org subscriber.)

Western Environmental Law Center Seeking Summer 2014 Interns

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The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is accepting resumes from law students currently in their second or third year of law school (2L or 3L) for summer 2014 legal internship positions in these locations: the Rocky Mountains office in Helena, Montana, and the Southwest office in Taos, New Mexico. We are looking for bright and motivated individuals committed to public interest environmental law.

Under the supervision of a staff attorney in the office location in which they are hired, the selected interns will assist our attorneys with case development and strategy, conduct legal research, and draft pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents.  We offer a flexible summer work schedule to allow for outdoor recreation and travel.

Western Environmental Law Center is a non-profit public interest environmental law firm that works to protect and restore Western wildlands and advocates for a healthy environment on behalf of communities throughout the West.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis. For complete information and instructions please click here (must be a psjd.org subscriber.)

Community Organizing Against Gender Violence, Racial Justice Advocacy in Civil Legal Aid, Statewide Diversity Conference and Much More

October 15: Social Justice Tuesday- Mobilizing our Communities Against Gender Violence

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Sabrina Chen and Katrina Pestano from API Chaya will discuss their work with survivors of sexual and domestic violence from Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.

API Chaya organizes communities by educating, training, and offering technical assistance. It also provides comprehensive culturally relevant services on domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking to Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander community members, service providers, survivors, and their families. API Chaya is one of the few organizations in the country that serves Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander community members, survivors, and their families. They also assist mainstream service providers who serve API refugees and immigrants.

When? Tuesday, October 15, 12:30-1:20pm

Where? Room 133

If you’d like lunch please RSVP by Monday, October 14 at 12 noon to spangler@uw.edu.

October 17: Are We Full of Contradictions? Legal Aid Programs and Racial Justice Advocacy 

racial-justice-slideshowShould antipoverty advocates focus on racial justice advocacy? How do racial justice and antipoverty advocacy intersect, and what barriers impede legal aid participation in that work? Days after Clearinghouse Review‘s 2013 special issue on pursuing racial justice comes out, we are holding a webinar on these and other questions. Informed by the results of a recent NLADA survey, our panelists will dig into these questions and offer a range of perspectives on the importance of racial justice to antipoverty advocacy. The webinar is set for October 17, 2013, from noon to 1:00 p.m. CST. Speakers will include Carol Ashley, vice president of advocacy, Shriver Center; Camille Holmes, director, Leadership and Racial Equity, NLADA; and William Kennedy, managing attorney, Legal Services of Northern California. Learn more and register.

October 18: Statewide Diversity Conference, “Moving Forward Together”-Free for Law Students

WAMPACInspired by the ABA Conference for the minority lawyer, WAMBAC’s Statewide Diversity Conference is an opportunity for legal professionals to convene, learn about and discuss ideas, trends, and issues impacting and affecting diversity in the legal profession. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers such as Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones, and many others, who will provide CLE seminars on a variety of topics. The Minority Bar Associations Collaboration Project presents this years conference at Seattle University School of Law, 10/18 from 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Estimated 6 CLE credits, with breakfast and lunch provided for $50. A reception will follow.  Attorney please register here. Free for law students and no need to pre-registration requirement! 

If you have questions, please contact diversity@wsba.org or call toll free 1-800-945-WSBA.

October 18: PILA’s Brewfest is Here!

PILAWhat: PILA’s Annual Brewfest! All proceeds help fund Social Justice Tuesdays and the Loan Repayment Assistance Program. Price of admission includes a PILA Pint Glass, beer from Fremont Brewing Company, and snacks.

TICKETS: $15 per person/$5 designated driver rate
When: October 18 at 7 PM
Where: Vista Cafe, William H. Foege Building (Boat Street and 15th Ave NE)

Tickets go on sale Monday, October 14. Look for the Brewfest table during lunch. Please bring cash or check. Questions? E-mail Michael Caulfield (mcaulfi@uw.edu). See you there!

October 18: UW Symposium in Environmental Ethics- Climate Justiceenvironmental ethics

On October 18th, the Program on Values in Society is sponsoring the inaugural Ben Rabinowitz Symposium in Environmental Ethics, organized under Steve Gardiner’s Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professorship in the Human Dimensions of the Environment.  The topic is Climate Justice.
The Symposium will culminate in a public lecture by David Schlosberg (University of Sydney), entitled Climate-Challenged Society”, from 3:30-5.30 in Savery Hall 264.
During the day, there will also be a workshop on climate justice, concentrating on the dispute between philosophers and some legal scholars about the role of ethics in climate policy.  The symposium features philosophers from the region – Avram Hiller, Marion Hournequin, Jay Oderbaugh and Allen Thompson – as well as David Schlosberg, and Steve Gardiner.  The workshop will begin at 9:15 am in Savery 408 and will continue until 2:30. The workshop is open to members of the campus community, but space is limited, so preregistration is required.  If you would like to register, please click here
The colloquium talk requires no registration. If you have any questions, please contact Dustyn Addington at DustynA@uw.edu

Former Foster Kids Plead for Attorneys in WA, Haitian Cholera Victims Sue UN and Openly Gay, Secretly Undocumented

Former Foster Children Plead for Kids to Have Attorneys

A bill stuck in the Legislature could make a difference for young people when they are most alone and in need.
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By John Stang- Crosscut.com. Photo courtesy by John Stang
October 4, 2013–The  common thread was control. Losing it.
Yearning for it. Grasping for it.That’s part of being in the foster care system. moving from foster family to foster family, from school to school without any legal say in your fate.Three women, all former foster kids, shared their experiences with the Washington House’s Early Learning & Human Services Committee and Judiciary Committee on Thursday at a hearing in Olympia. They testified in favor of a stalled bill that would require the state to provide foster kids — indeed, all kids — with an attorney in family court cases where the child’s parents have had their parental rights terminated.”I did not know what it would be like to feel alone until I was in foster care (at the age of 5),” Delilah Bruskas, 48, told the committee. Delilah, who is from Tacoma, lived with seven foster families, attending four elementary, two junior high and four high schools. “If I had legal representation,” she continued, “I’d have asked several questions: When can I see my mother? When can I go home? … I feared social workers. To me, they were the most powerful people on earth. They could take a child from a family. … I believe legal representation can ensure optimal outcomes.”“It takes away your humanity,” said Mikhail Stewart, 21, of Olympia, about her journey through 22 different foster homes in six years. “It seems like you’re a piece of property.”Mandy Urwiler, 19, of Seattle said the attorney she obtained in family court four years ago “treated me like an adult when the state treated me like a kid.”Washington’s 39 counties are a hodgepodge of different rules about when to provide attorneys for foster children whose parents had their rights terminated. Right now, the appointment of attorneys in such cases is discretionary — based on a judge’s determination — and it varies widely across the state. King County appoints an attorney for children 12 and older; the Benton-Franklin county system for kids eight and older; judges in several counties don’t appoint attorneys for kids at all.”Youths are constantly baffled by the fact that some kids get an attorney and some do not,” said Jim Theofelis,  executive director of The Mockingbird Society, a foster care advocacy organization. “Surely, we do not want a justice-by-geography system. … An unintended consequence of no legal representation is that it feeds that feeling of desperation in young people.” Continue reading here.Check out the full hearing here

Haitian Cholera Victims Sue UN for Gross Negligence

October 9, 2013, New York— Attorneys from the human rights groups Bureau des Avocats Internationaux(BAI) and Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and civil rights law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzelli & Pratt (KKWT), announced today the filing of a class action lawsuit against the United Nations (UN) on behalf of victims of the deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti.  Since October 2010, when the UN contaminated Haiti’s principal river with cholera-infected human waste, the disease has killed over 8,300, sickened more than 650,000, and continues to kill about 1,000 Haitians per year.

Speaking from Geneva, where he is being honored as a finalist for the Martin Ennals Human Rights Award, BAI Managing Attorney Mario Joseph said: “The filing of this lawsuit marks a critical step towards justice for Haiti and all those who have suffered and are suffering because of cholera.”  Joseph is co-counsel on the case and has led the fight for justice for cholera victims since 2011.

The plaintiffs in the case are five Haitians and Haitian-Americans whose family members died of the disease or who were infected but managed to survive life-threatening cholera. The plaintiffs are asking the court to certify the case as a class action, which will allow the plaintiffs to represent and obtain relief for the hundreds of thousands Haitians and Haitian-Americans who suffered injuries or died from cholera.

“The Plaintiffs have undergone indescribable suffering as a result of cholera and have to live with the knowledge that cholera can strike again. They have rights to have a Court hear their case and rights to damages that will help them go on with their lives and access clean water,” said Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., director of IJDH and co-counsel for the plaintiffs.

The 67-page complaint, filed today in federal court in the Southern District of New York, details extensive evidence demonstrating that the UN knew or should have known that its reckless sanitation and waste disposal practices posed a high risk of harm to the population, and that it consciously disregarded that risk, triggering an explosive epidemic. The plaintiffs seek damages for personal injury, wrongful death, emotional distress, loss of use of property and natural resources, and breach of contract.

“We anticipate that the UN will seek to avoid responding to the evidence presented by the victims by arguing that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case. We are prepared for that challenge, and are confident that the court will find that the case must proceed because the victims have a recognized right to access courts that must be protected,” said Ira Kurzban, Esq., a civil rights litigator with KKWT and co-counsel on the case.

The UN has legal obligations under international treaties to provide people harmed by its operations either compensation or a fair forum to present their claims, but the organization has not complied with this requirement. In November 2011, BAI, IJDH and KKWT filed claims with the UN on behalf of 5,000 Haitian victims of cholera, seeking remedies and the establishment of the commission.

The UN refused to receive the claims in February 2013, claiming that they were “not receivable” because considering them would “require a review of political or policy matters.” The UN has come under strong criticism for its handling of the case, which includes denial of responsibility, stonewalling press inquiries, and a refusal to even meet with the cholera victims or their lawyers.

Openly Gay, Secretly Undocumented

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New America Media / Coachella Uninc., News Feature, Brenda R. Rincon, Posted: Oct 02, 2013. Photo courtesy, New America Media

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Juan Ceballos came to the United States so he could live freely as an openly gay man. But the move came with a high cost: he had to take on another secret identity as an undocumented immigrant.

Ceballos was 17 when he entered the United States by foot, a backpack on his shoulders, easily passing as an American student through the Tijuana border.

He quickly realized that, as an undocumented immigrant, it wouldn’t be easy to stay in the United States. And as a gay man, it wouldn’t be easy to go back to Mexico.

Ultimately, his fear of being deported outweighed his fear of being ostracized in Mexico.

“To be here was more difficult,” says Ceballos. “I was afraid.”

After only two months of living as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, Ceballos decided to go back to Mexico.

But he didn’t last long there either.

His return to his hometown of San Luis Potosí, in central Mexico, thrust him back into the same bullying and verbal abuse that he had tried to escape.

Ceballos, who knew he was gay at a very young age, had a difficult relationship with his father, who he describes as “macho.” The treatment he received from his father upon his return home eventually drew him back to the United States.

Continue reading here.

Hot Post Grad Positions Bubbling Up!

NJP Hiring Staff Attorney for Supportive Services for Veteran Families 

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The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is a publicly funded not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to secure justice for low income persons in Washington. With over 100 attorneys working in 17 offices located throughout the state, NJP is the largest provider of civil legal aid in Washington. NJP expects to receive funding to develop and implement a special project focusing on housing-related legal problems of veterans and their families. The position will be located in Tacoma, focus on serving clients in Pierce, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific & Wahkiakum counties, and may serve veterans in other regions as part of NJP’s statewide Veterans Project Team.

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) project is a partnership between NJP, Metropolitan Development Council (MDC), the Longview Housing Authority, and other social services providers. The Project’s design is to provide civil legal assistance that will help veterans and their families obtain or retain stable housing. Issues may involve landlord-tenant disputes; deposit, tenant screening, and credit check issues; public benefits and healthcare; consumer; family law (including child support); and other issues experienced by veteran families that influence housing stability.

Don’t delay! Applications accepted AND REVIEWED on a rolling basis through October 11. For complete job description and application instructions please click here.

Whatcom County Hiring Entry-Level Public Defender

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Are you a licensed attorney with a passion for public defense?
• Would you enjoy the challenge of working in a high-volume, fast-paced environment, handling a caseload of criminal clients?
If so, we hope to hear about your qualifications to fill this key role in the Public Defender’s Office. Deputy Public Defenders serve as court-appointed counsel representing individuals accused of misdemeanors or felonies in superior, district and juvenile courts. Deputies represent clients in all phases of criminal proceedings, including arraignment, pretrial hearings, trial preparation, plea negotiations, trial and sentencing. Responsible for the investigation and preparation of each case assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: Must be a current member in good standing of the WSBA, OR must be a current member in good standing of another State Bar Association & pass the next Washington bar exam. Trial experience in criminal law is preferred. Spanish language fluency is desired.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Background check must meet County criteria for criminal justice positions. Must have a driving record that meets County standards and possess a valid driver’s license at time of hire and throughout employment.

Applications accepted through October 22. For complete information and application instruction please click here

Attention 3Ls! Vermont Access to Justice Campaign Announces 2-year Paid Poverty Law Fellowship

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The Vermont Bar Foundation and the Vermont Access to Justice Campaign are pleased to announce the availability of a two-year Vermont Poverty Law Fellowship (VPLF) beginning in August 2014. The VPLF program is designed to allow graduating law students and other new lawyers to help expand the reach of Vermont’s existing legal services providers. Funding for salary and benefits will be provided by the Vermont Access to Justice Fund and will be matched by supervision and office support from a host Vermont legal services organization.

The specific fellowship projects will be designed to take advantage of the Fellow’s background and the needs of the low-income community, and will be integrated directly into the services being delivered by one or more of the three major legal services programs in Vermont: Vermont Legal Aid, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, and/or the South Royalton Legal Clinic at Vermont Law School. The fellowship will include work on one or more specific projects impacting the lives of low-income Vermonters, as well as the day-to-day delivery of legal services to clients. The three prior Fellows focused on foreclosure defense, Tropical Storm Irene relief and education issues. Additional areas of legal aid in Vermont include but are not limited to legal services to veterans, consumer, housing, public benefits, disability rights and immigration.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis through November 8. For complete description and application instructions please click here

Attention 3Ls! Berkeley Law Foundation Announces 2014 Project-Based Post Grad Fellowships

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The Berkeley Law Foundation (BLF) is now soliciting proposals for one-year public interest legal projects to begin in 2014.  To be considered, proposals must be received electronically by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2014.

BLF traditionally awards one to two grants per year to individuals undertaking public interest law projects that will serve legally disadvantaged or politically under-represented groups and promote systemic change.  We view our grants as seed money for innovative projects that will immediately provide sorely needed legal services and will continue providing such services for years to come.

For complete information please click here. If you are seriously considering applying we urge you to please contact Dean Storms for advice and support.

Brennan Center for Justice Seeks Spring 2014 Interns

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The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to presidential power in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution – part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group – the Brennan Center combines scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector.

Each semester, the Brennan Center hosts 4-5 law students to work on current and cutting edge legal issues, including national security issues raised by the Patriot Act, expanding voter registration, strengthening campaign finance laws, and improving access to a fair and impartial justice system.  Our research, policy development, and advocacy focus on systemic reform that combats discrimination and inequality and promtes civic participation.  Interns assist attorneys with litigation, scholarship, public education, legislative counseling, and advocacy, with an emphasis on legal research and writing.  The Brennan Center’s interns are integral to all aspects of our work, including programmatic and strategic planning.

Priority given to applications received before November 30. For complete job description and application instructions please click here.

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Our First Annual Pro Bono Core Competencies Training on October 12 and Other Pro Bono Goodies

October 8: Social Justice Tuesday- Pro Bono Service & Pro Bono Honors Program Info Session

sjtlogoLearn about pro bono service and training right here at UW Law!

Get the nuts and bolts about the Pro Bono Honors Program and learn from fellow students about their experiences volunteering with the following:

  • Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP)
  • Incarcerated Mothers Advocacy Project (IMAP)
  • Street Youth Legal Advocates of WA (SYLAW)
  • International Treaty Monitoring Project (ITMP)
  • GreenLaw
  • And more!

 If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu

RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, October 7, 2013.

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264/FAX, or by e-mail dso@u.washington.edu.

October 8: State Court System Under Funding

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Tuesday, October 8,  2-3pm EST

Voice America Internet Radio will present a show on the underfunding of our state court systems hosted by Pam Hill.  Chief Justice Christine Durham, former Chief Justice of Utah; Dan Hall, Vice President of the National Center for State courts; and Steve Puiszis, Chair of the Defense Research Institute’s Judicial Task Force, will be participating.  Panelists are expected to discuss the extent to which budget cuts have affected the ability of litigants to access the courts, the strategies courts have taken to deal with shortfalls, and the principles by which courts should operate and be funded.

October 11: PSL Career Building Workshop Series Kick Off

Fall PSL Career Bldg Workshop Series

October 11: International Treaty Monitoring Project Info Session & Training

ITMP Training Flyer

October 12: Pro Bono Core Competencies Training- Yes, It’s a Saturday!

PBH Core Training

Citizenship Day of Service Opportunity, Free Human Rights Webinar on Homelessness and ICCPR, plus much more

Volunteer Opportunity: Citizenship Day of Service

become a citizenLast year, there were an estimated 180,000 legal permanent residents living in Washington state who were eligible to apply for citizenship, but only about 17,000 naturalizations (less than 10%). Help expand access to citizenship by volunteering and spreading the word!

This is a great opportunity for law students to give back to their communities and practice their skills in the field.  Washington New Americans, a partnership of the State of Washington and OneAmerica, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association are hosting Citizenship Day on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at locations in Olympia, Des Moines, Wenatchee, and Pasco.

Citizenship Day is a day-long legal clinic where volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, law students and interpreters offer FREE assistance with citizenship applications.  This is one of the only free citizenship services left in Washington State and it is open to everyone.  Last year, over 375 volunteers helped more than 622 people become citizens!

Paralegal and law students assist immigration attorneys by meeting one on one with clients to help complete naturalization forms.  Students may NOT provide legal advice. Students will NOT be giving legal advice.  ALL volunteers will be required to attend trainings prior to the day of the event. Trainings will be held via conference call or in person in Seattle on Thursday, October 10th.

This is a pre-approved volunteer opportunity eligible for the UW Law Pro Bono Honors Program. Student volunteers can sign up here.

Free Webinar- Cruel, Inhuman & Degrading: Homelessness in the U.S. Under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights

national law center housingSpace is limited. Register here.

Monday, October 7, 2-3pm EDT.

On September 3, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty released to the public a report, “Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading: Criminalization of Homelessness in the U.S. under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights,” addressing concerns raised by the U.N. Human Rights Committee in its review of the U.S.

The report, co-authored with the Yale Law School Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, and endorsed by 23 other international, national, and local organizations, responds to a written question to the U.S. from the Human Rights Committee in March, as it prepares for its regular review of the U.S. for compliance with its human rights obligations, to take place on October 17-18 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The report clarifies that criminalization of homelessness, or penalizing homeless persons for basic life activities, such as sleeping, sitting, eating, or even going to the bathroom in public when they have no private alternatives, or targeting homeless persons for enforcement of other laws like jaywalking or littering, violates numerous rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty ratified by the U.S. in 1992. It also discusses
violations of the right to vote, to family , and nondiscrimination.

Speakers include:

Eric Tars, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
Hope Metcalf, Yale Law School Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic
Amy Sawyer & Liz Osborn, US Interagency Council on Homelessness

Come and learn about the rights involved, as well as the process of review by the U.N. Human Rights Committee and how you can make human rights real in your community.

FLOW Scholarship Applications Now Due

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The Filipino Lawyers of Washington will be awarding two $1,500 scholarships to law students attending a law school in Washington State. The Pangarap Scholarships are intended to recognize law students who have demonstrated significant commitment to community service, particularly service to the Filipino/Filipino American community.  The scholarship applicants do not have to be of Filipino descent.  Click here for the Scholarship Application Form which includes instructions and details about the scholarship, including key dates.

The deadline for submitting applications is Wed., Oct. 9. Please email abigail.daquiz@gmail.com with any questions.

Pangarap means to “dream and strive for a goal” in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines.

Farmworker Victory in Washington

sakuma-farmworkers-strike-2-300x226Photo courtesy: The Stand

This past week, a Skagit County Superior Court judge issued the attached temporary restraining order requiring Sakuma Bros to remove security guards they had placed in worker housing, and to desist from conducting surveillance of workers in other ways. He found the presence of the guards “intimidating” and “chilling” to the workers’ rights to associate and organize under Washington labor law. The judge also scheduled a further hearing for October 8th. This is a big victory for the workers. The workers’ press release is also attached and some links are below.

Columbia Legal Services, along with Seattle firm Schwerin Campbell Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt represented an individual worker and the workers’ group Familias Unidas por la Justicia. For more on this story click here and here.

Chiquita Seeks Dismissal in Columbian Case

By Curt Anderson, AP Legal Affairs Writer

BananaSeptember 21, 2013, Miami (AP) — Faced with potentially billions of dollars in legal liability, Chiquita Brands International is asking a federal appeals court to block lawsuits filed against it in the U.S. by thousands of Colombians whose relatives were killed in that country’s bloody, decades-long civil war.

The produce giant, which long had huge banana plantations in Colombia, has admitted paying a right-wing Colombian paramilitary group $1.7 million over a seven-year period. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company insists it was blackmailed into paying or risking violence against its own operations and employees, although in 2007 Chiquita pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges that it had supported terrorists. It paid a $25 million fine.

The Colombian lawsuits, consolidated for pretrial action before a federal judge in West Palm Beach, want Chiquita held liable for thousands of deaths at the hands of the AUC, the Spanish acronym for the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. The Colombian relatives have won several key pretrial rulings, but now Chiquita is taking its fight for dismissal to a new level.

In essence, Chiquita wants the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the lawsuits because, the company claims, each murder cannot be tied specifically to the company. It’s not enough, Chiquita’s lawyers say in court papers, to assume the company’s payments to the AUC meant Chiquita knew about and supported those individual killings.

Read more here.