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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Civil Action

New York Law Journal: Guardian Ordered to Assist Tenant in Termination Hearing

The decision annuls a New York City Housing Authority hearing officer’s refusal to set aside a determination terminating the tenancy of a woman with mental problems, and remands the case for a new hearing. – The tenant was represented by Anna Arkin-Gallagher of the Bronx Defenders. “We are happy the court agreed that NYCHA has…

The Bronx Defenders Joins Advocates and Lawmakers in Condemning the Activation of Secure Communities Program in New York

May 15, 2012 The Bronx Defenders Joins Advocates and Federal and State Lawmakers in Condemning the Activation of Secure Communities Program in New York The Bronx Defenders re-affirmed today its long-standing opposition to the activation of the Secure Communities program in New York. Under Secure Communities, individuals may be deported as a result of any…

The Atlantic: In New York, a 20-Year-Old Policy Suddenly Prompts a Lawsuit

In late March, three civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit against the New York City police department, alleging that a little-known crime-fighting program violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers. The program, called Operation Clean Halls, permits police to conduct vertical patrols inside and around private residences, seeking out…

The New York Times: Stop and Frisk, Continued

On our ‘Clean Halls’ class action lawsuit with co-counsel NYCLU and LatinoJustice PRLDEF – The Bloomberg administration and its police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, have been disturbingly dismissive of complaints about the city’s program of stops, frisks and arrests that is ensnaring hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year. Civil rights lawsuits may now force…

The Village Voice: NYPD Clean Halls Program Faces Legal Challenge

Later this morning, civil liberties advocates will announce a new challenge to the controversial NYPD program of patrolling the hallways of thousands of privately-owned buildings. Private owners enroll in the program, known as Operation Clean Halls, which has swelled in Manhattan alone to at least 3,895 buildings. The program envisioned as a way for police…

WNYC: NYPD Conducts Suspicionless Stops in Private Buildings: Suit

A federal class action was filed against New York City and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on Wednesday for what plaintiffs allege are suspicionless stops within private residential buildings. Under the NYPD’s enforcement of a program known as Operation Clean Halls, a landlord enters into an agreement with the NYPD, which grants officers permission to patrol…

Reuters: U.S. judge limits stop and frisk searches in New York’s Bronx

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the New York Police Department to immediately stop conducting trespass stops outside certain residential buildings in the borough of the Bronx without “reasonable suspicion” that an individual is engaged in criminal activity. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin issued her ruling in the narrowest of three main lawsuits challenging New…

Amsterdam News: Hands Off: Black community responds to U.S. District Court ruling of NYPD’s “Clean Halls” as unconstitutional

Could this be the first step to eliminating “stop and frisk?” On Tuesday morning, a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge ruled that the New York Police Department’s “Clean Halls Program” violated the constitutional rights of New York City residents. According to Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, for years the NYPD…

McGregor Smyth trained more than 200 public defenders at South Carolina Public Defender Association Annual Conference

On September 27, McGregor Smyth, Managing Attorney of our Civil Action Practice, trained more than 200 public defenders at the South Carolina Public Defender Association Annual Conference on how to use the Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky to get better results for clients. For more information: http://www.sccid.sc.gov/userfiles/PD-Conference-2011/2011-Agenda-Final—9-14-11.pdf

Article on Padilla published in the Howard Law Journal by McGregor Smyth

Article published in the Howard Law Journal by McGregor Smyth, Managing Attorney of the Civil Action Practice and Director of Reentry Net, examines the practical effect of Padilla for criminal defense attorneys currently working with clients on pending cases. The article uses the legal reasoning of Padilla to outline a structure for approaching the daunting…

Robin, McGregor, and Jennifer presented at the “Padilla and the Future of the Defense Function conference at Cordozo Law

Robin Steinberg, Executive Director, McGregor Smyth, Managing Attorney of the Civil Action Practice, and Jennifer Friedman, Supervising Immigration Attorney in the Civil Action Practice, presented at the “Padilla and the Future of the Defense Function” conference at the Jacob Burns Ethics Center in the Practice of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law on June 20-21,…

The Crime Report: Can the ‘Holistic Approach’ Solve The Crisis in Public Defense?

The Bronx Defenders’ method of Holistic Defense is explained in the article “Can the ‘Holistic Approach’ Solve The Crisis in Public Defense?” on thecrimereport.org. Can the ‘Holistic Approach’ Solve The Crisis in Public Defense?  “Making changes in a resource-strained small county [Washoe County, Nevada] of 400,000 people seemed , however, all but impossible—until Bosler heard…

McGregor awarded the Kutak-Dodds Prize

n recognition of his efforts to ensure equal justice for all people regardless of ability to pay, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) announced today that McGregor Smyth, the Managing Attorney of the Civil Action Practice, is this year’s winner of the Kutak-Dodds Prize, alongside Alan Alop, Deputy Director for Intake Offices, Legal…

Cross-Sector Collaboration in Reentry: Building an Infrastructure for Change

By McGregor Smyth. Investment in an infrastructure for cross-sector collaboration is key to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and crime. The criminal justice system is the institution with the single most pervasive impact on communities of poverty and of color. In those communities interaction with the police and courts, as well as incarceration, has…

Public Benefits and Child Support Arrears

By McGregor Smyth. Individuals who are released from prison or jail and who need financial assistance until they are able to get on their feet are likely to apply for aid both from Safety Net Assistance (“SNA”), the New York State public assistance program for adults who do not share a household with children, and…

Holistic is Not a Bad Word: A Criminal Defense Attorney’s Guide to Using Invisible Punishments as an Advocacy Strategy

By McGregor Smyth. The legal disabilities and social exclusion resulting from any adverse encounter with the criminal justice system erect nearly insurmountable barriers for criminal defendants, people with criminal records, those returning to their communities after incarceration, and their families. Recent scholarship has highlighted the draconian effects of these invisible punishments and has argued that…

Bridging the Gap: A Practical Guide to Civil-Defender Collaboration

By McGregor Smyth. Vicky G. received a Section 8 Existing Housing Voucher for ten years. The prosecutor and local public housing authority now allege that over a six-year period she failed to report that her boyfriend was living in the apartment and that she underreported her income. She is charged with grand larceny and filing…