Monday, January 30, 2017

Court actions against Trump's anti-Muslim ban

Five federal courts have now stayed parts of Trump's order. Most require the government to allow entry to travelers who were en route to the United States and hold valid visas or green cards. The most far reaching, from a Washington State federal court, ordered Customs and Homeland Security officials not to rely solely on the executive order when making admittance decisions.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Standing Rock gets more legal protection

WPLC Wins Change in Rules For Out of State Attorneys to Defend Water Protectors 
Court Creates New Regulations for NoDAPL Criminal Cases

BISMARCK, ND: Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) applauds the ND Supreme Court’s ruling today in our Petition to Permit Temporary Provision of Legal Services by Qualified Attorneys From Outside North Dakota.

The request filed on December 14, 2016 sought to relax the rules governing pro hac vice admission for out of state attorneys in order to meet the urgent need for quality criminal defense lawyers to represent the over 600 Water Protectors who have been arrested since August.

Today the Court granted our request in significant part, allowing a “streamlining of our procedures for temporary admission of lawyers to provide pro bono services” including excusing the requirement that a North Dakota associate lawyer appear in-person and remain in court for all proceedings, and waiving the fee for pro hac vice applications from out of state attorneys wishing to provide criminal defense services to Water Protectors.

The court acknowledged “the potential for delay or inconvenience for litigants due to the relatively large number of arrests and finite resources to handle the judicial proceedings related to those arrests” and granted the change in rules “due to the significant increased caseload of the South Central Judicial District as a result of criminal charges stemming from the pipeline protests.”

“This will be a game changer for our ability to defend Water Protectors moving forward,” said WPLC cooperating attorney Bill Tilton of St. Paul, MN who filed the Petition along with 9 other lawyers. “The Court showed courage in crafting a creative response to this very grave and difficult situation.”
A public comment period that ended December 30, 2016 generated over 16,000 comments, including a letter from over 175 law professors urging the Court to grant the Petition in order to protect the Constitutional rights to adequate and effective counsel in these cases.

The Water Protector Legal Collective has been providing legal representation and coordination for Water Protectors engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline including coordination among local and out of state attorneys.

Sandra Freeman, Criminal Defense Case Coordinator for Water Protector Legal Collective said, “We are pleased the Court has recognized the peril posed to the over 175 people who are still without lawyers.”

Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) provides on-the-ground legal representation and coordination at Standing Rock, North Dakota in partnership with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG).

Fighting camera tickets

Great post at ArsTechnica about fighting a speeding ticket issued by a camera. The key court event:
On cross-examination, I established that:
- He [the police officer] was not present at the time of the alleged violation.
- He has no photographic evidence of the driver.
- There were no witnesses.
- He does not know where Adam MacLeod [the author] was at the time of the alleged violation.
And so on. I then asked the question one is taught never to ask on cross—the last one. “So, you signed an affidavit under the pains and penalties of perjury alleging probable cause to believe that Adam MacLeod committed a violation of traffic laws without any evidence that was so?”
Without hesitating he answered, “Yes.” This surprised both of us. It also surprised the judge, who looked up from his desk for the first time. A police officer had just testified under oath that he perjured himself in service to a city government and a mysterious, far-away corporation whose officers probably earn many times his salary.
Make sure to read the sections on why this case matters and the basic constitutional questions at stake, Also, the case typifies the merging/denial of criminal and civil procedure in these citation cases, which are a growing (and profitable) part of local government in this age of tax cuts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Being a Legal Observer

An interview aired on Wednesday, Jan. 11th, on WMUU 102.9 FM about legal observing and featured UW-Madison law student Dan Schneider and Amanda Leipold about being legal observers. This interview was recorded on January 9th, 2017, and can be heard on SoundCloud

Saturday, January 14, 2017

ICE Raid Toolkit

First Toolkit to Help Prepare Communities for ICE Raids in face of Trump’s Mass Deportation Plans 

Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) announce the release of Defend Against ICE Raids and Community Arrests: A Toolkit to Prepare and Protect Our Communities and an accompanying web page compiling tools and efforts to uphold rights of immigrants in the Trump era of racialized policing.

Based on years of community defense, litigation, and research, including hundreds of accounts of ICE raids, our joint #stopICEcold toolkit offers social justice advocates, lawyers, and community members critical information on our country’s massive detention and deportation system, as well as straightforward ideas on preparing for new waves of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. Defend Against ICE Raids and Community Arrests is the first comprehensive guide and organizing resource to help fight back against the Trump administration’s stated efforts to criminalize and deport millions of people.

What’s inside:
·         Definitive information on who ICE targets for deportation, priority locations for ICE activity, and common ICE arrest tactics and strategies.
·         Recommendations on emergency preparedness for those at risk of deportation, individual rights during ICE encounters, and potential legal and community challenges to ICE raids.
·         An initial forecast of what might happen under a Trump administration based on years of monitoring the world’s largest detention and deportation apparatus.
·         Select internal DHS/ICE enforcement memos and training documents secured through a pending FOIA litigation -- as well as summaries of raids reported.
Coming soon:
·         An online interactive map of the raids reported to IDP in the New York City area.
·         An online directory of FOIA documents from Immigrant Defense Project et al. v. ICE et al.
·         A web-based version of the toolkit.
·         Ongoing updates and more resources on emergency preparedness.

Help spread the word:

Use #stopICEcold to promote on Twitter and Facebook. Follow us on facebook and on Twitter at @ImmDefense and @theCCR to stay connected to campaign developments, including updates and added materials. Retweet this message or tweet your own!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Last Gasp

Last Gasp with the National Lawyers Guild-Madison
Thursday, January 19th ~ 5:30 - 8pm
Argus Bar & Grill
123 E Main St, Madison
Live Music!
First Drink is on us!

Calling all progressive lawyers, law students, and social justice organizers. The National Lawyers Guild will be hosting a last gasp solidarity celebration on the eve of the inauguration for local change-makers and folks on the left end of the legal community. Come join us in celebration and struggle!