Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

NPR News: New Pilot Program Gives Immigrant Detainees Public Defenders

“The court helped find my son not only a lawyer but an angel” – Brunilda Fontanillas Rico’s mother, Brunilda Fontanillas, says she and her son couldn’t afford a private attorney. He was detained in October after an earlier landlord-tenant dispute that escalated into an arrest. Rico’s attorney says that as a lawful permanent resident who…

The Takeaway: Happy Thanksgiving From The Takeaway!

This Thanksgiving The Takeaway brings you some great conversations from the last year and an hour of pioneering female voices. First, a conversation between Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and our host John Hockenberry offers an insight into the incredible career of Justice Ginsburg. Next you will hear from Robin Steinberg, founder and director…

Bronx Net Today’s Verdict: Stop and Frisk

Watch Molly Kovel, Civil Action Practice Attorney, discuss Stop & Frisk on “Today’s Verdict”. “Today’s Verdict” is a live, half-hour television talk show that provides you with the answers to all your important questions and concerns. Hosted by David Lesch, a Bronx Native and an outstanding trial attorney. See the video here.

El Diario: El Bronx pide a De Blasio mayor vigilancia a NYPD

Activistas y vecinos de los edificios de vivienda pública Betances Houses buscan difundir una encuesta bilingüe relacionada con prácticas policiales como “Stop & Frisk.” Por: Zaira Cortés/EDLP El Bronx — Alegando detenciones por perfil racial en vecindarios del sur de El Bronx, residentes solicitarán al nuevo alcalde Bill de Blasio mayor vigilancia a las prácticas…

New York Times: A Marijuana Stash That Carried Little Risk

LAST year, the Bronx Defenders, which represents poor people in criminal court, tried to have suppression hearings in 54 cases involving marijuana possession. In such hearings, the police officer would have been required to testify about the circumstances under which the marijuana was found. If it was the result of an illegal search, the judge…

New York Times: New Help for Poor Immigrants Who Are in Custody and Facing Deportation

The new initiative, called the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, emerged from several years of study and lobbying among immigration lawyers and immigrants’ advocates. They were concerned that the absence of competent legal representation for many of New York’s immigrant detainees was resulting in unnecessary deportations that ruptured families and put an undue financial…

The Uptown Chronicle: Stop and Frisk – A Daily Reality

Jahlanni Greene, 17, is a happy high school student. Aki Ferguson, 25, is a butcher. Jason Stewart, 32, is a maintenance worker. All three lead different lives and are different ages, but they are all black men, they all live in Hunts Point and they have all been stopped and frisked by the officers of…

The New York Law Journal: The Bronx Defenders and Robin Steinberg

The Bronx Defenders, with a staff of about 200 advocates, provides support and services inside and outside the courtroom to more than 30,000 clients year. The Bronx Defenders notes that one in three people arrested are never convicted of a crime, yet they suffer drastic collateral consequences from their arrest alone. Up to 40 percent…

The Olympian: Public Defense System Seeks To Cure Root Issues

Daryl Rodrigues is someone who can find some good in just about anyone ensnared in the justice system for crimes they often, but not always, committed. As director of the Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel, he has plenty of opportunity to search for redeeming qualities in defendants. He oversees 17 attorneys, two paralegals and…

MintPress News: Does Bail Really Work To Promote Justice?

Former U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy once said: “What has been demonstrated here is that usually only one factor determines whether a defendant stays in jail before he comes to trial. That factor is not guilt or innocence. It is not the nature of the crime. It is not the character of the defendant. That…

New York Times: New, Young Help for Poor in Infamous Bronx Courts

On a recent afternoon in the South Bronx, Cordice Smith, a 79-year-old Korean War veteran wearing a Yankees hat, was standing in the tiled lobby of his apartment building — something he no longer takes for granted. Earlier this year, he almost lost his home after receiving a letter from his landlord’s lawyer: an eviction…

The Bronx Defenders Announced as New York Law Journal Impact Awards Winner

As part of the New York Law Journal’s 125th anniversary celebration, the Law Journal has created the Impact Award to honor individuals, groups or projects that have had significant and lasting impact on the legal community in New York. The following, in no particular order, are the winners of the 2013 Impact Award. The honorees…

City Limits: False Abuse Reports Trouble Child Welfare Advocates

In some neighborhoods in this city, it’s not uncommon for people to file an allegation of child abuse or neglect to settle a grudge. In a meeting with City Limits, lawyers and social workers from The Bronx Defenders, which represents parents with child welfare cases in the Bronx, described a string of such cases: a…

New York Law Journal: Pilot Program to Represent Detainees Facing Deportation

Aiming to foster the rights of immigrants and to keep their families together, two legal services organizations, the Bronx Defenders and Brooklyn Defender Services, have been picked for a unique pilot project to represent indigent detainees facing deportation. The two organizations will form the New York Immigrant Defenders, which will take on 166 cases in…

Rise Magazine: To Speak or Not to Speak

Brenda Zubay and Lisa Beneventano, Social Workers in The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice, were interviewed in the Fall 2013 issue of Rise Magazine. In the article, they discuss the benefits and dangers of revealing past trauma in court, and explain the importance of parents taking control of their story before the court takes control…

Bail or Jail: Watch Justine Olderman discuss the need for bail reform

Richard French speaks with the Chief Judge of New York State, Jonathan Lippman and with Justine Olderman of The Bronx Defenders about the current state of the jail and bail system in New York State. Justine Olderman: “We can say, ideally, it is about the presumption of innocence; it’s about the right to trial; it’s…

MSNBC: Rethinking the ‘war on drugs’

Monday saw two major legal developments in the so-called “war on drugs.” First, a judge in New York City ruled that the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy violated the Constitution in targeting a disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics. Then, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the end of mandatory federal prison sentences for low-level, non-violent drug…