The Average Number of Legal Problems Per Low-Income Household Has Tripled Over the Last Decade

New Report: 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update Reveals Troubling Justice Gap

Equal Justice Coalition Logo

By: Equal Justice Coalition 

SEATTLE — Oct. 29, 2015 — A Washington Supreme Court commissioned statewide survey of more than 1,600 low-income Washingtonians discovered that seven of ten low-income individuals and families in Washington State face at least one significant civil legal problem each year, and the average number of problems per low-income household has tripled over the last decade.

Despite the growing number of civil legal problems that often implicate their most basic needs, the vast majority of low-income Washingtonians do not receive the legal help they need to solve these problems. More than three-quarters of those with civil legal problems struggle without a lawyer or any type of legal help.

Continue reading here.

Free CLE for ABA Members: From Montgomery to Ferguson and Baltimore, Lawyers as Agents of Change: The Role of the Law in the Long Arc of Justice

ABA Logo

Monday, November 16, 2015
1:00 PM – 2:35 PM ET

1.5 General CLE Credits

Webinar
List price $195
ABA Member Price FREE

In this month’s ABA Free CLE Series, join us as we:

  • Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Explore the role of lawyers and the judiciary as a participant in resolving social conflicts

Speakers
Nicole Austin-Hillery | Director and Counsel | The Brennan Center For Justice | Washington, DC
Sheila Y. Thomas | Attorney at Law | Law Offices of Sheila Thomas | Oakland, CA
Stephen F. Hanlon | Adjunct Professor | Saint Louis University School of Law | St. Louis, MO

Moderator
Paulette Brown
President | American Bar Association

Register online here.

Seminar Promotes Access to Justice for the Deaf

Deaf Seminar - Photo credit David Keane

By: Sean O’Riodan | Irish Examiner | Photo credit David Keane

“We can learn a lot from the experiences shared by the members of the Irish deaf community who participated in this research,” said Ms Harold.

“One of the most significant findings is the need to improve communication awareness amongst those who assist and support Deaf victims of crime, in order to make their services more accessible.”

Ms Harold, who has been funded by Irish Research Council to explore deaf people’s experiences as victims of crime and their interaction with the criminal justice process, said the event was very worthwhile.

Continue reading here.

For Non-U.S. Citizens, Early Release from Prison Means Swift Deportation

By: Pamela Constable | Washington Post | Photo credit: Washington Post

prisoner family photo

Nearly one in three of the inmates being released from U.S. prisons this month as part of an effort to roll back harsh drug sentences will not be returning to the states and cities where they were arrested.

Instead, they are being deported.

They are non-U.S. citizens, who in many cases were in this country legally when they were caught selling drugs and given long sentences under the “mandatory minimum” laws that grew out of the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic.

Like the rest of the 6,000 prisoners selected for the U.S. Prison Bureau’s largest-ever mass release, each has been found by a judge not to be a threat to society. But every one of the non-citizens in the group had either received final deportation orders from immigration judges or was being reviewed for deportation before the mass release was planned, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

Continue reading here.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules that Smoking Pot is a Fundamental Human Right

Demonstraters Protest

By: Christopher Ingraham | Washington Post | Photo Credit: Alex Cruz/European Press Photo Agency

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled 4-to-1 Wednesday that outlawing the possession and use of the marijuana plant represents a violation of fundamental human rights. While the ruling does not mean that marijuana is now legal in the country — it only applies to the four plaintiffs in this specific case — it gives a tremendous amount of political space for lawmakers to introduce marijuana reform bills at the state and federal level in Mexico.

“It’s really a monumental case,” said Hannah Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug reform advocacy group, in an interview. “It was argued on human rights grounds, which is unusual, and it’s taking place in Mexico, the epicenter of some of the worst effects of the war on drugs.”

Continue reading here.