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Entries filed under 'Amicus Curiae Briefs'

    ABA urges U.S. Supreme Court to reject Trump administration’s latest travel ban on immigrants

    April 2, 2018 9:06 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, April 2, 2018 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief late Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Hawaii’s challenge to President Donald Trump’s revised executive order banning all immigration from six majority-Muslim nations, including five covered under previous versions of the executive order.

    The most recent executive order, the third issued by the president seeking to restrict the entry of individuals, was issued on Sept. 24, 2017, the same day the previous order expired. The proclamation also bars certain non-immigrant visas for nationals of five of the countries while imposing token restrictions on two other, non-Muslim countries, the brief said.

    Like the amicus briefs filed in previous cases, the ABA brief takes issue with the Trump administration’s contention that the executive order is unreviewable by the courts, including the Supreme Court.

    “The government contends that this sweeping exercise of authority by the president is simply unreviewable,” the brief said.

    “That position cannot be reconciled with this court’s precedent and with the rule of law,” the ABA brief continued. “The ABA urges this court to reject the government’s argument that the court should abdicate its role and, instead, to exercise its full power of judicial review to preserve and enforce fundamental constitutional and statutory limits on executive power.”

    The ABA brief also argues that the latest revised executive order violates the prohibition on national origin discrimination in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and that the government’s arguments are inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s rulings in modern cases.

    The ABA amicus brief filed in Donald J. Trump v State of Hawaii is available here.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to legal questions and issues. Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com and follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

     

    ABA urges Georgia Supreme Court to review case denying military spouse exemption

    March 29, 2018 10:30 AM by romeroi

    CHICAGO, March 29, 2018 — The American Bar Association has filed an amicus brief with the Georgia Supreme Court in an appeal brought by attorney Harriet O’Neal to be admitted to practice law in the state under a bar admission waiver for military spouses.

    The ABA adopted policy in 2012 that urges state and territorial bars to adopt rules and regulations to accommodate the unique needs of military-spouse lawyers, who find themselves frequently moving because of transfers of their military spouses. To date, the Military Spouse JD Network says 30 licensing jurisdictions have adopted regulations consistent with ABA policy, with Georgia becoming the 22nd state in October 2016.

    O’Neal, who was admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 2014 and is a dependent spouse of an active-duty Army infantry captain stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., filed for the waiver with the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners. The petition was denied without explanation.

    “The ABA has concerns that the board’s failure to explain the basis for its decision to deny petitioner’s application risks the improper implementation of the waiver policy, undermining its utility, interfering with this court’s judicial review function and potentially violating petitioner’s procedural due process rights,” the brief said. It added that due process requires at a minimum advisement “of what the government proposes and to be heard upon its proposals before it issues its final command”

    The ABA amicus brief filed with the Georgia Supreme Court is available here.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to legal questions and issues. Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com and follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

     

    ABA urges attorney general to continue administrative closure in immigration cases

    February 20, 2018 9:05 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2018 — The American Bar Association has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Department of Justice, outlining reasons why the attorney general should not withdraw the ability of immigration judges to use administrative closure to suspend deportation proceedings.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who administers the nation’s system of immigration adjudication, requested comment on whether immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals have authority to order administrative closure in a case, a long-standing practice that essentially pauses a deportation proceeding. This could occur for various reasons, including the likelihood that an individual might prevail in an action separate from a removal proceeding that entitles them to relief from removal.

    The ABA brief, filed late Friday, notes the nation’s more than 300 immigration judges are now overwhelmed in their caseload and that the use of administrative closure “is a practical necessity” to ensure that the immigration court backlog does not grow further. As of December 2017, there were 667,000 matters pending before immigration judges and the waiting time for a proceeding is typically two years or more, the brief explained, citing an outside study.

    The ABA brief adds that the U.S. Supreme Court has described the “power to defer adjudication of a case as inherent in the authority to decide cases” and this is a necessary tool for an immigration judge.

    “Withdrawing the authority from (immigration judges) and the Board to administratively close proceedings would make it considerably more difficult for those individuals to obtain relief,” the ABA brief said. “In the absence of administrative closure, (judges) confronted with such cases will either issue continuance after continuance to allow noncitizens to pursue relief in another forum or will issue final orders of removal, pretermitting those proceedings. Neither course is appropriate or desirable in an efficient and balanced adjudicative system. … A decision to withdraw administrative closure authority, in other words, is not an abstract or procedural one; it would have profound and long-lasting consequences on the operation of the immigration adjudication system and the lives of those who must proceed through it.”

    The ABA amicus brief filed with the Justice Department is available here.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

    ABA asks high court to overturn conviction in case where counsel conceded guilt over client’s wishes

    November 21, 2017 10:58 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Nov. 21, 2017 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing in a Louisiana capital murder case that it is unconstitutional for a defense attorney to concede a defendant’s guilt over the expressed objection of the accused.

     

    The case, on appeal from the Louisiana Supreme Court, raises the broader issue of decision-making in the attorney-client relationship and whether the client has the right to set the objective of his or her representation as well as the proper role of an attorney when his or her client strenuously objects to the lawyer’s strategy and presentation at trial.

     

    In this case, defendant Robert McCoy, subsequently convicted of the murders of his estranged wife’s son, mother and stepfather, attempted to advance his innocence claim but was contradicted by his lawyer from the outset of the trial to the end. Specifically, court-appointed counsel Larry English conceded McCoy’s guilt to the jury in hopes of saving his life. The ABA brief noted that under model rules of professional conduct, English could have refused to participate in any affirmative defense that he knew to be false but could not impose a “concession strategy over Mr. McCoy’s repeated and strenuous objections.”

     

    “A mentally competent client has the right to decide whether to contest or admit guilt,” the ABA brief said. “Mr. English’s usurpation of Mr. McCoy’s clearly-expressed decision to contest guilt at trial, however well intended, violated the principles underlying the proper role of counsel in an attorney-client relationship as laid out in the Constitution and the rules, guidelines, and standards of the ABA and the Louisiana State Bar Association.”

     

    The brief argued that the Louisiana Supreme Court, which affirmed the convictions, erred in its conclusion that the lawyer’s conduct was necessary to avoid violating his duty of candor toward the trial court by eliciting false or perjured testimony. “The prohibition against offering false evidence only applies if the lawyer knows that the evidence is false,” the brief said. “A lawyer’s reasonable belief that evidence is false does not preclude its presentation to the trier of fact.”

     

    The amicus brief in Robert M. McCoy v. State of Louisiana is available here.

     

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

     

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

     

     

    ABA urges Supreme Court to uphold long-standing civil rights principles in gay wedding cake case

    October 30, 2017 12:56 PM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, Oct. 30, 2017 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief today, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm a Colorado court decision that the state could constitutionally apply its public accommodations law to bar a bakeshop from refusing to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples.

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    ABA urges appeals courts to uphold rulings that halted revised immigration EOs

    April 19, 2017 1:39 PM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, April 19, 2017 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Wednesday, asking the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court’s stay of enforcement of the presidential executive order imposing a travel ban on persons from six overwhelming Muslim countries.

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    ABA urges high court to uphold key trademark principles in deciding free-speech case

    November 16, 2016 11:18 AM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2016 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Wednesday, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to be mindful of basic trademark law in considering a case that pits First Amendment doctrine against the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act.

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    ABA urges California high court to require record of trial court proceedings for indigent litigants

    July 28, 2016 11:19 AM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, July 28, 2016 — The American Bar Association has filed an amicus brief, asking the California Supreme Court to mandate that state trial courts provide court reporters for indigent litigants, if necessary, to ensure equal access to justice.

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    ABA urges U.S. Supreme Court to apply copyright ruling to patent cases

    July 22, 2016 11:55 AM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, July 22, 2016 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Friday, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to expand to patent cases its previous ruling in a copyright case limiting use of laches as a defense.

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    ABA urges 6th Circuit to affirm ruling that halted inflexible money-bail system in Tennessee

    April 26, 2016 2:44 PM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, April 26, 2016 — The American Bar Association on Tuesday filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, asking the court to affirm a lower court action that enjoined Rutherford County, Tenn., from implementing a pre-hearing, jail-or-pay scheme for minor probation offenses.

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