Call for Writing Submissions! 2016 Law Student Legal Writing Competition

National Lawyers Guild  Adopts Resolution Supporting Prison Abolition

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By: National Lawyers Guild

Following the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Law for the People Convention in October, NLG membership adopted a resolution calling for the dismantling and abolition of all prisons and of all aspects of systems and institutions that support, condone, create, fill, or protect prisons. The U.S. currently holds the world’s largest prison population at a cost of $80 billion per year, and spends six times more on prisons than education. “Calling for the abolition of this profit-motivated system that is designed to maintain racial and economic inequality while relying on individualized punishment as a primary response to social problems falls directly within our mission of protecting human rights over property interests,” said Sharlyn Grace, NLG Co-Executive Vice President.

Furthermore, the resolution identifies the damaging injustices perpetuated by the current prison system, including racism, classism, ableism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ageism, labor abuse, marginalization of non-Christians, and criminalization of political dissent. Prisons legitimize capitalism and feed corporate wealth directly at the expense of poor communities, and especially urban communities of color.

Continue reading here.

New! Gendering Documentation: A Manual for and About Women Human Rights Defenders

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By: Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition | Logo credit: Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition

To mark International Women Human Rights Defender Day (29 November) and International Human Rights Day (10 December), the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition is introducing its new publication, “Gendering Documentation: A Manual For and About Women Human Rights Defenders”. The manual is now available for download.

Click here to access the manual.

Judge Rules Yakima-Area Hospitals Violated Charity Care Law and Breached Contracts with Indigent Patients

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By: Columbia Legal Services

Last week, a Yakima County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of a class of indigent patients against the parent company of Yakima Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and Toppenish Community Hospital. Judge Susan L. Hahn found that the hospitals had a practice of violating the Washington Charity Care Act by failing to screen patients for financial need before demanding payments from patients-many times in the form of up-front deposits as a condition of receiving care. She also found that this practice violated the hospital’s contract with its patients because it caused patients to pay money they did not owe under Washington law.

“All Hospitals have to provide their fair share of charity care, under Washington law,” said Eleanor Hamburger, of Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore Hamburger and one of the attorneys for the class. “By making their obligation to provide charity care a well-kept secret, the hospitals required some patients to pay more than legally allowed for treatment, forced others to go without the medical care they needed, and foisted its responsibility for providing charity care on its closest competitor. Now the Court has concluded that this practice is illegal and a breach of contract.”

Continue reading here.

2016 Law Student Legal Writing Competition, Due March 4th

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Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.netgraur codrin, Photo ID-10023040

The Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law is now accepting writing submission for the 2016 Law Student Writing Competition.

Eligibility:  Open to all students currently enrolled in an ABA Accredited Law School who are members of the Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law

Topic:  Papers should address any legal issue regarding affordable housing and/or community development law.

Submission Requirements: Entries must be original, unpublished work. Articles should be between 25-50 double-spaced pages and should include footnotes in Bluebook format. There is no entry form of any kind. Articles should be submitted in Word format. All author-identifying information should be removed from the article. A separate title page should be attached and must contain the articles title, the students name, and the students contact information including street address, phone number(s), and email address.

Award: Submissions will be blindly evaluated by a committee of Forum members. A single winning paper, as judged by the selection committee, will be awarded a prize of $1,000 and a trip to attend the Forums Annual Conference, May 25-27, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (airfare and lodging included)*. The winner is responsible for any taxes on Fair Market Value (FMV) of full award, including travel, registration and lodging. Winner will be required to submit a completed 1099 as a condition of receiving award.  The decision of the judges is final.

The winning essay may be published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. If selected for publication, winner will be required to sign a standard publication agreement giving the ABA the right of first publication.

Date:  All entries must be postmarked or emailed by March 4, 2016.

Send entries to the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief:
Laurie Hauber
Community Economic Development Program
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Inc.
4232 Forest Park Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63108
hauberyang@gmail.com

Please contact Dawn R. Holiday at dawn.holiday@americanbar.org , if you have any questions.

*Coach airfare, 21-day advance purchase and lodging at the conference hotel for 2 nights.

Drowning in Debt? Learn More about Your Repayment Options at EJW’s Free Webinar!

November 16: Advocating for Criminal Defense – A Students Organizing For Advocacy (SOFA) Presentation

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Date: Monday, Nov. 16, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 133

Moderated presentation and Q&A with representatives of the Department of Public Defense, Washington Defenders Association, and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. They will discuss their legislative agenda for 2016, internships within the organizations, and their own personal experience as lobbyists and members of the criminal defense community.

November 17: Social Justice Tuesday – Mental Illness: Civil Liberties vs. Public Safety

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127

Post Talk Discussion: 1:30 – 2:20 PM in RM 115 (Perkins Coie Room)

Moderator:
Judge Robert Lasnik, US District Court, Seattle
Panelists:

  • Erin Ehlert, Asst. Chief, Criminal Division, King Co. Prosecutor
  • Eric Pisconski, Crisis Response Unit, Seattle Police Department
  • Abe Bergman, MD, UW Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics (parent)
  • Robert Boruchowitz, Professor, SU Law School; former director, Defender Association.

Format: Panelists will make 5-7 minute introductory statements on how they view the present status of individuals with mental illness in relationship to the criminal justice system. The moderator will then pose questions to the panelists from himself and the audience.

Questions:
Is safety of the public, and of individuals with mental illness jeopardized by current civil liberties protections?

Currently treatment for individuals with serious mental illness can only be compelled if they are committed to mental hospitals. Should treatment be compelled in less restrictive settings, i.e. outpatient and/or supportive housing?

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, November 16

November 17: Center for Constitutional Rights Event at the UW Law School

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 115

Alexis Agathocleous, Deputy Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, is visiting the law school on Tuesday, November 17, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room 115, courtesy of the National Lawyers Guild. This is an informal opportunity to chat with Alexis and get the inside scoop about CCR’s work, including a few recent major wins for the organization:

  • A landmark settlement that effectively ends indeterminate long-term solitary confinement in California prisons, a policy that is tantamount to torture;
  • An historic decision stating that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held accountable for post-9/11 torture and abuse; and
  • The reinstatement of a case challenging the NYPD’s unlawful surveillance of Muslim communities in New Jersey.

November 17: Equal Justice Works Presents Free Webinar on Student Debt

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Location: Online

New REPAYE Plan to Launch in December for All Federal Borrowers

In December, REPAYE – or Revised Pay As You Earn – will become available as another repayment option for your federal student loans.

Like the other income-driven repayment plans, REPAYE ties your monthly payments to your earnings. Payments are capped at 10 percent of your discretionary income.

The big deal about the REPAYE plan is that it will be available to all undergraduate and graduate federal student loan borrowers regardless of when the money was borrowed, and there is no partial financial hardship required to qualify.

There are other key differences between this new plan and other income-driven repayment plans. If you want more information about REPAYE and the other debt relief options available, keep reading!

Want to Learn More about Your Debt Relief Options?

Equal Justice Works is here to help you understand the growing labryinth of student loans! We will be hosting our free webinar, “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT.

For more information, click here.

November 17: Washington State Association for Justice Speed Networking Event

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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 133

Not sure what kind of law you want to practice? Interested in helping the little guy? Come to this speed-networking event to get one on one time with civil litigators. At the event you will have 5-7 minutes with each attorney to ask any questions you have about school, the Bar, getting jobs, different areas of practice, etc. So come join us!

Room 133 – 6:00-Panel Presentation
Speed Networking Follows

Pizza and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP in Symplicity.

November 18: Legal Voice Washington: Women’s Rights, Nothing Less

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Date: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 118

Janet Chung, legal and legislative counsel for Legal Voice Washington, will highlight issues facing women and girls in the northwest, and present her legislative agenda for 2016. She will also discuss her experience as an advocate for women’s rights, and ways for students to get involved.