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
BY STEPHANIE HAAS
“In our tongue there is no word for relocation.
To move away means to disappear and never be seen again.”
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 (www.womensearthalliance.org). 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
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.
Labor and Employment
Rebecca Heinegg Beth Baltimore Jeffrey Senter
Mass Defense Committee:
Military Law Committee:
Next Generation Committee:
…and all other NLG-NYC members who passed the bar exam!
2 • NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD-NYC NEWS • WWW.NLGNYC.ORG FALL 2008
trial in part because she was traumatized after
Courtesy Emily Compton
BY MIKE FAHEY
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
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.
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
BY DAVID B. RANKIN
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 email@example.com. 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- www.wisdomexhibit.com, “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
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
BY MIKE FAHEY
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 www.nlgnyc.org/paypal.
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.
NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD – NYC CHAPTER
113 University Place, 8th floor
New York, NY 10003