Witness to Struggle Transformative Journey in the Southwest

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Witness to Struggle Transformative Journey in the Southwest Powered By Docstoc
					                                                      NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD – NYC CHAPTER                                                                                                                                     FALL 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                         Edited image based on photo by Allison Kelley
Witness to Struggle:
A Transformative Journey
in the Southwest
“In our tongue there is no word for relocation.
To move away means to disappear and never be seen again.”
                                                        Pauline Whitesinger
    With that powerful statement, I started my journey in the Southwest,
a journey that was going to be transformative on so many levels. As a
member of the Guild, I was proud to be representing the Environmental
Justice Committee, which is truly dedicated to confronting the injustices
faced by Native Americans.
    The delegation of women attorneys I was part of traveled in the
Southwest for 10 days to meet with Native women to learn about their
struggles, hopes for the future, and true connection to Mother Earth and
Father Sky. Our itinerary across Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico was
carefully planned by three inspiring women, part of the Women’s Earth
Alliance Organization ( Our delegation
had the privilege to meet with numerous women from several different
Indian nations — Western Shoshone, Tohono O’odham, Aquimel
O’odham, and Dine — who are at the forefront of the struggles for
equality and social justice.
    Through my travel, I came to realize that there is an art to witnessing
and listening. A careful listener and witness must be conscious of how
history affects current events, and be sensitive to how relations between                                   NATION ELECTS COMMUNITY ORGANIZER!
the oppressor and oppressed have shaped and continue to shape history.                                      Obama in ’84 at the CCNY office of NYPIRG with colleague Diana Mitsu Klos.
    The first group of women we met with was from the Western Shoshone                                      For NLG Election News, see inside.
Tribe. In 1863, the Western Shoshone Nation and the U.S. government
signed the Treaty of Ruby Valley, also known as the Peace and Friendship
Treaty, which allowed white settlers to ranch on these lands and the feds to
build power lines, roads, and railroads. Never, at any time, were these lands
ceded or sold by the Western Shoshones to the U.S. government.
                                                                                                          An Interview with Bob Boyle
    In Crescent Valley, Nevada, Carrie Dann knows governmental                                            BY COLIN STARGER
betrayal very well. She and her sister, Mary (who passed away on Earth                                        Chapter stalwart Bob Boyle recently landed two major Second Circuit
Day 2005), have been harassed by the federal government for decades.                                      victories. First, on October 2, 2008 the Circuit reversed the conviction of
Though their family has been raising horses on their own lands for gen-                                   Mohammed Ali Al-Moayad, who had been convicted of conspiring to
erations, the government has been demanding payment of grazing fees                                       provide material support to Hamas and Al-Qaeda. On direct appeal, the
                                                         continued on page 6                              Circuit found the trial court had improperly admitted prejudicial evi-
                                                                                                          dence, which cumulatively caused reversible error. Then, on November
                                                                                                          13, the Circuit affirmed a grant of federal habeas corpus relief for
                               INSIDE THIS ISSUE:                                                         Jeremiah Brinson. The Court upheld Magistrate Judge Victor
     Vice President’s Column..................................................................2           Bianchini’s finding that Brinson’s confrontation rights had been violated
     Member News..................................................................................3       when counsel was barred from cross-examining the complaining witness
     Views from the Trenches .................................................................4           in a cross-racial robbery about his history of racial bias, which supported
     Guild in Action .................................................................................7   a defendant’s theory that the victim was distorting or fabricating his tes-
     In Memoriam: Bashir Hameed .......................................................8
                                                                                                              On December 8, the NLG NYC News interviewed Boyle by phone
                                              & more!                                                     about his recent successes.
                                                                                                                                                                  continued on page 6
 New York City News
                               VICE-PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
 Colin Starger                 BY KERRY MCLEAN                                                                  state that someone seeking to dis-
 Mike Fahey                        The right to vote is a funda-                                                enfranchise voters would target.
 Jennifer E. Laurin            mental human right, and it is a                                                  Indeed, there had been problems in
 Renate J. Lunn                right that must be protected. On                                                 Philly in 2004.
 Graphic Design: Judith Rew    Election Day I worked as an elec-                                                    When Election Day arrived, I
                               tion monitor, and I was proud that                                               voted in the morning in the
 CHAPTER OFFICERS              so many of my allies in the NLG                                                  Brooklyn neighborhood that I grew
 President                     also rose to the occasion. On                                                    up in. I’m fairly young, but I have
 Daniel Meyers                 November 4, the Executive                                                        had the opportunity to vote in a few
 Vice Presidents               Committee listserve buzzed with                                                  elections. The turnout for elections
 David Rankin                  election-protection posts —                                                      in my neighborhood is always
 Kerry McLean                  Danny Meyers and Gideon                                                          good, but this crowd was bigger
 Treasurer                     Oliver in Columbus, Ohio; Paul                                                   than any I had ever seen. The line
 Mark Taylor                   Keefe in West Milwaukee,                                                         extended out of the high school
 Executive Committee           Wisconsin; and Joel Kupferman                                                    building, and wrapped around the
 Beth Baltimore                in Bristol, Pennsylvania – just to      Kerry McLean                             block. The excitement of the people
 Susan Barrie                  name a few. I was stationed in                                                   standing in line was palpable.
 Bruce Bentley                 Northeast Philadelphia, as was          the egregious actions on the part of         After voting I rode the subway to
 Bob Boyle                     Julia Cohen. It was an exciting day.    Bush and his cohorts in 2000. I will     Manhattan, where I then hopped on
 Julia Cohen                       I had already done voter regis-     never forget that officials turned       the Amtrak bound for Philly. One
 Olivia Cuggy                  tration, canvassing, and phone          Haitian-American voters away             expensive taxi ride later I arrived at
 Liz Fink                      banking in Philadelphia for the         from the polls, falsely telling them     the polling station. I stayed at the
 Aaron Frishberg               Obama campaign over the sum-            that their names weren’t on the          polling station until about 8:30 PM,
 Jerry Greenberg               mer. I remember knocking on             lists of voters. Neither will I forget   after the polls had closed.
 Rebecca Heinegg               doors in Northeast Philly, a pre-       how Bush and his pals arranged for           What can I tell you? In the end,
 John Hirsch                   dominantly white neighborhood. I        roadblocks to prevent black voters       it was uneventful. People showed
 Susan Howard                  saw a confederate flag outside of       from getting to the polls. I won’t       up and voted without problems.
 Amanda Johns                  one house, which was rather             forget that voters were wrongly          Thankfully, I did not witness any
 Paul Keefe                    shocking. I just hadn’t expected to     listed as convicted criminals and        type of voter intimidation. Was it
 Margaret Ratner Kunstler      see such a thing in Philadelphia. I     thus prevented from voting.              because there were several of us
 Sarah Kunstler                had been aware of racism in that        Further, I certainly won’t forget        there keeping a watchful eye?
 Joel Kupferman                area, though. I knew that previous      that all of these things happened in     Perhaps. Around the country the
 Yetta Kurland                 canvassers in that neighborhood         Florida, the state where George          Obama campaign and nonparti-
 Ursula Levelt                 had heard some residents use the        Bush’s brother was governor.             san groups had thousands of
 Sally Mendola                 “N” word when speaking with                 In 2004 I was unable to serve as     monitors stationed in case of
 Gideon Oliver                 white canvassers about Obama.           an election monitor because I was        wrongdoing. It was amazing how
 Bob Quackenbush               One resident had even said that         living in South Africa. This year I      well the protection effort had been
 Jeff Rothman                  Obama was connected to the 9/11         was able to, and I decided to be an      organized. This effort appeared to
 Ann Schneider                 hijackers! I had the option of going    election monitor for the Obama           have paid off.
 Colin Starger                 to a less hostile area, but I decided   campaign. I had heard that moni-             Driving back to NYC with
 Marty Stolar                  to stick with Northeast Philly. I did   tors working for a campaign had          Julia, we heard on the radio that
 Anand Swaminathan             refuse to knock on doors without a      greater access in the polling stations   Obama had been elected! It took
 Chapter Coordinator           white partner, however. (I’m not        than nonpartisan monitors.               me some time to accept that it was
 Susan C. Howard               crazy.)                                 Though I had considered going to         real, that this had happened in my
                                   Before the presidential cam-        Florida, I decided to observe elec-      lifetime. The struggle is far from
 COMMITTEE CHAIRS              paign even began I had decided to       tions in nearby Philly instead. Since    over, however. It will be up to us,
 Environmental Justice         do voter protection work. That          McCain needed Pennsylvania to            the people, to bring about change
 Committee:                    decision was made in response to        win the elections, it was definitely a   in our country.

 Joel Kupferman
 Labor and Employment

                                         Rebecca Heinegg                       Beth Baltimore                      Jeffrey Senter
 Ursula Levelt
 Mass Defense Committee:
 Bruce Bentley
 Military Law Committee:
 Aaron Frishberg
 Next Generation Committee:
 Emily Compton

                                           …and all other NLG-NYC members who passed the bar exam!
 Anti-Repression Committee:
 Bob Boyle

2 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG                                                                                       FALL 2008
                                                      MEMBER NEWS
                                                   trial in part because she was traumatized after

                                                                                                                                                                            Courtesy Emily Compton
   On November 18, Gideon Oliver, Liz Fink,        being “kidnapped” by Pakistani or U.S.
and Sarah Kunstler achieved a partial victory      agents.
on behalf of their client Dr. Aafia Siddiqui,          On November 2, 2008, Emily Compton
when SDNY Judge Richard Berman held that           and Jerry Monaco welcomed their son,
she suffers from “depressive symptomology”         Atticus William Monaco, into the world.
and is not currently competent to proceed          Atticus debuted at 10:20 a.m., weighed in at 7
with her case. Five years after going missing      pounds, 12 ounces, and was listed as 21 inches
with her three children in Karachi, Dr.            tall. Congratulations!
Siddiqui re-surfaced in an SDNY courtroom              On October 17, after a four-day Bronx jury
this August, weighing 90 pounds, suffering a       trial, Geoffrey Stewart and David Rankin
gunshot wound, and barely able to walk or          obtained a verdict of not guilty on all counts
speak. Dr. Siddiqui is a 36 year old MIT-          for their client, anti-police-brutality activist
trained Pakistani-born neuroscientist. The         Juanita Young. The grab-bag of misdemeanor
prosecution claims that Dr. Siddiqui is a “‘top    charges arose from an altercation after Ms.
Al Qaeda terrorist”. Liz characterized as          Young, 53, legally blind, and suffering from
“patently absurd” allegations that Dr.             asthma, called an ambulance for her daughter                         Welcome Atticus William Monaco!
Siddiqui snatched a rifle from US soldiers in      in November 2006. Cops arrived at Ms. Young’s
Afghanistan and fired at them; and contends        home before the ambulance, and refused her                           Young’s 23 year-old son Malcolm Ferguson was
that Dr. Siddiqui is not competent to stand        request for them to leave. (In March 2000, Ms.                       shot at point-blank range by an NYPD officer,
                                                                                                                        five days after Malcolm had been arrested at a
                                                                                                                        protest against the not guilty verdicts in the
                                                                                                                        Amadou Diallo case.) Defense counsel com-

Chapter Elects Officers and New EC                                                                                      mended Judge Margaret Clancy’s fair handling
                                                                                                                        of the case.
                                                                                                                            In August, CCR and a group of 52 local
    On October 2, the Chapter held its Annual                                                                           activists announced a $2 million settlement in

                                                                                                      Jennifer Laurin
Meeting at Cardozo School of Law, featuring                                                                             their lawsuit against the City of New York. The
the election of officers and executive committee                                                                        activists were illegally arrested in April 2003
members, and a program “ICED – Immigrants                                                                               while protesting against the Iraq war in front of
in the Crossfire”, featuring Claudia Slovinsky,                                                                         the midtown offices of the military contractor
Daniel Gross, and Sekou Siby, co-director of                                                                            Carlyle Group. The NYPD deployed over 100
Restaurant Opportunities Center, NY (ROC-                                                                               police in riot gear to stop a legal, peaceful
NY), which recently secured an unprecedented                                                                            protest. 94 people were arrested. The settlement
victory on behalf of NYC restaurant workers.                                                                            in Kunstler et al v. NYC follows the dismissal in
    In another hotly contested proceeding, all                                                                          2003 of all criminal charges, and four years of
who sought office were elected. The official                                                                            costly delay by the City. “We hope our victory
results are President — Danny Meyers; Vice                                                                              helps convince the City to stop violating peo-
Presidents — Kerry Ann McLean and David The new EC gets to work at its December 08 meeting.                             ple’s rights as a matter of policy and stop
Rankin; Treasurer — Mark Taylor.                                                                                        wasting taxpayers’ money doing so,” said chap-
    See Masthead of this Newsletter for a list of the new Executive Committee.                                          ter member Sarah Kunstler.

                                                                                                                                                                             Jennifer Laurin
Susan Howard Elected NLG
National Legal Worker VP
BY AARON FRISHBERG                                 in the Guild’s legal and political work, and
    At the October 2008 meeting of the Legal       increasing the representation of legal workers
Worker caucus of the National Lawyers Guild        in convention workshops and panels.
at the Detroit convention, 2008, Susan Howard,     As a member of the National Executive
the New York City NLG Chapter Coordinator,         Committee, Susan sees no conflict between
was elected to a two-year term as Legal Worker     being the voice of legal workers on the NEC
Vice President of the Guild. Among the goals       and addressing the issues that come before the                       Susan Howard in action.
Susan has identified for the next two years is     Committee in a way that advances the goals of
establishing a listserv for legal workers in the   the organization as a whole.“The NEC has rep-                        Guild and work to build the whole organiza-
Guild, bringing more legal workers into the        resentatives of various constituencies,” Susan                       tion. For the Guild to operate most effectively,
NLG, gaining greater recognition within the        states, “and all the people sitting on the NEC                       it needs to hear the voice of its legal worker
Guild for the important role legal workers have    both represent those constituent parts of the                        members.”

FALL 2008                                                                             WWW.NLGNYC.ORG • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • 3
                                                                                                                             VIEWS FROM T
                                                                 Current and past Chapter members provide a montage

Law Practice: An Early Solo Flight
                                                      various other federal and state civil litigation.

                                                                                                                                                                West Bronx News
    In 2005, when most of my fellow New York          One of the truly great things about being in
Law School classmates on the precipice of             private practice is that we can take cases
graduation were shopping for suits and finaliz-       because we think they will be fun - even if we
ing start dates at “the firm,” I was scouting for     know we aren’t going to see a dollar. And over
office space and measuring my proverbial shin-        the years, our ragtag family band has made
gle. Three years and a few sleepless nights after     some noise: representing Win Animal Rights
charging into private practice, the experience        against Huntington Life Science, releasing the
has been tremendously rewarding.                      names of the individuals buried at Potter’s
    Flying solo as a young lawyer straight out of     Field on Hart’s Island, fighting the City of New
law school was not easy. Fortunately, I gained        York’s subpoena of the TXTmob for their             Left to Right: Dave Rankin, Geoffrey Stewart, and
moral support; two years into the experience I        defense of the City’s behavior at the RNC, help-    Juanita Young talk to the press.
was joined by my colleague, college, compatriot,      ing defending the Puerto Rican Independence
and friend, Mark Taylor, who graduated from           movement against grand jury subpoenas, and          continue to co-counsel cases and she never
law school and decided that he would rather           defending scores of arrested protesters.            misses a phone call when I have a legal question.
throw in with me than get a straight job. From            None of those fights, or for that matter any        Michael Steven Smith is a true supporter
time to time we have been helped out by a rov-        aspect of our practice, would have had any          and constant ally, without whom I would not
ing band of early-career Guild folks: Bobby           chance of success without the support of            have the bicycle personal injury practice. And
Quackenbush – NLG National Student Co-VP              National Lawyers Guild colleagues, and so I         then there’s Geoffrey Stewart, a suitemate and
- has been giving us a hand since his first year of   want to mention and thank some of those peo-        tremendous supporter. He and I have done two
law school, Eric Adler is doing his second stint      ple here.                                           state criminal trials this year, the latest being
this fall after working with me during the spring         Susan Tipograph graciously offered me a         the successful defense of anti-police brutality
of 2007, and Rebecca Heinegg is putting her           space in the office suite at 350 Broadway. She      activist Juanita Young in the Bronx.
shoulder into a few projects. It is beyond won-       has provided constant support and inspiration.          It’s the wisdom, knowledge, and resources
derful to have such great dedicated, political,       Marty Stolar has been a rock in stressful times     of those Guild colleagues who graciously
and intelligent group to work with.                   and showed me the ropes in federal criminal tri-    shared their experiences, and who have lent
    Our practice runs the gamut from federal          als. Rose Weber, well, what do you say about        their elbow grease on cases over the last three
civil rights litigation and state criminal defense,   Rose? She has been a constant guide to navigat-     years, that have made private practice as
to bicycle personal injury representation and         ing federal civil rights litigation, we have and    rewarding and enjoyable as it has been.

                                                                                                          eviction so that the landmark could be sold and
Looking Back – and Ahead:                                                                                 demolished. Rosenstein’s and his clients’ court

Celebrating Barney Rosenstein                                                                             battles and lobbying of Mayor Wagner,
                                                                                                          Governor Rockefeller, and Isaac Stern led to the
                                                                                                          City’s purchase of the Hall – saving it from
BY JENNIFER LAURIN                                    set up shop in New York City, and while he          destruction – in 1960.
    Google “Barney Rosenstein,” click on the          focused his practice on defending the rights of         In 1970, at the age of 72, Rosenstein left the
first result, and this is what you will see:          workers, consumers, and tenants, his expertise      City, but not the practice of law. He moved to
                                                      was varied; in 1949 he successfully argued a        Sarasota, Florida, and over the next three
BARNEY ROSENSTEIN                                     bankruptcy case before the United States            decades did volunteer legal work, taught
LEGAL EXPERIENCE: 77 YEARS                            Supreme Court, Leiman v. Guttman, 336 U.S. 1        courses in the community on the Bill of Rights
   Longevity alone, however, is only the tip the      (1949). Just four years into his career             and other topics close to his heart, and was
remarkable iceberg of Barney Rosenstein’s legal       Rosenstein won a victory for picketers against      active in the local Democratic party. Even in his
career. An original member of the National            bakery prices. The New York Supreme Court           “retirement,” Rosenstein remained connected
Lawyers Guild – Rosenstein and his late wife          decision in Julie Baking Co. v. Graymond held,      to the Guild. Miami attorney Neil Kolner, who
honeymooned at the 1937 founding meeting              “The right of an individual or group of indi-       together with his Guild colleague Michael Ray
in Washington, D.C. – he was a New York City          viduals to protest in a peaceable manner            co-sponsored the commemorative resolution,
chapter member until moving to Florida in             against injustice or oppression, actual or          first met Rosenstein 14 years ago at a regional
1970. In advance of his 100th birthday on             merely fancied, is one to be cherished and not      NLG meeting. Kolner recalled his most recent
December 10th of this year, the NLG honored           to be proscribed in any well-ordered society. It    conversation with Rosenstein, after the recent
Rosenstein in a resolution passed at the              is an essential prerogative of free men living      presidential election. “We talked about the
October National Convention.                          under democratic institutions.” Some 25-years       results, and Barney saw a lot of parallels
   Born in the Bronx in 1908, Rosenstein grad-        later, Rosenstein represented artist tenants in     between the election of Obama and FDR. And
uated from St. John’s Law School in 1930. He          the Carnegie Hall building, who were facing                                   continued on next page

4 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG                                                                                                FALL 2008
e of perspectives on the practice of progressive lawyering

      The Job Market: Devaluing Progressive Lawyering?
      BY JEFF SENTER                                       not provide an answer. My graduating class-            on fair hearings – public benefit appeals). The
          I graduated from Georgetown University           mates at Georgetown had jobs around the                MHFHI is the first and only program in New
      Law Center in May of 2008. This was to culmi-        country; even almost all of the handful of pub-        York whose exclusive mission is to provide rep-
      nate my transformation from a career activist        lic interest job-seekers had found positions by        resentation, information, and referrals to
      into a radical lawyer. I had been a campus           graduation. Yes, my resume reflected an exclu-         applicants for and recipients of public assis-
      organizer, a school teacher, a union organizer       sive commitment to public interest law —               tance who have a mental illness and need a fair
      and a NLG paralegal – now I would be a Guild         union organizing after college, paralegal work         hearing to obtain or maintain their benefits.
      lawyer. But there was a hitch: I had no job.         on the 2004 Republican National Convention,            The MHFHI also trains advocates and attor-
          I began my quest for post-graduate public        civil legal services disaster relief in post-Katrina   neys how best to represent applicants and
      interest legal employment, more than a year          New Orleans, tenants’ rights work in my first          recipients with mental illness at fair hearings.
      before graduation, in April 2007. I spent my                                                                My clients, low-income and homeless New
      third year of law school as a visiting student at                                                           Yorkers with mental illness, face large barriers
      NYU Law, and I had been using the strong             I am thrilled to be working                            to receipt of public benefits and affordable
      public interest career services offices of both      on the Mental Health Fair Hearing                      housing, and my legal advocacy is able to make
      Georgetown and NYU heavily. I also relied on         Initiative, defending the rights of                    a real difference. The Urban Justice Center and
      the good advice of Guild attorney and CUNY                                                                  Project FAIR appreciated my broad back-
      Law Professor Franklin Siegel. But after more        low-income and homeless New                            ground, experience in nonprofit management
      than a year of searching, my lack of job             Yorkers with mental illness.                           (I co-founded a non-profit that combats sexual
      prospects dampened my enthusiasm for grad-           However, the question remains:                         assault), and serious commitment to a long-
      uating. I had already covered much ground                                                                   term career fighting for justice. I interviewed
      with timely applications for major fellowships,
                                                           Why did so many other employers                        for the job on September 8 and started on
      government positions, and most non-profits I         consistently dislike my resume?                        September 15.
      thought might possibly hire me. But my hard                                                                      I am thrilled to be working on the Mental
      work was met with near-silence: In spite of          summer, criminal defense appeals in my sec-            Health Fair Hearing Initiative, defending the
      numerous applications I had only garnered            ond summer, and more - but shouldn’t that,             rights of low-income and homeless New
      two real interviews over the past year.              and my broad experience in and before law              Yorkers with mental illness. However, the ques-
      Graduation came and went, bar review began,          school, make me a more attractive candidate?           tion remains: Why did so many other
      and still my job search continued, fruitless and     Was it the consistently radical edge to my work,       employers consistently dislike my resume? In
      miserable. Only after expanding my search well       foregoing mock trial, journal and judicial             talking to other recent graduates in the NLG I
      beyond traditional lawyer positions did I land a     internships for opportunities in progressive law       hear experiences and frustrations similar to
      few interviews, and one promising position           practice and advocacy? Again, it seemed that           mine. My conclusion is that most nonprofit
      took me three rounds into the selection process      should have been a positive signal for the pub-        and government employers do not place a high
      – when the job unexpectedly relocated to San         lic interest organizations where I sought to           value on serious commitment to a life of pub-
      Francisco, a location well outside of my tri-        work, or at least not a barrier to employment.         lic interest work for their entry level attorneys.
      state-area geographic restrictions.                      I finally found an excellent match in the               Reader! Share your thoughts on the challenges
          My increasing sense of desperation was           Mental Health Fair Hearing Initiative                  facing young progressive lawyers by sending
      made worse by the absence of any explanation         (MHFHI), a partnership between the Urban               reflections, signed with first and last name, to
      for my predicament. Yes, I had narrowed my           Justice Center’s Mental Health Project and    Responses
      search to the greater tri-state area, but that did   Project FAIR (a small NYC nonprofit working            will be published as space permits.

      Barney Rosenstein                                    ing, and thanking Barney Rosenstein for his            when you’re gone
                                                                                                                                                                       Credit: Betsy Barfield

                                                           contribution to the National Lawyers Guild, to         you may be physi-
      continued from page 1                                the legal community, and to society, and for           cally gone, but you
                                                           providing younger Guild members a shining              will have done
      when you think about it, the perspective Barry       example of a life-long spirit of action in the         something in your
      has on that is remarkable.”                          best traditions of our profession.”                    lifetime to say,
         When planning for Rosenstein’s 100th                  Rosenstein’s own account of his life’s work        ‘Hey, he did that.
      birthday celebrations began, Kolner and others       dovetails with the spirit of the Guild’s tribute.      He made a pathway
      “got to thinking, ‘Who else is around from the       He said, in a 2006 interview available at              for somebody else.
      beginning of it all?’ Nobody could think of any-, “I feel that this is the        He set a precedent.
      body left,” said Kolner. Kolner and Ray              only life that we have, and we should do what          He changed peo-
      spearheaded a broader tribute by the national        we can with the skills and talents we have to          ple’s lives for the
      organization, which took the form of the             help each other people’s lives. . . . You live your    better.’ At least try.
      October resolution “commemorating, honor-            life so that you leave some footprints, so that        At least try.”         Barney Rosenstein

      FALL 2008                                                                                  WWW.NLGNYC.ORG • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • 5
                                                                                What was the biggest                     these two cases back-to-back, I’m
Bob Boyle                                                                       challenge in the cases?                  happy just to savor it for a while
                                                                                                                         and hope that the run continues.
continued from page 1                                                               In Al-Moayad, you have a seri-
                                                                                ous obstacle in the nature of the
Bob, you scored two big                                                         allegations themselves — material        Any advice for up-and-coming
Circuit victories in just two                                                   support to Hamas and Al-Qaeda.           appellate lawyers?
months. How did it happen?                                                      In this period, convictions in a ter-         Know the facts cold. Know the
    In both cases, you had very                                                 rorism case are not lightly              record cold. Your statement of facts
compelling facts, which made it                                                 regarded and it’s a big hurdle. In       is the most important part of the
clear that the trials were not fair.                                            Brinson, the main problem was            brief, not the argument. The most
Brinson was fortunate enough to                                                 AEDPA. In my opinion, AEDPA is           effective thing you can do for your
have a magistrate judge (Victor                                                 one of the most oppressive pieces        client is present your facts in the
Bianchini) who treated his pro se                                               of legislation enacted in the last 20    best possible light. You want to
habeas petition with the serious-                                               years, and not enough attention is       convince your judge that you
ness it deserved. In Al-Moayad, I                                               paid to it. Basically, you must show     should win, or at least that you have
was gratified by the panel’s                                                    not only that the Constitution was       raised a serious question, before
emphasis on the cumulative effect                                               violated, but also the state court       she even gets to the argument.
of trial errors.                       Clockwise from left: Local Counsel       was unreasonably wrong in its                 Case Update from Bob Boyle: On
                                       Marianne Mariano of Federal Defenders,   interpretation of the law. This is an    December 17, the day before NLG
How did you get involved in            Jeremiah Brinson, Bob Boyle, and Mr.                                              NYC News went to press, Boyle
                                       Brinson’s mother Rosa Brinson.
                                                                                incredibly onerous burden to
these cases?                                                                    overcome.                                appeared in federal court in Buffalo
    I was appointed through the        huge. The trial took place over                                                   to make a bail application for
Second Circuit CJA (Criminal           months. Brinson was also a 50-to-        So Bob, do these victories               Brinson. With Brinson’s mother
Justice Act) panel. For Al-Moayad,     60-page brief, but that is because of    officially make you an                   looking on, Boyle won yet a third vic-
I had actually appeared at sentenc-    complicated procedural issues.           Appellate Guru?                          tory when the court released Brinson
ing and my appointment carried         Really, after AEDPA (Anti-                    [Laughs]. Let’s put it this way:    straight from the courthouse, after
over to the direct appeal. For         Terrorism and Effective Death            If I said yes and then you asked me      eleven years of unjust imprisonment.
Brinson, I got the appointment         Penalty Act of 1996), all habeas         my percentage of wins in the             According to Boyle, the State may
through the normal course.             briefs are long. My personal opin-       Circuit, you might want to revoke        still retry Brinson on the robbery
                                       ion is actually that longer briefs are   my guru status. Normally, you            charges. Al-Moayad remains in jail;
How long were your briefs?             not better. Usually, you want to cut     loose criminal appeals in the            the government has moved for re-
   Oh my. Al-Moayad was well           down to be effective. These two          Circuit. When you do win, it’s           argument, effectively preventing his
over 100 pages, but the record was     briefs just happened to be long.         something very special. To have          release or dismissal of his case.

Witness                                leader of the O’odham Solidarity

                                                                                                                                                                  Stephanie Haas
                                       Project. On the Tohono O’odham
continued from page 1                  reservation, Native People are still
                                       experiencing first-hand the ongo-
for years. The government justifi-     ing occupation by the federal
cation has been that, by being         government, whose border patrol
allowed on Western Shoshone’s          constantly interferes with the tra-
lands, the U.S. government has         ditional passage between O’odham
acquired these lands by “gradual       villages on both sides of the border.
encroachment,” and as a result has     The Tohono O’odham people
extinguished any claim to title by     have, from time immemorial,
the Western Shoshone. In 1979,         cherished their lands and con-
the Supreme Court ruled in favor       ducted ceremonies to celebrate
of the U.S. government, legitimiz-     their spiritual connection to the
ing its argument. None-theless,        Earth. But the recent construction       Pain of Mother Earth: Fence divides the Tohono O’odham land in two.
the United Nations Committee on        of a fence, dividing the Tohono
the Elimination of Racial              O’odham land in two, has made            Earth, as a living being, due to the     Coalition, whom we met with in
Discrimination ruled in 2006 that      each spiritual gathering difficult.      huge metal columns dug into the          Flagstaff, also touched me with her
the U.S. government’s effort to        O’odham people have to travel            ground. [See photo]                      dedication to protect the Peaks and
privatize these lands, in order to     longer distances to cross the bor-           As the days went by, I could not     her spiritual connection to the San
pursue intense resource extraction     der. For now the showing of tribal       help thinking about imperialism.         Francisco Peaks, a feminine moun-
such as gold, coal, and uranium        identification cards is still            Imperialism is not limited to for-       tain, one of the four sacred
mining, was a violation of Western     accepted. However, the Tohono            eign lands. Dine, O’odham, and           mountains that draw the bound-
Shoshone’s traditional rights to       O’odham will have to obtain U.S.         Western Shoshone have seen their         aries of the Dine lands. I was also
land.                                  passports in order to cross the bor-     lands stolen, occupied, and              inspired by Jeneda as a mother of a
    Our journey then led us to         der, as of June 2009.                    destroyed by the Government of           little girl. Her maternal love was all
Ofelia Riveras, who lives just a few       It was with palpable emotion         the United States in total disregard     pervading and drives Jeneda to
hundreds yards from the U.S.-          that Ofelia shared with us that she      for the sacredness of these lands.       keep fighting the desecration of the
Mexico border and serves as a          could feel the pain of Mother                Jeneda Benally of Save the Peaks                    continued on next page

6 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG                                                                                                  FALL 2008
                                                   GUILD IN ACTION
BY MIKE FAHEY AND                      Columbia NLG law student Todd             from the national office as a train-    police misconduct and makes
TIM FALLON                             Arena reflected in an essay that the      ing tool.                               accountability possible when it
    On September 17, the Brooklyn      speakers’ stories deeply affected             RNC Aftermath. Ongoing liti-        happens. Bob Boyle, Paul Keefe,
Law School Chapter hosted a            audience members. At the event,           gation arising from numerous            Brenna Sharpe, and Gideon
panel discussion on government         Mrs. ANG H`ˆ NG NHU’T noted
                                             ˘       O           .               wrongful arrests at the 2004            Oliver were counsel, and Bruce
repression past and present, and       that the class action brought by          Republican Convention in NYC            Bentley was one of many who
procedures to empower activists        Vietnamese survivors has been             has raised the issue of the discov-     contributed via the Mass Defense
to continue their work, “From the      joined with another suit brought          erability of photographs and notes      Committee.
Black Panther Party to the 2008        by U.S. veterans of the Vietnam           made by legal observers. On                 Handschu update. The NYPD
RNC: COINTELPRO – Then and             War, emphasizing the common               November 10, in a 39-page mem-          has reluctantly ended its policy of
Now.” Several generations of NLG       struggle to force Dow Monsanto            orandum and order that reviewed         videotaping and photographing
attorneys      presented:     Beth     to pay damages and concede                claims of work product, undue           lawful        political       protest.
Baltimore, Paul Keefe, Bobby           responsibility for the devastation        burden, and First Amendment             Demonstrators should note that the
Khan, Marty Stolar, and Dhoruba        wrought by Agent Orange in                right of association, SDNY              NYPD’s new procedure still pro-
Bin Wahad. Bob Boyle moderated.        Vietnam.                                  Magistrate Judge James Francis          vides for recording of “the actual or
The presenters urged activists to          On October 7, Michael Steven          held that much of the material is       imminent occurrence of illegal
communicate with each other so         Smith moderated a Tribunal at             discoverable by NYC. Although           activity,” preparation of “training
as to not be isolated and to create    NYU Law School to examine the             Judge Francis ruled that the mate-      materials on crowd control,” and
positive change.                       role of Luis Posada Carriles, the         rial qualifies as attorney work         live video transmissions (without
    On October 2, 2008, the            Cuban-born CIA operative who              product and is therefore presum-        recording) for “deployment of
Columbia University Chapter            remains the guest of the US gov-          ably protected, the City was able to    police resources.” Nonetheless, the
hosted two survivors of the U.S.       ernment despite his role in deadly        invoke an exception based on            “Handschu Guidelines” continue to
military’s use of Agent Orange in      airline and hotel bombings for            “substantial need for their disclo-     provide the primary restraint on
Vietnam. Ms. TR`AN THI HOAN
                          .            which Cuba and Venezuela seek his         sure and the inability to obtain        police surveillance of public dissent,
and Mrs. – ˘ NG H`ˆ NG NHU’T
           DA        O          .      extradition.                              equivalent information else-            and a vital remedy for protesters
spoke at Columbia to raise aware-          The Chapter endorsed the              where.” (It should be noted that        who have been unconstitutionally
ness of the continuing health and      Jericho      10th     Anniversary         the Guild had already obtained          monitored. Handschu v. NYPD
environmental damage caused by         Weekend of Resistance featuring           discovery of videotapes made by         Special Services Division, originally
Agent Orange, and the ongoing          an International Rally & March on         the NYPD’s Technical Assistance         filed in 1971, is a long-running,
class action lawsuit for damages       the United Nations, held on               Response Unit - TARU.) The              NLG-supported effort to protect
on behalf of Vietnamese survivors      October 10 -11 in support of polit-       material will be redacted and will      our right to assemble and protest.
and persons now suffering from         ical prisoners & POWs in the US.          not reveal the identity of the legal    The chapter’s Mass Defense
exposure. NLG and International            On October 30, the Cardozo            observers. The ruling provides a        Committee and the I-Witness
Association of         Democratic      Law School chapter sponsored a            reminder that relevant evidence is      Video collective assisted in the latest
Lawyers member Jeanne Mirer,           Legal Observer training program,          usually discoverable, and in no         round of litigation. Co-counsel are
lead counsel in the lawsuit against    followed by a networking recep-           way diminishes the value of the         Art Eisenberg of the NYCLU, Paul
Agent Orange manufacturer Dow          tion. The event was videotaped,           work of the intrepid legal              Chevigny, Jed Eisenstein, Franklin
Monsanto, spoke at the event.          and the video will be available           observers, which both deters            Siegel, and Marty Stolar.

Witness                                Religious Freedom Act of 1978 to
                                       prevent the expansion of the ski
                                                                                 me for the stories I heard. There
                                                                                 were stories of abuse, discrimina-
                                                                                                                         abuses, these women have already
                                                                                                                         accomplished so much. I take com-
continued from page 6                  resort. Although they lost in the         tion, and land desecration, but         fort in the fact that our delegation
                                       district court, they won before a         there were also stories about each      is now invested in sharing these sto-
lands. The Peaks are threatened by     Ninth Circuit panel, and then lost        of these tribes’ deep sense of com-     ries, raising awareness in our own
the existence and expansion of the     at an en banc rehearing. The              munity, and the healing powers of       communities, and joining these
Snow Bowl ski resort. At the core of   Circuit Court held that “the only         the Earth. And these stories also       women to oppose the desecration
the struggle is the Forest Service’s   effect of the proposed upgrades is on     have to be told because, beyond the     of their lands and restore the bal-
greedy desire to expand the resort     the Plaintiffs’ subjective, emotional     suffering, these women hold a           ance of the Earth.
by creating artificial snow. This      religious experience. That is, the        great truth, a universal truth which
“snow” would be the product of         presence of recycled wastewater on        is that we can all be inspiring stew-   “I am the woman who holds up the
the reuse of waste water, called       the Peaks is offensive to the             ards of the Earth and role models       sky. My feet are planted in all
“reclaimed water,” from the city of    Plaintiffs’ religious sensibilities…the   for generations to come.                generations. My roots go deep into
Flagstaff. More nefariously, the       diminishment of spiritual fulfill-            The U.S. government and the         melted rock. I walk through darkest
expansion project would include        ment – serious though it may be – is      court system have deprived the          night wearing starlight in my hair.
clear-cutting 74 acres of alpine       not a ‘substantial burden’ on the free    Western Shoshone, the Tohono             I am the woman who holds up the
ecosystem and the building of a        exercise of religion.” The Court dis-     O’odham, and the Dine people of         sky. The rainbow runs through my
14.8 mile long pipeline.               missed Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs      their way of life, reducing their       eyes. The sun makes a path to my
   Save the Peaks sued under the       by calling them mere “damaged             spiritual beliefs and practices to      womb, my thoughts are in the shape
National Environmental Policy Act      spiritual feelings.”                      almost nothing. But despite the         of clouds, but my words are yet to
(NEPA) and the American Indian             Nothing could have prepared           federal government’s continual          come.” (Ute woman)

FALL 2008                                                                                  WWW.NLGNYC.ORG • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • 7
  In Memoriam: Bashir Hameed                                                                                                                          Attention

                                                                                                                 Pan-African News Wire File Photos
      COINTELPRO target and
  political    prisoner     Bashir                                                                                                                    Members!
  Hameed died on August 30 at
  Great Meadow Correctional                                                                                                                          Re-up in ’08!
  Facility. Hameed, formerly                                                                                                                             Don’t let 2008
  known as James York, was born
                                                                                                                                                        come to an end
  and raised in NJ, and was a US
  Army veteran. He was also a                                                                                                                        without renewing your
  member of the Black Panther                                                                                                                         membership in the
  Party and the Black Liberation                                                                                                                          NLG-NYC!
  Army. After three trials, includ-
  ing a hung jury divided along                                                                                                                           Make an early
  racial lines, and a mistrial                                                                                                                        commitment to fulfill
  declared after an 8-to-4 not        African News Wire eulogized          leader in his Muslim commu-                                                   your New Year’s
  guilty verdict, Hameed was con-     Hameed, saying that “his fight-      nity. His spirit was never jailed”.                                       resolution to get active
  victed of the 1981 killing of an    ing spirit never lagged, and while   Chapter members Bob Bloom,
                                      in captivity, he continued to
                                                                                                                                                      in the Guild! You can
  NYPD officer in Queens.                                                  Bob Boyle, Liz Fink, Bill
  Hameed, 67, had significant         organize, to teach, and to con-      Goodman, Danny Meyers,                                                     now pay your dues or
  health problems in recent years,    front the system in a constant       Marty        Stolar,       Susan                                            make a contribution
  and his family and supporters       battle for protection of the         Tipograph, and Michael Tarif                                                 online by going to
  had to battle NYS medical and       human rights of all prisoners. He    Warren represented Hameed at                                    
  correctional officials in seeking   remained a warrior in his strug-     various times during his long
  appropriate care. The Pan-          gle for justice and freedom, and a   struggle.

113 University Place, 8th floor
New York, NY 10003
phone 212-679-6018
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