Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Podcast: The Right to Counsel in Civil Cases

The Supreme Court's 1963 decision, Gideon v. Wainwright, guaranteed that criminal defendants unable to afford their own lawyer would have one appointed at the public's expense. Should there be a corollary right in certain types of civil cases that involve basic human needs, such as when a person faces eviction from a home or the loss of parental rights? California recently made history by enacting a pilot program to appoint lawyers in certain civil cases and other pilot programs are underway elsewhere in the country.

This week on the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, we look at the Civil Gideon movement. Joining us as guests to discuss this topic are two lawyers who have been deeply involved in promoting Civil Gideon: Robert L. Rothman, partner of the Atlanta firm Arnall Golden Gregory and former chair of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association, and James J. Brosnahan, senior partner with Morrison & Foerster and member of the California Commission on Access to Justice.

Listen to or download the program from the Legal Talk Network.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Standard-Times Asks DA to Probe Wareham Meetings

From the Standard-Times:
The Standard-Times has asked the Plymouth County district attorney to investigate the Board of Selectmen's heavy use of executive sessions in the hiring of a new town administrator.

In response, Assistant District Attorney Mary Lee on Wednesday sent a letter to the town's legal counsel, asking for explanations and for minutes of all meetings involved with the search, both public and private.
Read more.

Help Support the Bar Foundation's 45th Anniversary

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. I am honored to serve as a trustee of this important charitable organization, which is dedicated to ensuring equal access to justice and to enhancing the administration of justice and understanding of the law.

I urge companies, law firms, lawyers and other members of the legal community to support this 45th anniversary. Here are four ways you can do that:
  1. Become an anniversary sponsor. Anniversary activities will culminate with a celebration dinner and fundraiser on Jan. 14, 2010, at the Colonnade Hotel, Boston. Sponsors will be featured at the dinner and in publicity and other materials throughout the year. CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the MBF's sponsorship opportunity guide.
  2. Donate items to the online silent auction. As part of the anniversary initiatives, the MBF will host an online silent auction of fun and unique items. This is an ideal opportunity for vendors to donate a product. CLICK HERE to donate an item for the silent auction.
  3. Purchase an ad in the dinner program. The sponsorship guide includes information on program ads.
  4. Attend the dinner. Tickets are not yet on sale, but save the date of Jan. 14. I will post a notice when ticket sales open.
I believe deeply in the importance of this organization and the charitable work it supports throughout Massachusetts. I hope you will join me in adding your support.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Podcast: E-mail and the 4th Amendment

Does the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures extend to e-mail and data stored in "the cloud"? Surprisingly, the question remains unsettled in the courts. On this week's legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, we discuss the extent to which e-mail and other online data are protected in both the criminal and civil contexts. Joining us are two experts on the topic:
Listen to or download the half-hour program from the Legal Talk Network.