ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

April 6, 2010

2010.04.06: RE: Interesting Article

Filed under: 1994 Strike,ALAA History,Indigent Defense,Key Documents,Scabs — nyclaw01 @ 10:41 am

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 10:41 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

There’s nothing accidental about Robin Steinberg’s denigration of The Legal Aid Society. As head of a Giuliani scab (nonunion) defense contractor, she has a long history of undermining our work. See, e.g.:

*Tell The Nation: No Scab Defenders (January 2, 2007), https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2007/01/02/tell-the-nation-no-scab-defenders/

*NDS v. ALAA (June 16, 2004), https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2004/06/16/nds-v-alaa/

*Letter to NYLJ About Bronx Defenders (February 16, 2000), https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2000/02/16/letter-to-nylj-about-bronx-defenders-february-16-2000/

_____________________________________________

From:  A.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 7:21 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

The case the NY Times piece is referring to occurred in Elmont, Long Island. Robin should have made it abundantly clear that she was referring to Nassau County and not the NYC Legal Aid Society. She didn’t and the article creates the unfair impression that LAS is not properly counseling clients regarding collateral consequences–particularly immigration. I doubt there will be any correction. This is more about promoting her organization than anything. LAS isn’t using the catchy, new-age ‘holistic defense’ phrase, but hasn’t that been our practice for many years? We counsel and assist client’s with all types of issues unrelated to a criminal case. The public should not be left with the notion that LAS neglects clients in this manner.

In terms of the substance of her promotional piece, although her points are valid, she fails to take into account that plea policies in many suburban counties are considerably more harsh than NYC.  I worked at the Nassau County Legal Aid Society from 1995-97 before working for Ms.Steinberg’s organization for three years. It was far more difficult to work out a favorable disposition in Nassau County in the years I was there than anywhere I’ve practiced in NYC (Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn). Although a client must be properly advised of collateral consequences, declining a violation and going to trial in some places is an even worse decision. Steinberg used to work for Nassau County Legal Aid in the early to mid-eighties I believe and she should have presented a more complete picture.

_____________________________________________

From:  L.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 1:25 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

A defendant with the name Jerry Lemaine had a marijuana possession case with Legal Aid in Brooklyn in 2006, where he plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct and was sentenced to Community Service.

_____________________________________________

From:  R.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 1:21 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

I think we are the only one in the country with “THE” and no city qualifier, as in The Legal Aid Society.  Robin wrote this with the intention of puffing up her own organization at the expense of THE Legal Aid Society.  Have no doubt.  She is not competing with Nassau County for funding.  It is deceiving, but also unprofessional even if true.

_____________________________________________

From:  K

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 1:18 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

Someone should have trademarked “legal Aid Society” like 100 years ago!

K.

_____________________________________________

From:  P.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 1:17 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

I don’t doubt for a minute she did it intentionally, but she is quite smart — the public defense office in Nassau County is “The Legal Aid Society of Nassau County” so it should be capitalized.  But the whole article is written as though her office is the first in the world to talk about immigration consequences, when she knows very well that we have an immigration unit and always give this kind of advice.

_____________________________________________

From:  K.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 1:14 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

I kind of think she should be called on to issue a retraction/clarification.  Since she is from Bronx Defenders, it would be  a natural assumption to identify the NYC based Legal Aid Society as the culprit, especially since she capitalized Legal Aid.

This may not be a pissing match we want to get into, but it smarts.

K.

_____________________________________________

From:  P.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 1:11 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: RE: Interesting Article

This is the most self-serving article I have read in a long time.  And by the way, that “Legal Aid” case she talks about was in Nassau County, not the city.

_____________________________________________

From:  L.

Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 12:52 PM

To: ALAA MEMBERS

Subject: Interesting Article

Robin Steinberg, head of Bronx Defenders, talking about the “new age” of public defense ushered in by Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-steinberg/supreme-court-ruling-spea_b_522044.html

 

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