As the pandemic began to rage across America last spring, U.S. District of Maryland Chief Judge James K. Bredar puzzled over how to mount in-person hearings. The judge quickly realized he needed the help of a public health expert. He turned to epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan M. Zenilman.
The case involves a police officer who entered a man’s garage without a warrant and questioned him after pursuing his vehicle because he heard erratic horn-lowing and loud music coming from the car.
Most jurisdictions saw bar exam pass rates increase in 2020, regardless of whether they had in-person or online exams. However, in three states that offered both types of exams, online test-takers didn’t do as well.
The New York state courts’ Working Group on Regulatory Innovation has unanimously recommended the state create a program to train and license social workers to provide limited legal services for clients.
Elizabeth Greene had been practicing with Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee in Worcester, Massachusetts, for two years in 1997 when she heard about a new opportunity. She received an email from a partner who volunteered with the American Heart Association but was moving on to other projects. He told her the organization wanted to rekindle its presence in central Massachusetts and needed someone’s help.
Shortly before the Jan. 6 riot started at the U.S. Capitol, John Eastman spoke at a rally for then-President Donald Trump, enthusiastically sharing his theory that there was cheating in the November and January elections. According to him, there were “secret folders” placed inside voting machines filled with ballots to be matched with registered voters who did not cast their ballots.
Despite reports from federal courts of in-person jury trials being held safely, many judges across the country are still deliberating whether to hold in-person jury trials at all.
Heirs’ property is considered a vestige of the Jim Crow South, where unsophisticated property owners without the means or ability to hire a lawyer—or with a justifiable distrust of the courts—divvied up their assets informally, creating “interests” for descendants.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the judiciary was slow to innovate and resistant to virtual proceedings. Now courts are using every tool at their disposal, balancing safety with the need to keep the wheels of justice spinning.
Rep. Janelle Bynum, a Black member of the Oregon House of Representatives, was inspired to sponsor a bill against racial profiling in 911 calls after someone called the police on her as she went door-to-door in a Portland suburb to speak to constituents in an effort to keep her seat in the state house.
For this year’s class of Legal Rebels, the ABA Journal and the ABA Center for Innovation have chosen to highlight judges, lawyers and legal professionals who have helped bring about changes to the judicial system.
The 2020 display of female political power came in the centennial year of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified by two-thirds of the states in 1920, which granted women the right to vote. It was a fitting coda to a 100-year-old story about women achieving access to the ballot box.
Over the years, many attorneys shelled out thousands of dollars to spend three weeks in a converted Wyoming cattle ranch described as “spartan,” with no cellphone service, so they could listen and learn from the self-proclaimed “greatest trial lawyer in history.” From all over the country, lawyers came to the Trial Lawyers College to learn from Gerry Spence, the famed litigator who claims to have never lost a criminal case.
Last week, Katie Bray Barnett moderated the ABA’s ninth Animal Shelter Law Symposium, an all-day conference that concentrated on mitigating housing problems for pet owners, protecting animal shelters from liability and preparing effective foster home agreements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ABA Center for Innovation has launched an initiative focused on developing uniform metrics that states could use to measure the effectiveness of new approaches they are taking to regulating the legal industry.
Following the administration of the first online remotely proctored bar exam in October, California appears to have sent out significantly more notices of potential testing violations than other large jurisdictions.
After an extensive nationwide search, ABA Executive Director Jack Rives announced in October that the association had found its new senior associate executive director and general counsel.
Many legal services providers have worked in the past year to change how they reach and assist their clients, particularly those who are older and at higher risk for developing more severe cases of COVID-19. While some created or expanded their partnerships with community organizations, others moved their services online or outdoors.
The continued spread of COVID-19 has resulted in lawyers across the country working remotely for months on end, including in jurisdictions where they are not licensed to practice law. While this trend prioritizes public health and provides workers with increased flexibility, it could also raise ethical issues for some attorneys.
While there’s significant disagreement on how the bar exam should change, many believe it will, and there’s a wide range of ideas about what should happen.
For attorneys who want to do more pro bono in 2021, here are five ways to get involved.
Throughout the year, the ABA Journal profiles exceptional ABA members in its Members Who Inspire series. In 2020, we featured attorneys from across the country whose important and influential work includes using visual storytelling for legal advocacy, bringing attention to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, and combating racial injustice and inequity.
More than 3,000 people who sat for the State Bar of California’s remote October exam had their proctoring videos flagged for review, and dozens report receiving violation notices from the agency’s office of admissions.