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143 Madison Avenue, 4th floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-6018
Fax (212) 679-6178
Email nlgnyc@igc.org www.nlgnyc.org
                                          NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD – NYC CHAPTER                                                                                                      SPRING 2005

Fighting Back:
A Report from the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
    On February 10, 2005, the                                                                                                             Lynne Stewart
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee                                                                                                           at press confer-
                                                                                                                                          ence after the
learned that the jury had reached a                                                                                                       verdict. Lynne
verdict after three weeks of deliber-                                                                                                     remains free
ation. We immediately sprang into                                                                                                         on bail until
action and urged Lynne’s support-                                                                                                         her sentencing
                                                                                                                                          on September
ers to pack the courtroom. Every
seat was filled and the atmosphere
was tense when the jury’s verdict
was finally read - Guilty, Guilty,
Guilty. We all sat stunned and out-
raged. When polled, some jurors
wept. Some of us also wept while
some were too furious to weep.
The news spread like wild fire
throughout the world and pro-
voked outrage at the travesty of
justice. The verdict brought the
reality of repression home to all of
us, the effect of the fear instilled by
this government on our people
and on this jury.                         received an outpouring of calls,        Lynne certainly did not aid terror-   nized that Lynne was convicted
    The grassroots response in            emails and letters of support for       ism and should never even have        only after she was tried jointly in a
support of Lynne has been incred-         Lynne. Most felt that Lynne was         been charged with Materially          prejudicial show trial in a court
ible. The defense committee has           not going to be convicted. After all,   Aiding Terrorism. Many recog-         room minutes away from the site
                                                                                                                        of the World Trade Center.
                                                                                                                            We had originally wanted to
NYC Subpoena for NLG Records                                                                                            throw a Victory Party after the ver-
                                                                                                                        dict. Instead, we organized a Speak
                                                                                                                        Out at The Community Church in
Quashed; City Loses Appeal                                                                                              New York City. This followed a
                                                                                                                        Day of Outrage sponsored by the
BY BOB BOYLE                              with repression.                        City’s subpoena, served during the    National Lawyers Guild, which
    According to an old movement               In December, 2004, the Guild’s     11th hour of discovery, requested     featured events around the coun-
slogan, resistance breeds repres-         National Office was served with a       that the Guild provide, among         try in support of Lynne. People
sion and repression breeds                third party subpoena duces tecum        other things, the following:          needed to express their thoughts
resistance. During the Republican         arising out of the lawsuit Allen, et    • All documents identifying the       and emotions about the verdict
National Convention, the NLG              al., v. The City of New York, 03 CV        names of witnesses interviewed;    and to join together to renew their
City chapter effectively resisted the     2829. Allen is 42 U.S.C. §1983          • by the National Lawyers’ Guild      commitment to fight what looks
attempts of City of New York and          action alleging that members of            concerning the [February, 2002     more and more like creeping fas-
the NYPD to silence the dissent of        the Animal and Earth Liberation            protest];                          cism. At the Speak Out, speakers
the hundreds of thousands who             Front were falsely arrested and         • All documents identifying the       reminded us that in Nazi Germany
came to protest Bush’s national           assaulted during a protest on              names of any legal observers of    the government acted “legally” too
and international policies. We            February 3, 2002 during the World       • the National Lawyers Guild          and that legal actions smoothed
organized, and so it should not           Economic forum. The NLG pro-               present at the [February, 2002     the way for fascism to take over.
come as no surprise that the City         vided legal observers for some of          protest].                              The verdict against Lynne was
government is now responding              the protests that weekend. The                          continued on page 5                   continued on page 6
 New York City News                                          PRESIDENTS COLUMN
 Editorial Board                                             BY MARTIN R. STOLAR
 Ursula Levelt

                              Courtesy of Eyewitness Video
 Ann Schneider
                                                                                                                                                        As part of the dis-
 Colin Starger                                                                                                                                          covery for an
                                                                                                                                                        RNC-related case,
 Graphic Design: Judith Rew                                                                                                                             the NLG obtained
                                                                                                                                                        surveillance tapes
 NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD                                                                                                                                 which revealed
 143 Madison Ave, 4th floor                                                                                                                             that the NYPD
 New York, NY 10016-6717                                                                                                                                was spying on
 phone 212-679-6018                                                                                                                                     lovers on a roof.
 fax 212-679-6178                                                                                                                                       Marty appeared
 email: nlgnyc@igc.org                                                                                                                                  on CBS tv to
 President                                                                                                                                              comment on this
 Martin R. Stolar                                                                                                                                       violation of pri-
 Vice Presidents                                                                                                                                        vacy and
 Rachel Meeropol                                                                                                                                        inappropriate use
 Colin Starger                                                                                                                                          of police
 Executive Committee                                                                                                                                    resources.
 Bruce K. Bentley
 Rick Best
 Dana Biberman
 Robert Boyle
 Jessica Brown
 Julia Cohen
                                                                 am most proud of the outstanding work our             Chapter’s motion to intervene and quash the sub-

 Julie Dinnerstein
 Dennis Donohue                                                  Chapter has done, and continues to do,                poena was granted, with the Judge noting that the
 Elizabeth Fink                                                  around the Republican National Convention.            NLG and its Legal Observers have important 1st
 Aaron David Frishberg
 Risa Gerson                                                 Not only has the Mass Defense Committee pro-              Amendment associational rights which shield it
 William Goodman                                             vided pre- and post-arrest assistance to those            from such intrusions by the government. Thanks
 John Hirsh                                                  arrested in a week’s worth of demonstrations, but         are due to Bob Boyle who stood up for the
 Deborah Hrbek
 Joni Kletter                                                the new Affirmative Litigation Committee has              Chapter.
 Margaret Ratner Kunstler                                    filed a federal class-action civil rights suit, is han-       While these successes are good, the loss of the
 Sarah Kunstler                                              dling hearings based on claims against the City,          Lynne Stewart trial is very bad. Lynne’s conviction
 Joel Kupferman
 Yetta Kurland                                               and has filed and will be filing numerous individ-        places every lawyer who represents unpopular
 Ursula Levelt                                               ual lawsuits. On top of that, the Writ Squad is           clients or causes in jeopardy. We in the NLG have
 Joseph Lipofsky                                             pursuing civil and criminal contempt charges              a special responsibility to support Lynne and to
 Christopher Martin
 Sally Mendola                                               against the City for failing to obey judicial orders      help garner support outside the organization. Do
 Daniel Meyers                                               to release hundreds of detainees on time. Without         what you can and get involved!
 David Milton                                                the special funding raised through the efforts of             Over the past year the Chapter has been a
 Clare Norins
 Gideon Orion Oliver                                         Liz Fink and Margie Ratner Kunstler, little of the        hotbed of activity over and above our RNC work.
 Ann Schneider                                               unprecedented work we are doing would have                The Military Law Committee has been actively
 Dorothy Shtob                                               been possible.                                            training GI counselors, we have reached out to the
 Michael Steven Smith
 Susan Taylor                                                    All of our success in fighting with the City has      student chapters at area law schools, and the
 Michael Weisberg                                            not come without attracting some attention. In            Dinner Committee has once again done a
 Representatives from NYC                                    January of this year, the City issued a third-party       tremendous job. The only disappointment has
 Area Law Schools
                                                             subpoena to the NLG seeking lists of Legal                been our ability to afford a full-time staff person -
 COMMITTEE CHAIRS                                            Observers at a 2002 WEF demonstration. Our                got any ideas?
 Environmental Committee:
 Joel Kupferman
 Labor and Employment
 Ursula Levelt                                                                                  ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS
 Mass Defense Committee:                                                                         PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES!
 Bruce Bentley

2 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG                                                                                                           SPRING 2005
Critical Mass: NLG Backs Bicyclists
BY ANN SCHNEIDER                        Ray Kelly published an op-ed in

                                                                                                                                                                     Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel
    Kryptonite locks weren’t            the Daily News alleging that
enough to keep the NYPD from            “Extremists have hijacked the
stealing bicycles from Critical         bike ride.”
Mass riders last September. To jus-         2500 riders gathered nonethe-
tify its crackdown on the virtually     less for the Halloween ride. At
spontaneous Friday night bike           Union Square, the Police distrib-
rides that have been taking place       uted a leaflet citing a section of the
every month for ten years, the city     Vehicle and Traffic Law that the
has resorted to deliberate misstate-    city admitted in open court the
ments of the law; name-calling          previous day was inapplicable in
cyclists as “extremists;” and a         the City of New York.
reverse class action seeking a fed-         Apparently frustrated with the
eral injunction against the event.      lack of a warm reception in fed-
    Gideon Oliver details the entire    eral court, the NYPD then
history of the event and subse-         attempted to raid the Time’s Up
quent police escalation in a 97-        building on Houston Street where
page brief filed on behalf of a         many had gathered for an after-
chivalrous rider who was arrested       ride Halloween party and began a
as he tried to help a woman             police riot. Party-goers chanted         Legal Observer Mark Taylor being arrested.
injured by the police at the            back, “Not without a permit.”
Halloween ride last year, People v.         The city has now refiled its suit    Time’s Up, Inc., the city seeks to           all those arrested in the Critical
Arun Gupta.                             in state court seeking to enjoin the     enjoin four individually-named               Mass rides.
    On October 28, 2004, Judge          rides altogether, Michael Chertoff-      defendants from riding in Critical               One of the ironies of the city’s
William H. Pauley denied the            style. As in federal court, the city     Mass without a permit. In stun-              chosen path is that no rider has
city’s request for class action and     once again characterizes the rides       ning disregard for the First                 ever been charged with what is an
an injunction against the bicycle       as a “procession”and insists a per-      Amendment, it also seeks a prior             enforceable infraction of the law:
ride. The city’s requests were          mit is needed for the event. The         restraint on all public announce-            running a red light.
made in response to (new Guild          NYPD claims complete discretion          ment of the meeting time and                     Guild Legal Observers Mark
member) Norman Siegel’s suit for        whether or not to grant a permit.        place for the regular rides.                 Taylor and Brad Conover have
the return of five bicycles             Judge Pauley denied the city’s               Gideon sees an advantage to              been arrested while observing
removed by the police.                  request for an injunction last fall,     the new suit: It puts the burden             Critical Masses this year. Gideon
    On the morning of Friday,           but deferred to the state courts to      on the city to justify its interpre-         has won the acquittal of four rid-
October 29, the date of the             interpret state law.                     tation of the parading permit                ers so far, but other judges have
Halloween Ride, Commissioner                In the present suit, City v.         that it has been using to charge             upheld the arrests.

GUILD CIVIL LITIGATION:                                                                                                       out probable cause, held overnight
                                                                                                                              in a filthy, greasy bus depot on

50-h Hearings Are The First Step                                                                                              Hudson River with very little food,
                                                                                                                              no phone and no attorney access,
                                                                                                                              no place to sit or lie down without
BY RICK BEST                            people who filed notices of claim        claimants at these hearings.                 being covered in grease, bused to
    In order to sue New York City,      for the RNC arrests, the city began          It is an amazing experience to           100 Centre Street and held
state law requires that a notice of     scheduling 50-h hearings begin-          actually interview scores of people          another night on minor violation
claim be filed within ninety days                                                from all walks of life who were              charges.
of the injury. After the Republican                                              seized without probable cause                   In fact, the Hudson River Park
National Convention (RNC)                   Over 15 NLG                          during the RNC. There are many               Trust that owns and operates the
about 400 people who had been                                                    young people who were shocked                bus depot where protestors were
arrested filed notices of claim list-       attorneys, and                       and upset by the experience, but             confined has complained openly
ing the NLG as their attorney.                                                   they have decided to fight for               that they were not “fully informed
Filing a notice of claim is a condi-
                                           fellow travelers,                     redress in the hope that this would          of NYPD’s true operational plans
tion precedent to suing New York         have stepped up to                      not happen again. There are also a           for the facility.” In December, the
City, under state law, for unlawful                                              number of formerly young people              State Committee on Open
detention, excessive confinement         represent potential                     who had the same experience and              Government condemned the
and conditions of confinement,                claimants.                         the same reactions.                          NYPD’s refusal to release docu-
among other claims.                                                                  The city has contracted these            ments relating to Pier 57 requested
    After a notice of claim has been                                             hearings out to private counsel.             by Guild member Joel Kupferman
filed the city may request a “50-h”     ning in January. Over 15 NLG             Some of the attorneys have been              of the New York Environmental
hearing. This is a mini-deposition      attorneys, and fellow travelers, have    very considerate of the clients              Law and Justice Project.
on the injury and damages. For the      stepped up to represent potential        experiences in being seized with-                             continued on page 4

SPRING 2005                                                                             WWW.NLGNYC.ORG • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • 3
                                         GUILD IN ACTION
                                                                                                         Inhumane Confinement: Exceptions to the
   Enduring contempt                                                                                     Rule of Law?
                                                                                                            Three amazing panelists spoke at this
       The hearing to determine whether or not Judge John Cataldo’s preliminary finding of               event, held during the NYU Public Interest
   contempt against New York City, scheduled to begin on March 28th was postponed again.                 Career Fair. Reed Brody, Special Counsel for
   In a pretrial conference held on Wednesday March 23rd, the Judge strongly indicated that              Prosecutions at Human Rights Watch, spoke
   the City should consider offering a settlement to the RNC plaintiffs who were held in vio-            on torture and international human rights
   lation of his September 2nd release orders. Judge Cataldo’’s court attorney began mediating           norms. Nancy Chang, Senior Attorney at the
   between the parties. To facilitate the exchange, settlement discussions are being kept confi-         Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR),
   dential at this time. The court set a date of April 11th to explore settlement, and if no             spoke about Turkmen v. Aschroft, a case aris-
   agreement is reached, the contempt hearing will begin on April 18th. The contempt case                ing from the mistreatment of immigrant
   affects 400 RNC demonstrators held in police custody beyond 1pm on Thursday                           detainees in Brooklyn, and Jeff Fogel, CCR
   September 2nd. Plaintiff’’s attorneys include the National Lawyers Guild and the Legal Aid            Legal Director, spoke about suits on behalf of
   Society. (Ann Schneider)                                                                              the victims of torture in Abu Ghraib and else-
                                                                                                         where in the world. Over 80 students and
                                                                                                         NLG members attended this wonderful event.
                                                   issues pose substantively more destructive            (Joni Kletter)
National Guild President                           threats to our national well being than does the
Avery in NYC                                       war on terror, yet the focus of the administra-       Keep the filibuster
                                                   tion is clearly on the one thing that is likely to
    On January 25th, 2005, Cardozo School of       incite people to willingly forgo their civil liber-       NYC Chapter President Marty Stolar wrote
Law hosted a visit from NLG’s President            ties in exchange for the perception of security.      a letter in March to Senator Hillary Clinton
Michael Avery, who also visited CUNY and               In addition to the program, the reception         urging her to oppose Senator Frist’s current
Brooklyn Law.                                      afterward was a great opportunity to meet with        attempts to eliminate the filibuster. As argued
    Mr. Avery gave a compelling and elucidating    other local Guild chapters: NYU, Pace,                in the letter, the filibuster is “one of the few
talk on the threats posed to a Constitutional      Fordham, Brooklyn Law, and the NYC chapter            available protections against the appointment
democracy by legislation such as the USA           members all in attendance. Hopefully, the event       of extreme far-right ideological Supreme Court
PATRIOT Act. The Act itself appears to be          can serve as a stepping stone for more mutual         and appellate court nominees on to the Federal
more of a gift of expanded police powers for       endeavors in the future! (Robert Kendall)             bench.” The NYC Chapter joined the People for
the state to use in the pursuit of a particular                                                          the American Way and other organizations
political agenda, than a legitimate tool of law    Torture and its exceptions                            urging New York’s senators to oppose nomi-
enforcement.                                                                                             nees who threaten to undermine constitutional
    Mr. Avery also outlined how the U.S. gov-         On February 10, 2005, the NLG NYC chap-            rights to privacy, civil rights, a woman’s right to
ernment is facing numerous other crises in the     ter and NYU law students held an event at             chose, environmental and worker’s rights and
environment, health care, and poverty. These       NYU Law School entitled, Torture and                  more. (Colin Starger)

Hearings                               and maintaining the database at        Southern District indicated his         2003 World Economic Forum
continued from page 3                  the NLG office has been done by        preference for discovery to be coor-    (WEF). In that case, Judge Pauley
                                       Bruce Bentley, Elieen Clancy,          dinated among the Guild’s class         recently granted class certification
    These hearing do not take a        Cynthia Riggins-Noel, and Jeff         action and the individual suits aris-   based on the City’s detention of
significant amount of time. Each       Senter among others. The honor         ing out of the RNC, including the       arrestees for upwards of two days.
client meets with an attorney for      roll of attorneys that have stepped    lawsuit brought by the NYCLU.           Because of its obvious similarities
an hour or two prior to the hear-      up includes: Dru Carey, Emily              Guild attorney Jonathan             to the WEF case, Moore argued,
ing. The hearings themselves take      Compton, Brad Conover, Mary            Moore was able to cite to Judge         class certification of the RNC suit
between 45 minutes and a couple        Dorman, Liz Fink, Goodman &            Karas his recent win of class status    is also appropriate. The City will
of hours. Meeting these clients is     Moore, Alan Levine, Alan D.            for those arrested at the February      respond at the next conference.
an inspiring experience. Hearing       Levine, Lori Masco, James
first-hand stories of being swept      Meyerson, David Milton, Clair
up without having done anything        Norins, Paul O’Dwyer, Gideon
more then standing on the side-        Oliver, Ann Schneider, Norman
walk, or riding a bike, and held for   Siegel and Earl Ward, Michael
                                                                                         If you would like to take a couple of
30 or 40 hours in dreadful condi-      Spiegel, Marty Stolar, Jeff                        50-h hearings, contact Rick Best at
tions, is very motivating. There is    Rothman, Laura Russell, and                                rbest@rickbest.org.
training material for anyone inter-    Rose Weber.
ested in representing clients in           The bid by the Guild’s                     Attorneys interested in bringing individual
these hearings. There are hearings     Affirmative Litigation Committee             litigation or working with attorneys bringing
everyday in midtown, downtown          to win class action status for              individual litigation, should also contact Rick
and Brooklyn that you can sit in       activists at last year’s Republican
on. The hearings are scheduled         National Convention remains                            Best at rbest@rickbest.org.
through June.                          pending. At a recent conference,
    The work of copying the files      Judge Kenneth Karas in the

4 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG                                                                                          SPRING 2005
   The Guild a paragon of truth-telling;
   80% of RNC arrests resolved in favor of arrestees
   BY JEFF SENTER & BRUCE BENTLEY                                             “green dragon” incident. Trial is expected to begin in late March or
       “Yesterday’s dismissals nudged the proportion of cases that have       early April.
   been dismissed, acquitted or adjourned in contemplation of dismissal           As of 3/21/05, trials have resulted in 32 acquittals and 14 convic-
   to 80 percent” NY Times 3/16/05                                            tions; all but one of the convictions were for violations. Only 8% of
       Although George Bush and the Republican National Convention            the over 1,800 arrests have resulted in pleas or convictions. Tellingly,
   (RNC) left town seven months ago, the aftermath drags on in New            not a single person who has been convicted has been sentenced to
   York County Criminal Court. Over 150 RNC criminal cases are still          serve any jail time. This exposes the folly and injustice of the NYPD’s
   pending. The District Attorney’s                                                                              actions in arresting thousands of
   office is still vigorously pursuing                                                                           protestors and detaining them for
   even violation cases but RNC Mass          This exposes the folly and injustice                               excessive periods of time during the
   Defense is fighting back. In two
   days alone (March 15-16) six RNC           of the NYPD’s actions in arresting                                     These statistics are apparently
   cases were outright dismissed.                                                                                difficult for Police Commissioner
       Nine defendants who were
                                                  thousands of protestors and                                    Ray Kelly to accept: “After a reporter
   caught in one of the mass arrests             detaining them for excessive                                    cited the numbers [from the NLG
   were consolidated into one trial                                                                              website] showing that judges had
   (“Orange        Netting      Nine”).        periods of time during the RNC.                                   dismissed 300 cases, Kelly said, ‘I
   Represented by NYC Guild                                                                                      wouldn’t hold the National Lawyers
   President Marty Stolar and                                                                                    Guild as a paragon of truth-telling
   Natasha Lapiner-Giresi (NY County Defenders), the judge found all          and virtue.’” Newsday 3/15/05.
   nine “Not Guilty”, after eight police witnesses could only testify that        As a matter of fact, District Attorney Morgenthau’s office had
   the defendants were merely on the sidewalk.                                released new numbers the day before Kelly’s press statements, show-
       While most of the remaining cases allege violations and misde-         ing that 376 cases had been dismissed. The Newsday reporter did the
   meanors, there is one pending felony case against Josh Banno, who is       Guild the favor of reporting the Morgenthau numbers just below
   represented by Guild attorney Sabrina Shroff, which arose out of the       Kelly’s attack on the Guild. Kudos to what remains of a free press!

NYC Subpoena                                         the Appellate Division, First Department in the        Our arguments succeeded. On February 25,
continued from page 1                                aforementioned contempt litigation and             2005, Magistrate Judge Gorenstein issued an
                                                     shortly after claimants were questioned about      order granting our motion to intervene and
    This subpoena represented the first time in      the NLG-NYC during their 50-H hearings.            quashing the subpoena. He noted that since
the memory that the City had attempted to            Given the foregoing, the NLG-NYC reasonably        specific lists were not kept by the NLG, some
obtain what was, in effect, a portion of our         believes that the subpoena was issued in bad       50-60 names would be provided to the City if
membership list. The subpoena also came              faith and in retaliation for our work during the   compliance were ordered. More importantly,
shortly after 50-H hearings held after the RNC       Republican National Convention. The sub-           however, the Judge recognized the chilling
arrests, where claimants were repeatedly asked       poena is also an attempt to gather intelligence    effect such compliance would have on the work
questions about their relationship to the NLG        on the NLG- NYC and to chill future work in        of the NLG:
and our role in the demonstrations. Clearly, the     support of the First Amendment activities of           “I really view these observers not quite as
subpoena was an part of an attack on our             our organization and political activists in New    independent neutral people who have no partic-
organization.                                        York City.                                         ular stake in whether they get hauled into court
    The NLG/NO was represented by long time                                                             for a deposition, but I think they do this because
Guild member David Rudovsky of                                                                          of their afinite (sic) with the goals of the National
Philadelphia. When the City filed a motion to                                                           Lawyers Guild. So, it really makes them more
compel compliance, the NYC Chapter cooper-                                                              akin to members and people who are engaging in
ated in the defense by moving to intervening to                  Should the                             associational activity with the National Lawyers
protect our closely-related, but distinct inter-             identities of legal                        Guild, and, therefore, I think there is a real chill-
ests. This writer, with the assistance of several                                                       ing effect...”
members of the EC prepared a motion to inter-            observers be provided to                           Chilling the Guild, however, is not one of
vene and quash. As we argued in our papers:              the City, the NLG-NYC’s                        the City’s concerns as evidenced by its attempt
    “Should the identities of legal observers be                                                        to appeal the Magistrate’s ruling to District
provided to the City, the NLG-NYC’s ability to            ability to organize legal                     Judge Kimba Wood. But the courts stood firm.
organize legal observers for future demonstra-              observers for future                        Judge Wood ruled: “None of Magistrate
tions will be compromised since individuals will                                                        Gorenstein’s rulings is either clearly erroneous
be less likely to perform such work if it is known        demonstrations will be                        or contrary to law” and denied the appeal. 1-0
that their identities will be provided to law                  compromised...                           for the Guild. However, we are confident that as
enforcement...”                                                                                         long as the NLG is effective in resisting repres-
    These unprecedented subpoenas were                                                                  sion, we can expect more of the same from the
issued shortly after the NLG-NYC prevailed in                                                           City and NYPD.

SPRING 2005                                                                          WWW.NLGNYC.ORG • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • 5
              BENEFIT FOR THE                                                                                           MEMBER
    NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD, NYC CHAPTER                                                                                  NEWS
                                                                                                                     Congratulations to Bob Boyle,
                                                                                                                  Colin Starger, Dean Spade, M.
                                                                                                                  Tarif Warren, Susan Tipograph,
                                                                                                                  Kumao Carl Franklin for their suc-
                                                                                                                  cessful trial motion to dismiss all
                                                                                                                  charges lodged against the
                                                                                                                  Brooklyn 7. The lawyers were part
                                                                                                                  of the team defending eight
                                                                                                                  activists of color who were
                                                                                                                  charged with obstructing govern-
                                                                                                                  mental administration and
                                                                                                                  incitement to riot after police
                                                                                                                  raided the Critical Resistance
                                                                                                                  space in November 2003.
                                                                                                                                  • • •
                                                                                         Brooklyn                     Joel Kupferman celebrated his
                                                                                         Bluegrass”               50th birthday at a Chinatown
                                                                                                                  restaurant on March 25th, sur-
                                                                                                                  rounded by fans in the
                   April 20, 2005 at Galapagos, 70 N. 6th Street in Williamsburg                                  environmental justice movement,
                                $10 - $20 sliding scale 6pm to 10pm                                               family, fellow pranksters from
             featuring fine bluegrass with “The Cobble Hillbillies” and other surprises                           Hofstra, and his lovely and tal-
                                                                                                                  ented companion Columbia.

                                  Lynne Stewart                                               longer controlling (because of recent Supreme Court
    HOW YOU CAN                   continued from page 1                                       cases) Judge Koeltl actually has discretion in sentenc-
                                                                                              ing. We are hopeful that providing the judge with an

                                  a call to action and we are answering it. The defense
                                  committee now meets about every two weeks and
                                  maintains a steady energetic group of people. We
                                  have formed committees with areas of responsibility
                                                                                              impressive array of letters on Lynne’s behalf will have
                                                                                              a positive impact. The deadline for those letters is July
                                                                                              15th. (See www.lynnestewart.org for details).
                                                                                                  There is a lot of worry in this country today. Many
                                  distributed accordingly. We are planning our own            of us worry and fear that our so-called rulers are suc-
    Write a letter to Judge       events and tabling at others. We are updating litera-       ceeding in their agenda to strip us of hard-won rights,
     Koeltl before July 15.       ture and producing a pamphlet with the NLG for              guarantees and more. We are now in a fight for our
  Instructions on suggested       nationwide distribution. For those who want to do           very future that we must win and cannot lose. The
     form and content at          group outreach, we have available a DVD or CD of            Lynne Stewart Defense Committee is in a unique
    www.lynnestewart.org          Amy Goodman’s interview of Lynne Stewart, Michael           position in this struggle, and our work to keep Lynne
                                  Tigar and Ramsey Clark recorded the day after the           Stewart free and raise the issues exposed by her case
        Donate money.             verdict. Other projects in the works include a video of     has opened the way for communication and action
       Donations can be           an interview with Lynne and a CD produced by sup-           from diverse movements for justice. We are grateful
    submitted on online, or       porters in the African-American community                   for our unity and sense of purpose that Lynne
     checks can be sent to        focusing on Lynne Stewart the person, and featuring         Stewart’s case brings, and while we are deeply sad-
       The Lynne Stewart          interviews with former clients and friends from the         dened for our dear Lynne, we remain hopeful for her
      Defense Committee           community. These materials can be used by people to         ultimate vindication and the future.
   350 Broadway, Suite 700,       hold events, house parties, letter writing meetings to
     New York, NY 10013.          talk about Lynne Stewart and what her case means to
                                                                                                Burned by the new bankruptcy bill?
       For tax deductible         all of us.
    contributions, make the           The defense committee is calling for immediate            Do the Republicans have your knickers
     check payable to The         help publicizing a critical letter-writing campaign to        in a knot? Take the opportunity to
    National Lawyers Guild        make pleas for leniency to Judge Koeltl before sen-           write a well-reasoned polemic o/b/o the
      Foundation and put          tencing. We want to make it clear to the Judge that           National Lawyers Guild for our regular
   LSDC on the memo line.         Lynne is not “dangerous” and that she has served as a         column in The Indypendent, called
                                  lawyer of distinction for thirty years. While we may
    Other ideas? Contact us       be tempted to use the letter to the Judge to rail against     “The People’s Lawyer.” Contact Ann
   at info@lynnestewart.org       the system, such rage will not be helpful to Lynne. She       Schneider at aschneider@gkllaw.com
      or call 212-625-9696.       is 65 years old and faces a possible 30 year sentence.        or by calling (212) 269-2500.
                                  Now that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are no

6 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG                                                                                      SPRING 2005
                                                                          The Walmart Debate
BY URSULA LEVELT                                                      strength of this defense was easily    forcing its employees to work           what the Federalist Society thinks
    First Inglewood, California                                       confirmed when two thirds of the       part-time, it has taken advantage       about that option.)
defeated the arrival of Walmart, fol-                                 audience admitted they had             of existing public health pro-              What to do? Stronger laws may
lowed by Chicago’s South Side, and                                    shopped at Walmart recently.           grams. Their incomes are thus low       help, but can only do so much. For
now Rego Park, New York. Why                                              According to Crane, nobody is      enough to qualify for Medicaid          instance, laws requiring all employ-
refuse an offer of low prices and                                     holding a gun to people’s heads to     and other public assistance pro-        ers to provide health insurance or a
jobs coming to your community?                                        force them to work for Walmart: if     grams tailored for low income           living wage would force many a
    The       NYC      Labor       and                                they don’t like it, go elsewhere.      families. The Institute for Labor       Mom & Pop store to close. But such
Employment Committee, together                                        This logic is as simple as it is       and Employment at UC Berkeley           legislation has little chance of pass-
with the newly formed Labor and                                       wrongheaded, as anyone who has         has calculated that the use of pub-     ing in light of the control that large
Employment Society at Cardozo                                         ever desperately looked for work       lic benefits by Walmart employees       corporation have. An alternative is
Law School, wanted to expose the                                      knows, but, based on the questions     has cost the taxpayers of California    to create a market force to counter
evil Walmart represents to U.S.                                       coming from the audience, accept-      $86 million in 2004. Harper’s           Walmart’s power.
workers. But, to avoid being labeled                                                                                                                     Moderator Dan Silverman,
“one-sided,” the Cardozo students                                                                                                                    Professor at Cardozo and former
                                         Courtesy of Mike Konopacki

joined forces with the school’s                                                                                                                      Regional Director for the National
Federalist Society and organized a                                                                                                                   Labor Relations Board, empha-
debate. They also thought this                                                                                                                       sized the importance of giving
approach would get the interest of                                                                                                                   employees a true chance to organ-
their fellow students and they were                                                                                                                  ize. If we let market forces
right: Last November, more than                                                                                                                      determine the kind of society we
120 students showed up for The                                                                                                                       live in, and the many resent the
Walmart Debate. But Walmart did                                                                                                                      power of the few, then the many
not: in spite of numerous and insis-                                                                                                                 should combine forces to counter
tent invitations, the company                                                                                                                        the power of the few.
declined to send a speaker. Instead                                                                                                                  Unfortunately, in the case of
Cardozo’s Professor Daniel Crane                                                                                                                     Walmart, the many have not been
agreed to take on Walmart’s defense.                                                                                                                 able to organize: the company is
    James Linsey opened The                                                                                                                          too strong, the labor movement
Debate with an exposition of                                                                                                                         too weak, and penalties for break-
Walmart’s assorted evil deeds.                                                                                                                       ing labor laws negligible. Walmart
Linsey is a partner at Cohen Weiss                                                                                                                   is willing and able to pay a high
and Simon LLP, a New York City                                                                                                                       price to avoid unionization. When
labor law firm, and lead counsel in                                   able to many law students              Index estimates that Walmart            Canada’s stronger labor laws
the class action on behalf of immi-                                   unburdened by the fear of ever         employees were eligible for $2.5        forced Walmart to recognize the
grant janitors who clean Walmart                                      having to work for Walmart. Thus,      billion total in federal assistance     union at its newly built store in
stores at night seven days a week for                                 the debate suffered from an equa-      last year. Walmart made $10 bil-        Jonquiere and accept binding arbi-
sub-minimum wages. Linsey                                             tion of rights under the law and       lion in profits last year, 4 times      tration for a first contract, Walmart
described 31 complaints against                                       moral rights, with law students        what taxpayers had to pay to pro-       closed the store and annihilated an
Walmart for labor law violations,                                     seemingly unable to perceive that      vide for its employees basic needs.     investment of millions of dollars.
the largest class action suit for gen-                                actions can be morally wrong,              Following Crane’s logic, we
der discrimination in U.S. history,                                   even though there is no specific       should applaud Walmart’s busi-          CHINESE UNIONS STAND UP
child labor law violations, and                                       law prohibiting the act.               ness savvy and expect other             TO WALMART – SO FAR
Walmart’s meager and unaffordable                                                                            companies to follow suit by cut-            So far, only the People’s
health plan (at a cost of $264 for an                                 BREAKING THE SOCIAL                    ting wages and health benefits. But     Republic of China has been able to
employee making $1200 a month).                                       COMPACT                                the only logical outcome of that        force Walmart’s hand and make it
    Crane didn’t defend Walmart’s                                        It was old labor hand and long-     path would be to bankrupt the few       recognize that government-affili-
in instances where it was accused of                                  time Guild member Joe Fine who         public health programs in exis-         ated unions represent Walmart’s
violating the law. But in all other                                   pointed out that Walmart was           tence. In response, Crane would         employees in stores in China. One
claims, his position was clear:                                       breaking the social compact on         argue that that’s OK too, if that’s     moloch against the other. But for
Walmart is legally free to engage in                                  which the U.S. is based: if you        what the market dictates. What          how long? 10% of China’s imports
business as it sees fit and we all                                    work a job, you will be able to sup-   they seem to forget is that the time    to the United States go to Walmart
profit. Crane’s argument goes like                                    port yourself and your family.         will come that not one employer         stores. What’s the chance of
this: Walmart’s efficient operations                                  Walmart is but the most conspicu-      will provide health benefits to its     Chinese unions really standing up
are an example of what is good in                                     ous example of the current             employees any more, and that may        to Walmart?
this country. Government inter-                                       downward trend where compa-            even include lawyers and Law                Are low prices always worth it?
vention will only lead to higher                                      nies that no longer feel bound to      Professors. It is in all our interest   Is any job better than none? Not if
prices, less demand, and fewer jobs.                                  offer their employees a living         to demand health benefits from          that job destroys all decent jobs
Free markets should establish                                         wage.                                  our employers. (That is, until          near it. Walmart has not given up
prices, wages, and what is left are                                      Another aspect of Walmart’s         national health insurance gets          on New York yet! Keep the debate
profits for shareholders. This                                        way of doing business is that, by      passed, but we don’t have to ask        going!

SPRING 2005                                                                                                        WWW.NLGNYC.ORG • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • 7

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