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March 27, 2012

2012.03.27: RE: Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel

Filed under: 1994 Strike,ALAA History,Criminal Justice,Indigent Defense,Scabs — nyclaw01 @ 11:04 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:40 AM
Subject: RE: Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel

Some background and context, below.

See also:

2/28/00 Nat’l L.J. A16, (col. 5)
The National Law Journal
Volume 22, Number 27
Monday, February 28, 2000



Michael Z. Letwin

President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys UAW Local 2325 New York

Bronx defenders promotes the myth that its “holistic advocacy” for indigent criminal defendants transcends the allegedly “limited, staid model of intervention” of the Legal Aid Society (LAS), New York’s primary public defender organization [“The best defense…,” Jan. 31].

For 30 years, however, unionized Legal Aid Society attorneys and support staff have fought for and won the kinds of practice for which Bronx Defenders now seeks to take credit, including collaborative and creative advocacy, drug rehabilitation, pre- and post-pleading memorandums, alternatives to incarceration and job placement.

Unlike Bronx Defenders, however, which the city lavishly funds to handle only 12,500 cases, LAS staff represent an unlimited number of clients—more than 200,000 a year in New York at present—with far lower per-case funding. This reflects the Giuliani administration’s retaliation against the LAS and its unions for a brief 1994 strike. Since that time, city funding for the LAS has been slashed from $79 million to $52 million annually. As a result, reported the Indigent Oversight Panel of the Appellate Division, 1st Department, in 1998, the LAS “is handling too many cases with too little staff and too little support….These conditions have, in large measure, been created by the City’s decision to contract with” Bronx Defenders and six other organizations favored by the administration.

Warm and fuzzy feelings at Bronx Defenders and its siblings give their nonunion staff neither power over legal practice nor protection from employer favoritism, arbitrary discipline and firing. By contrast, collective bargaining at the LAS provides unionized lawyers and support staff with the means to defend and improve workload limits, provide continuity (having the same lawyer throughout a case), a fair and uniform pay scale, influence over hiring and promotion decisions, affirmative action, office space, health and safety protections and many other gains directly related to high-quality representation.

No amount of hype can alter the collaboration of Bronx Defenders with Mayor Giuliani’s assault on indigent criminal defense. Bronx Defenders has chosen to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

2/28/00 NLJ A16, (col. 5) 
On Mar 27, 2012, at 8:48 AM, “Morgan, Florence” wrote:

Correction!! referring to “vermin” guliani-that ever “crawled” not walked the earth.

I am preaching to some members  of the choir-  Make no mistake about it, there is a contingent that makes excuses for these folks. Indeed as I have said before, even after guiliani’s vicious actions, there are some who still supported and voted for him…

From: Morgan, Florence
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 10:08 PM
Subject: RE: Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel

Yes, she will talk about the reason she “started” a new type of defender? Despicable!  She did not wake up one day and said, “You know I am going to start a new type of practice”-  (whatever the hell that means!!!). She is one of the “beneficiaries”… of one of the most virulent vermin that has ever walked the earth–guliani.

I use the term beneficiaries loosely as the term usually suggests something positive.  It matters not what so-called $ they claim to be hauling in,  and how much they can use city funding to finance their private cases (in boros where they can do that), participating in and facilitating “union busting” can never be positive in my eyes.

Perhaps she will choke on her lies when she tells the attendees the reason she is “overseeing” that SCAB office.



From: Morris, Susan
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 4:22 PM
Subject: RE: Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel

It is a bit odd that while PD offices across the country are unionizing, a scab representative will be discussing that topic.

“Robin Steinberg, founder of the Bronx Defenders, will speak about the reasons she started a new type of defender organization, how she did it, and how she is teaching organizations and practitioners from across the country to improve the way they practice”

Why? Because Giuliani tried to bust our union

How? By making our union weak and creating an anti-union shop

It’s a shame she is working on spreading her poison throughout the land.


From: A.
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 4:13 PM
Subject: RE: Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel

I wonder what the organizer of this program meant by “a new type of defender organization”


From: J.
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 4:02 PM
Subject: FW: Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel


The Cardozo Public Law, Policy, and Ethics Journal presents

Reviving Gideon: Reforming the Right to Counsel

 Tuesday, March 27th

Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, Cardozo Law School

Reform through the Courts (11am – 1pm)


•         Steve Zeidman, Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at CUNY School of Law


•         Corey Stoughton of NYCLU, Lead Counsel on Hurrel-Harring v. State of New York

•         Mary Smid Mergler, Senior Counsel for the Constitution Project’s Criminal Justice Program, will discuss Lafler v. Cooper (10-209) and Missouri v. Frye (10-444), two right to counsel cases being heard by the Supreme Court this term

•         Stephen Hanlon, Partner at Holland & Knight and Lead Counsel on State Ex Rel. Missouri Public Defender Commission v. Waters

Reform by & for Public Defense Practitioners (2:30pm – 4:30pm)


•         Ekow Yankah, Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


•         Robin Steinberg, founder of the Bronx Defenders, will speak about the reasons she started a new type of defender organization, how she did it, and how she is teaching organizations and practitioners from across the country to improve the way they practice

•         Bill Leahy, director of the recently established Office of Indigent Legal Services, discusses the reasons why his office was established, what their goals are and how they have already taken concrete steps towards achieving those goals

•         Thomas Giovanni discusses the work of the Brennan Center’s Community Oriented Defender Network

Featured Speaker: Jeff Deskovic (5pm – 6pm)

Courtesy of the Cardozo Criminal Defense Clinic

The recent Innocence Project exoneree discusses his experience as the client of an appointed attorney and how that informed his current reform work through the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation.

Reception to Follow

Please contact Louisa Schlieben, at with any questions.

This message and its attachments are sent by a law office and may contain information that is confidential and protected by privilege from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are prohibited from printing, copying, forwarding, or saving this email and any attachments. Please notify the sender immediately if you believe that you are not the intended recipient.


2012.03.27: OWS/Social Justice Events

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 4:26 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: OWS/Social Justice Events

Occupy Wall Street Upcoming Events Calendar

Tonight: Tues., March 27, 6 p.m. (Vigil), 7-10 p.m. (Membership Meeting)
Vote on Whether Park Slope Food Coop Members Can Vote for Palestinian Rights
We propose to hold a referendum vote at the Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC) to determine our participation in the global nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s violation of international law and human rights.
Location: Brooklyn Tech High School, 29 Fort Greene Place , Brooklyn

Weds., March 28, 1 p.m.
Protest New Evidence of NYPD political surveillance
Broader Community Plans Wednesday Press Conference In Response To New Documentation That Reveals Government Surveillance Program Expanded Far Past Muslim Communities.
Location: One Police Plaza, Manhattan.

Thurs., March 29, 3-6 p.m.
Anti-NDAA March in Support of the NDAA Lawsuit
March 29th marks the beginning of the anti-NDAA class action lawsuit, launched by several groups and individuals, that seeks to stop the unconstitutional provisions which allow the US military to indefinitely detain any suspected “terrorist,” from going into effect (sections 1021 and 1022, specifically).
Location: Foley Square, Manhattan.

Thurs., March 29, 4 p.m.
CUNY Wide Press Conference
CUNY Wide Press Conference regarding the NYPD spying on CUNY students.
Location: Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn.

Fri., March 30: All day
Mass Call In to White House. Free Peltier
Tell them you are calling regarding Federal Prisoner Leonard Peltier # 89637-132. Tell them you want Leonard released immediately by Presidential Clemency or any means.


2012.03.27: Bylaws of The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, Local Union 2325 of The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace And Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO

Filed under: Union Democracy and Structure — nyclaw01 @ 12:00 am

alaa-bylaw-amendment-2012 — OCR

March 26, 2012

2012.03.26: 7 p.m. Tonight in Union Square for Trayvon Martin

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 11:08 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 10:35 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 7 p.m. Tonight in Union Square for Trayvon Martin

Please repost and forward widely

Nationwide Vigils for Trayvon Martin & Victims of Hate Violence


7:00pm until 9:00pm

On February 26th, George Zimmerman tracked down & shot Trayvon Martin. He still hasn’t been arrested. On March 26th, we will hold vigils on the one month anniversary of Trayvon’s murder. Location and time details are below.

We will remember Trayvon and the countless thousands of people who have been wrongfully murdered because of prejudice and fear. You know some of their names. Trayvon Martin. Sean Bell. Oscar Grant. Sakia Gunn. Brisenia Flores. Luis Ramirez. But many many more remain nameless, faceless victims of a corrupt, unjust society says some lives are just worth less than others.

Come out, light a candle, tell a story, sing a song or just quietly observe the moment. This is a space for people to peacefully mourn, share their anger, and give each other strength and hope in the long fight for justice.

If you don’t see your city listed below, email and organize one where you live.


Daley Plaza 7pm CST, map:

State Capitol 5:30pm EST, map:

New York
Union Square 7pm EST, map:

Washington, DC
Columbia Heights, meet at the fountain on the corner of 14th and Park, 7pm EST, map:

LOVE Park, 6:30pm EST, map:

Kansas City
Mill Creek Park – Plaza Main Fountain, 5:30pm CST,

Exposition & Crenshaw Blvd, 2pm PST,

San Diego
Department of Justice, 7:00 pm PST, map:

March 22, 2012

2012.03.22: Pix of last night’s NYC Trayvon Martin Demo

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 11:10 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:34 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Pix of last night’s NYC Trayvon Martin Demo

From last night’s amazing protest at Union Square. Full set:

Next: Noon on Saturday: Let Freedom Spring: OWS March Against NYPD Racism, Islamophobia, Brutality and Repression


2012.03.22: FW: [CEDP] Video from Trayvon NYC march

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 1:21 pm

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 1:21 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: FW: [CEDP] Video from Trayvon NYC march

—–Original Message—–
From: []On Behalf Of Lily Hughes
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:04 PM
Subject: [CEDP] Video from Trayvon NYC march

Here is a wonderful video of the HUGE march in solidarity with Trayvon Martin which took place yesterday in New York City.  The march was led by Trayvon’s parents.  This video was shot by Jazz Hayden of the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow and beautifully narrated by teacher and social justice activist Brian Jones.

March 21, 2012

2012.03.21: Rally Tonight for Trayvon Martin, and Other OWS/Social Justice Events

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:53 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Rally Tonight for Trayvon Martin, and Other OWS/Social Justice Events

Today, Weds., 3/21
All Day: Defend OWS at Union Square
Occupiers in Union Square Stormed in Late Night Raid. Union Square’s occupation, active since the brutal NYPD police raid on Liberty Square on 3/17, is currently under threat of eviction. People are needed NOW to converge on the park and hold our public commons! Follow @OWSUnionSquare.
Location: Union Square.

All Day: Tweet to Free Palestinian Hunger Striker Hana Shalabi
Now near death: For over a month, 29-year-old Palestinian detainee Hana Shalabi is on a hunger strike to protest her degrading treatment and the Israeli practice of administrative detention against Palestinians. Use #HanaisDying2Live to let everyone know about Hana and Israel’s unjust policy of administrative detention.

6-8 p.m.: Million Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin – NYC
1 million hoodies, 1 million signatures on… Show the world we are all Trayvon.
Location: Union Square.

7-10 p.m.: HUNGER: The Struggle of Political Prisoners, From Ireland to Palestine
Film screening of Hunger, a film by Steve McQueen.  In light of the recent case of Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan, Alwan for the Arts and Hunter Students for Justice in Palestine and Al Awda NY invite you to discuss the parallels of these struggles and how you can stand in solidarity with political prisoners.
Location: Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver St. 4th Floor, Manhattan.

Thurs., 3/22
8:30 a.m.: Families Against Stop and Frisk
Rally & Pack the Courtroom. in Support of Maxine King, long-standing activist and founding member of Families Against Stop and Frisk.
Location: Joyce Kilmer Park, Corner of 161st and Grand Concourse, Bronx.

4:45 p.m.: Educators Stand up to the NY Post
Join Occupy the Department of Education for a protest at News Corporation’s Headquarters, and a tour of the publications that betrayed our teachers and students through the publication of teacher data reports.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Center.

Fri., 3/23
2:30-5 p.m.: Friday March on Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street will converge in the streets once again and launch the first in a series of spring training marches from Liberty Square to Wall Street in preparation for May Day, a day of massive economic non-compliance and strike.
Location: Liberty Plaza: The Occupation Of Wall Street.

Sat., 3/24
12 p.m.- ? : Let Freedom Spring: OWS March Against NYPD Racism, Brutality and Repression
Just since January the NYPD has practiced a campaign of surveillance, entrapment, and violence against the New York Muslim and Muslim-American communities; a campaign of terror against communities of color, most recently the brutal beating of Jatiek Reed and the senseless murder of Rahmarley Graham in the Bronx; sustained the criminal and dehumanizing tactic of “stop and frisk” in a campaign of racial profiling that serves no law enforcement purpose; and systematically oppressed protestors peaceably assembling in public spaces.
Location: 12 p.m. in Liberty Square (formerly Zuccotti Park) and ending at Union Square.

March 18, 2012

2012.03.18: OWS Alert

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Criminal Justice,Free Speech,OWS,Police Abuse — nyclaw01 @ 11:18 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2012 6:45 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: OWS Alert

#OWS community call to converge at 8pm TONIGHT at the red cube across from Liberty Plaza to support 80+ arrested last night, and to peacefully march against NYPD’s brutal attack. Please forward widely.

Sent from my iPhone


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