ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

June 22, 2012

2012.06.22: RE: Bronx Defenders expanding?

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2012 1:56 PM
To: Wright, Deborah;
Subject: RE: Bronx Defenders expanding?

Background on Bronx Defenders and the other scab (nonunion) defense contractors.

(*NB: The $160m in cumulative cuts to LAS criminal funding in 2001 totals far more today, as the Bloomberg administration continues to increase funding to such nonunion agencies as Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, et al.)

Union Members Protest Award to Schreibersdorf (April 16, 2008)
“While management at the nonunion contractors has profited, Legal Aid staff and clients have paid the price: deep personnel cuts, sharply-escalating workloads and near-institutional bankruptcy. As the New York Times reported in 2001, Giuliani’s cuts — which by then totaled a cumulative $160 million* — had “hobbled” the Society.”

Labor Resolution to Defend Legal Aid (September 10, 2001)
“These new contracts are designed to insulate and/or extend seven existing runaway shops funded out of the $160 million* already cut by this administration from Legal Aid, whose unionized UAW attorneys and 1199 (SEIU) support staff have long championed high-quality legal representation for poor people.”

Bronx Defenders Peddle a Myth (February 28, 2000)
“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.”

History of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys UAW Local 2325 (August 1999)
“This asphyxiation of Legal Aid has seriously weakened vertical continuity and other essential elements of high-quality representation. Staff Attorneys’ ability to resist has been further undermined by the runaway defenders’ willingness to curry favor with the administration by abandoning vertical continuity; participating in arraignment body count contests; pandering to judges, court administration and even district attorneys; replacing seniority with “merit”-based salaries unilaterally set by management; and, in some offices, permitting part-time private practice.”

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