Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Civil Action

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…