Monday, October 21, 2013

Rebellious Lawyering and Advocacy with Jerry López in Santa Fe

From the Rebellious Lawyering Institute:

For All Community Activists, Lawyers, and Scholars -- Still Time to Register

Ambitious and Effective Problem-Solving through the Experiences and Insights of Women
Registration Link:       
Conference Location:           Eldorado Hotel
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Conference Dates:                 November 7-8, 2013
Conference Sponsors:           Rebellious Lawyering Institute
                                                Immigrant Legal Resource Center
                                                Leger Law & Strategy                                              
                                                Pegasus Legal Services for Children
Panelists and Moderators Include:
·         Kenia Acevedo

·         Michelle Ault

·         Alina Ball

·         Janese Bechtol

·         Carla Bernal

·         Susan Bowyer

·         Edyael Casaperalta

·         Shiu-Ming Cheer

·         Michelle Fei

·         Tara Ford

·         Teresa Goines

·         Martha Gómez

·         Mary Dolores Guerra

·         Kristen Holmquist

·         Teresa Leger de Fernandez

·         Diana Lopez Jones

·         Andrea Matsuoka

·         Shauna Marshall

·         Brenda Montes

·         Ana Najera Mendoza

·         Evelia Pérez

·         Debra Poulin

·         Siera Russell

·         Maureen Sanders

·         Anne Simpson

·         Janeen Steele

·         Wendell Tong

·         Xli Xjooj

·         Mia Yamamoto

·         Theresa Zhen

·         …And More Still!

Conference Materials:          For all those registered, a comprehensive reader will be available on-line, including a wide range of interdisciplinary and popular materials, some of which will be assigned in advance of the Conference.

MCLE Credits Available:    We expect MCLE credits to be approved for California, and the process is pending in New Mexico.  And, as in the past, we shall work with practitioners from all other states to get MCLE credits approved.

Thursday November 7, 2013:
I.                               Introductions (8 – 9 a.m.)
Please be in your seats no later than 7:50 am, so we can all be ready to begin our program.

II.                Cultivating Imaginative and Effective Problem-Solving Practitioners (9 – 11:30 a.m.)

How can we best become creative and effective problem-solving practitioners?  Historically, we do not often ask that question, much less examine training in a serious and sustained way.  Instead most of us defer to “mainstream educational experts,” presuming they know best about offering the most ambitious and useful training conceivable.  Yet every thirty years or so, attention focuses on whether our education of problem-solving practitioners matches the demands of the evolving challenges we face.  We are in such a period now.  Fueled by such forces as the recession (“what do you get for the dollars you spend?”) and how poorly certain problem-solving practitioners appear to perform their jobs (“how are adult education faculty and law professors trained to teach?”), formidable criticism has been directed at charter schools, on-line education, continuing education courses for current practitioners, and graduate professional schools within the most elite universities (law and medicine, for example).  And the list goes on and on.  Criticism has led to changes, including new laws and regulations shaping licensing and continuing education requirements.  In response to pervasive and pointed criticism about law schools, for example, the American Bar Association, the American Association of Law Schools, state legislators and bar associations have all weighed in strongly in favor of reform, often encouraging and even coercing changes (particularly a focus on “practical skills”) that otherwise might well never have been realized.  What exactly have we learned during this period of unrest?  About pedagogical aims and methods?  About the mix of “ideas, skills, and sensibilities” necessary to educate great problem-solving practitioners?  About how finances drive – and inertia shapes – the educational mission?  Does evidence suggest educational programs change themselves in any fundamental way or only modify what they say on their websites?  To transform the education of the diverse problem-solving practitioners, must we replace our current educators?  Do we need to substitute for existing community workshop trainers, executive coaches, law professors, and many others still, an entirely new set of people?  And must those of the new wave themselves be trained differently than were past educators, held accountable through robust systems of feedback, engaged themselves with both communities where problems arise and with diverse collaborators who can help them understand and address situations from varied perspectives?

III.                         Lunch (11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
IV.             Cultivating a Culture that Supports and Demands Getting the Work Done

(1 – 2:30 p.m.)

In every office, perhaps the most frequent “behind the scenes” conversation revolves around this topic: “who gets the work done” and “who shirks, avoids, evades, routinely makes excuses, and otherwise just cannot be reliably counted upon to pitch in and do their fair share, to see something that needs doing and jump on it, to push forward according to schedule, and to finish up in highly responsible fashion.”  (The same might be said of families and extended kinship networks and neighborhoods too: is the relationship between “work and home” random?)  To what extent do our experiences and conversations about “getting the work done” reflect enduring and revised gender patterns?  (Not just between but also within gender categories?)  Other formal and informal hierarchical patterns?  To what extent do these experiences and conversations trace their origins to what we learn at early ages?  In formal education?  In varied work settings?  How do some problem-solving cultures somehow manage to hire, retain, and promote with “getting the work done” as a primary (even the principal) criterion?  And why do so many other work cultures, perhaps the majority, have such a difficult time even addressing the topic, much less getting everyone to internalize and live up to a “get the work done” ethic?  Laws and regulations, formal contracts and codes all may help.  But how do we cultivate and enforce a “getting- the-work-done” norm that seems, at once, so pivotal and so elusive to achieve?  How can progressive work – across diverse realms – ever thrive without demanding that we count as allies and collaborators only those who in practice and not just in principle live up to this standard?

V.                Leading Organizations, Institutions, Systems (2:45 – 5 p.m.)

If crises often surface serious leadership questions, the “everyday operations” prove most illuminating in assessing how well any problem-solving practice has been designed and implemented.  In order for the “everyday” to meet ambitious aims, leaders must help everyone establish and own ambitious baselines.  These “default modes” prove pivotal to meeting the highest standards of practice – especially in the midst of what typically can come to feel as “mundane” and even “banal” routines.  At the same time, leaders must encourage a brand of mindfulness that makes evident the choices made at each and every moment, choices that either help realize or further undermine the vision of problem-solving the practice aims to achieve.  Continuing education courses focus now more than ever before on these ambitions and ways to reach them.  What once seemed the realm of management and business schools has spread across professions and communities.  Drawing upon growing literature about ideas, skills, and sensibilities, how do leaders prepare an organization, institution, or system to shoulder such responsibilities?  What sort of “coaching” do leaders seek out and benefit from?  How much do leaders share their responsibilities with others, both to allocate duties and to broaden the sense of leadership in as many as practicable?  How much do these others seek out and benefit from various forms of coaching?  How do leaders choose those they should hire?  Offer candid feedback about job performance?  Fire, if they must?  Reward, when they should?  Legal, ethical, and practical rules and standards often help define formal leadership obligations, but almost inevitably really good and even brilliant leadership reflects on-the-ground philosophies and decisions that, at least in many problem-solving practices, rarely get talked about.  What do we know and what can we learn about how people in varied roles might provide leadership suited to the aims and methods of the most ambitious problem-solving practices?   

Friday November 8, 2013:  Substantive Case Studies:
I.                   Dealing with the Continuing Immigration Crisis (8 – 10 a.m.)

Many have come to believe we somehow have passed the worst of the most recent immigration crisis – what we faced, say, between 2005 and 2012.  Public opinion polls suggest attitudes toward immigrants, including those living without documentation, are more favorable than just a year ago.  The Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional certain ugly provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070.  Sheriff Arpaio and his reign of terror seem, finally, to have been at least restrained.  And California very recently enacted a set of laws that can be fairly described as “transnational” in its regard and treatment of those living without documentation.  Those successes reflect incredibly intensive and brave work by undocumented immigrants themselves, by their allies in community organizations and at various levels of government, by public health specialists, by community and union organizers, by lawyers, and by many others.  Yet Comprehensive Immigration Reform (even in highly compromised figurations) seems more distant than ever from Congressional passage.  Some states’ governors have done all they can to undermine duly enacted laws that permit immigrants without documentation to qualify for driver’s licenses.  The immigration system and the criminal justice system appear, together, at least as threatening to immigrants within the nation’s boundaries as at the militarized border.  What is happening with federal Comprehensive Immigration Reform?  What have organizations and communities done to reach out to and help process as many qualified DACA (Deferred Action for Early Arrival) candidates as possible?  What are advocates and researchers and journalists and bloggers doing to challenge immigration detention centers and their conditions and practices?  What are executive, legislative, judicial, and administrative officials and staffers doing to rid ourselves of racist and xenophobic laws and to replace them with policies and practices suited to the realities of our transnational communities?

II.                Break (10 – 10:15 a.m.)

III.             What Can We Do About Brutal Atrocities (Abuse Most Systems Prefer To Ignore and Even Defend)?  (10:15 – 11:45 a.m.)

In our local communities, across the nation, and around the globe, we encounter brutal atrocities.  Think of solitary confinement routinely imposed (often for years) on men and women in state and federal prisons.  Of our immigration system’s treatment of children, especially in detention centers.  Of the routinely degrading disregard for and behavior toward biological mothers (especially Black and Latina) in the foster care and child welfare systems.  Of Sheriff Arpaio’s reign of terror in Maricopa County, Arizona, openly celebrated by many Democrats and Republicans as the model for fending off “the invasion of illegal aliens.”  Think, too, please, of the children in southern New Mexico placed in a “working ranch” by parents desperate for help, where youth have said that staff routinely subject them to being shackled, beaten and deprived of food.  Some of these brutalities are robustly defended as constitutionally justified and absolutely necessary (solitary confinement and, at least for years, Maricopa County’s practices and policies).  Others are regarded as “perhaps regrettable” but without almost anything ever seeming to change (our systems of immigration, foster care, and child welfare).  Others have government agencies all saying in response to concerned advocates and journalists “we don’t have jurisdiction” as children die and get mistreated on a daily basis.  When faced with brutal atrocities, nearby and distant, what have we done in the past successfully to draw attention to and challenge and end these policies, laws, and practices?  What can we do to generate public outrage and perhaps even create a movement of sorts?  What can we do to engage the legal system’s vast (and often uncoordinated) agencies and local, state, national and global communities?  Brutal atrocities may well be a fact of life, but we should absolutely not acquiesce in their existence.  How do problem-solvers prepare in advance, in the face of what experience teaches and imagination permits, for going after and ending what we should never tolerate?

IV.             Lunch (11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

V.                Learning to Observe and Listen, Always and Well – and When to Speak and How to Speak Effectively (1:00 – 3:30 p.m.)

Training in formal and informal settings often focuses on the importance of speaking and, less often, what it means to speak effectively.  All problem-solving practitioners (yes, including lawyers) need far more ambitious and effective training on speaking effectively.  But this focus on speaking (on “speaking out,” on “finding your voice”) often obscures the equally pivotal skill of knowing when to speak.  Knowing when to speak is an essential aspect of speaking effectively, though far too few schools and programs train rigorously about what people need to learn to “pick and choose” their spots.  But the current state of affairs is far more twisted than that.  The focus on speaking in professional and lay circles undermines what might well be (and we believe should be) even greater emphasis on observing and listening.  A problem-solver is only as effective as her capacity to “assess a situation, especially through the eyes of the targeted audiences.”  That’s true of working with clients, patients, and officials of all sorts – be they judges, legislative and international tribunals, community assemblies, faith congregations.  And it’s every bit as true of working with children, adults, and groups across every divide.  What would it mean to ambitiously and effectively learn to observe and listen, always and well, and to begin learning when to speak?  What formal training and informal guidance can we draw upon within university, professional, and community settings?  What does it mean to “train” to learn when to speak?  Where have we developed and can we find our “evocative models” and how can we design and follow ever more ambitious and effective training regimens?

VI.             Break (3:30 – 3:45 p.m.)

VII.          Living Within Ethical and Ideological Contradictions (3:30 – 4:45 p.m.)

Jury nullification is the constitutional doctrine that allows jurors to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but, in their view, do not deserve punishment.  With a rich tradition (for example, within the Black community and during Prohibition), nullification accepts that jurors judge the law as well as the facts.  Jurors as part of the national community can fend off deeply unjust laws and fanatically cruel prosecutors.  And Supreme Court decisions and ethical rules together acknowledge as much.  But jury nullification is a controversial practice, at least when made explicit, certainly when openly urged as an important ethical and ideological practice.  Though it may be controversial, jury nullification can be understood as just another illustration of discretion exercised.  Everyone routinely exercises discretion that includes judging the law and judging the facts.  So natural is this discretion to our way of life that we don’t even seem to notice.  How much do we openly discuss as controversial that cops on the beat routinely decide not to arrest some who technically have violated the law?  How much do teachers permit some children and not others to be tardy or absent without targeting them for truancy?  And on and on, pick the realm and the discretion exercised, and you will begin to see that people make routine judgments about the law, about the facts, about those deserving of an exemption and those not.  Why then do we not at least consider exercising our constitutional power to judge laws and not just facts far more mindfully and routinely than we do?  Must we hold immigrants until their fingerprints are processed by officials in DC?  Must we report all those we see violating a law?  How do we live with knowing we have the power to nullify (not just on juries but far beyond) and yet exercise that power less than consciously, perhaps without considered judgment, and perhaps less frequently than we should?  Do some rules of professional ethics (for example, “Rule 16-804 Misconduct” for lawyers) endanger those who, following their constitutional obligation, exercise their discretionary powers (their right to nullify) by judging laws as well as facts in making decisions about what they should do to serve justice?  How should we live within – evaluate and make decisions within – these ethical and ideological contradictions?
Conference Organizers:
Janese Bechtol, J.D.
Chief, Domestic Violence Section
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia
Ms. Bechtol joined the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia in 1998 as a trial attorney in the Domestic Violence Section.  For the next five years she represented over 450 domestic violence survivors in obtaining and enforcing civil protection orders against their abusers.  She became chief of the section in October 2003 and since then has supervised from three to five attorneys representing domestic violence survivors, one attorney representing Adult Protective Services in guardianship proceedings, and various administrative staff members who support the attorneys and the city’s Domestic Violence Intake Centers.  She chairs the committee responsible for management of the intake centers which are comprised of seven public and private agencies, co-chairs the city’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, and continues to maintain a small trial caseload.
 Ms. Bechtol graduated with distinction from Cornell University in 1991 and Stanford Law School in 1994.  Following law school, she fulfilled a four-year military commitment at the Pentagon as an Assistant General Counsel for the Department of the Army and as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army and later the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Kip Bobroff, J.D.
Lead Organizer
Albuquerque Interfaith
Kip is the Lead Organizer with Albuquerque Interfaith.  He has devoted his career to public interest work and social justice.  After exploring his interest in national and international public affairs at Princeton and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Kip graduated from StanfordLawSchool.  In partnership with Levon Henry and sponsored by both a Skadden Fellowship and an Echoing Green Fellowship, from 1994-1997, Kip focused on Navajo land owner’s rights.  Between 1997-2008, Kip was a law professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, developing courses on Native American law, educational reform, and clinical practice.  He and his wife, Michelle, have been thrilled to travel to visit their son Reed, a college student at Yale.
Eric Cohen, J.D.
Executive Director
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
San Francisco, CA
 Eric is the ILRC’S Executive Director and has been with the ILRC since 1988.  For six years while at the ILRC, Eric was a co-supervisor of Stanford Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic.  Eric has extensive experience training attorneys and law students.  In fact, he has been on the faculty of over 75 CLE trainings.  Eric has co-authored several of the ILRC's manuals and other publications, including Motions to Suppress, Naturalization and U.S Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide, and How to Successfully Appeal Naturalization Denials. For nearly 20 years Eric has served as a liaison between community groups and the CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services).  He helped develop ILRC's community model for effectively processing naturalization applications and works with community organizers and others on voter education and civic engagement campaigns.
Michele Fei
Aspiring Midwife
Former Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project
New York, NY
Michelle Fei is currently an aspiring midwife, training as a birth assistant and doula in homebirth settings.  Until recently, she served as Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project, where she focused her substantive work on community education and policy initiatives.  There, she co-led the statewide campaign that led to the New York suspension in 2012 of a large-scale federal deportation program.  Michelle helped launch the Center for Community Problem-Solving at NYU in 2003, where, with the support of an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, she spearheaded a jail and prison reentry project and an immigrant workers’ rights project.  She also previously worked at a community-based law firm, representing Central American clients in their immigration cases.

Tara Ford, J.D.
Co-Founder and Attorney
Pegasus Legal Services for Children
Albuquerque, NM
Tara is the Co-Founder of Pegasus Legal Services for Children.  She has been involved in children’s legal issues for over twenty years, providing representation to children and their caregivers even while at Stanford Law School.  Tara is a frequent speaker at national and state conferences regarding the important role of education in children’s lives; she has often taught as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law and she regularly works with state and community stakeholders to develop policies that support children in New Mexico.  In 2009, Tara provided consultation services to the International Medical Corps in Jordan to provide recommendations regarding needs of children living in institutions, either as a result of dependency or delinquency.
Martha Gómez, J.D.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Martha Gómez is a staff attorney at MALDEF.  She specializes in employment and civil rights litigation that impacts the Latino community.  Her cases include constitutional challenges to anti-immigration laws, and employment challenges to race and national origin discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and wage and hour violations of low-wage earners, among others.  Martha earned her law degree from UCLA School of Law in 2010, where she studied in the Critical Race Studies program, served as co-chair of La Raza and as an associate editor to the UCLA Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review.  Prior to law school, Martha worked as a high school teacher in the greater Los Angeles area.
Bill Ong Hing, J.D.
Professor of Law
University of San FranciscoSchool of Law and
UC Davis School of Law
General Counsel for Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Throughout his career, Professor Hing's pursued social justice through a combination of community work, litigation, and scholarship.  He is the author of numerous academic and practice-oriented publications on immigration policy and race relations, including Ethical Borders—NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration (Temple University Press, 2010), Deporting Our Souls-Morality, Values, and Immigration Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Defining America Through Immigration Policy (Temple University Press, 2004), and Making and Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy (Stanford University Press, 1993).  His book To Be An American: Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation (NYU Press, 1997) received the award for Outstanding Academic Book by the librarians' journal Choice.  At UC Davis, Hing directed the law school clinical program.  He was also co-counsel in the precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court asylum case, INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca (1987).  Hing is the founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco and continues to volunteer as general counsel for this organization.  He serves on the board of the Southeast Asian Refugee Action Center and is president of the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission.

Teresa Leger de Fernandez
Founder, Leger Law & Strategy
Santa Fe, NM
Teresa Leger de Fernandez founded Leger Law & Strategy, a social justice firm focused on impact litigation, financing, economic development and the public interest.  For the last 25 years she has served as General Counsel to several Native American Tribes and their business enterprises.  Her work ranges from voting rights litigation to protecting sacred sites to negotiating multi-million dollar leases; it includes the strategic development of the legal, legislative, business, economic and physical infrastructure for tribal sovereigns.  After President Clinton appointed her as a White House Fellow; she worked on public/private financing of affordable housing and other community development initiatives as a White House liaison at HUD.   She has served as both issuer’s and borrower’s counsel for loan and bond projects ranging from resorts to schools to basic infrastructure.  President Obama recently appointed her to the President’s Advisory Council for Historic Preservation.  She started her academic career in the first Headstart class in New Mexico, went on to graduate from Yale and receive her J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School.
Gerald P. López, J.D.
Professor of Law
UCLA School of Law
Gerald P. López is Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, where he is faculty member of the Critical Race Program.  He teaches Rebellious Lawyering Workshop, Legal Analysis Workshop, Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, Transforming Legal Education Workshop, Community Outreach, Education, and Organizing Clinic, Problem-Solving Workshop.  López has been one of the nation’s leading theorists about lawyering as problem-solving, developing the “rebellious vision” of progressive practice, not just for lawyers but for every individual and institution engaged in problem-solving work.  With diverse collaborators, including his students, he engages regularly in civil rights litigation, diverse work with immigrants, with those incarcerated and living with criminal convictions, with those pursuing economic development projects, and those aiming radically to improve education (including legal education).  Before returning to UCLA, López was a Professor of Law at New York University and at Stanford University.  He co-founded at Stanford the Lawyering for Social Change Program and at UCLA the Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, among the nation’s first sequenced curricula training future progressive practitioners.  At New York University, he founded the Center for Community Problem-Solving in New York City, dedicated to working with low-income, of color, and immigrant communities.  And in his early years in San Diego, California, he was a founding partner of Jones, Cazares, Adler, and López, a radical storefront law office.  He is the author of Rebellious Lawyering, perhaps the most influential book ever written about progressive law practice and community problem-solving, and many community guides and scholarly articles on race, problem-solving, immigration, legal education, health, financial literacy, workplace justice, legal analysis, and still more.  He has been honored with many community, civil rights, and teaching awards.

Shauna Marshall, J.D.
Professor of Law and Academic Dean
Hastings College of Law
Shauna Marshall joined the Hastings faculty in 1994 as a Clinical Law Professor.  Prior to joining the faculty, she spent 15 years working on behalf of the public interest.  She began her career as a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.  Five years later, she joined Equal Rights Advocates as a staff attorney working on impact cases, policy initiatives and mobilizing campaigns on behalf of low income women and women of color.  She then spent four years in the Stanford and East Palo Alto community, lecturing in the areas of civil rights and community law practice at Stanford Law School and directing the East Palo Alto Community Law Project.  She served as Hastings Associate Academic Dean from 2000 – 2002 and became Academic Dean in 2005.  Dean Marshall’s favorite part of her job remains teaching and working with students in the public interest concentration.  She likes to break up her day with lunches with former students where she learns about the amazing work they do with their Hastings degree.  During her free time, Dean Marshall likes to travel with her husband Robert Hirsch.  Her favorite destinations are Boston and New York where her daughters now reside.
Wendell Y. Tong, J.D.
Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo, P.C.
Wendell Y. Tong is an attorney with Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo, P.C., one of New York's oldest plaintiffs' personal injury law firms.  Her practice areas are toxic torts, products liability, and mass torts.  Her clients are working people who have been injured by consumer products that, due to design defects or failure to warn, should never have been sold.  She has litigated cases against manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, unreasonably flammable products, and industrial equipment.  As part of the plaintiffs' co-liaison counsel team in the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, Wendell has represented 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who had not been provided with respiratory protection equipment and subsequently became afflicted with severe injuries.  This mass lawsuit against the City of New York and its contractors resulted in a global settlement after seven years of litigation; appeals on certain issues are still ongoing.  Wendell graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2000 after earning a B.A. from Brown University and M.A. from Columbia University, both in comparative literature (English, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish).  She counts Brooklyn, Queens, Tokyo, Taipei, Manhattan, Westchester, and Los Angeles equally as her hometowns.
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