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Know any progressive lawyers?

Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby Becka » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:01 pm

We are in desperate need of lawyers to help in the legal planning and the day of the event. As law students Jacob, Zach and I can get in SERIOUS trouble (like not being able to ever practice law big) if we give out legal advice without a license. Ideally, we would want lawyers at the event to help spot issues and help find solutions (ie someone to tell people what they're doing is REALLY illegal and that they should do X instead) Also, if people were to get arrested, it would be nice to have a lawyer there that could represent them.

But, MOST IMPORTANTLY, it's important to have an attorney there because if people are doing video surveillance (on the occupation's side) the attorney can claim it as "work product" and thus can't be subpoenaed by the other side. Therefore, if WE have footage of our protesters doing something less than legal, we won't have to turn the "evidence" over to the prosecutor.

Also, it would be good to have an attorney that the legal observers could turn their "incident reports" over to. The legal observers job is to just record everything they see if the police are violating the rights of someone. They are NOT lawyers. So, if the LO were to hand over the incident report to the protestor after their arrest but before they had an attorney, it would not be covered under attorney-client privilege. But, if the protestor had an attorney before receiving the documentation, it should be considered under attorney-client privilege.

Or so says my friend's sister who runs the NLG chapter in Pittsburgh. I AM NOT A LAWYER. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. THESE ARE JUST THINGS TO CONSIDER AS TO WHY WE NEED LEGAL ADVICE. (That's my disclaimer.)
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby SomeGuyOnBridge » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:48 am

Get in touch with Phil Althouse, who is a member of the Facebook group. He's a progressive lawyer from waaaaay back. If he can't help, he probably knows someone who will.

If that doesn't work out, let me know and I'll see who else I can suggest. But Phil would be your first choice.
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby IndustrialPigmy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:26 pm

I can see if my mom would be available on Thursday to come down. But I can't speak for her as to how much time she'll be able to put into this.
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby smatters » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:46 pm

As a group we can contact the ACLU, who if they feel that we are presenting something that merits their attention and efforts will then assign an legal representative attorney...who we can then speak to as a group. We would then consult with that attorney and the attorney could use their access to research interns and larger staff base to answer our questions/concerns and meet our overall needs regarding the matter. This is one item, we should have voted on cause unfortunately to wait until our next meeting isn't very helpful. Perhaps we could have an individual who is involved with our group (who has a legal concern regarding their participation directly in the Occupy action) contact them. Then we could try to achieve consensus on the subject and if and when we vote for it then contact them as a larger group.
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby TheRealAmurica » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:08 pm

I may or may not be taking the bar in July and this is a very good point that should be addressed. I am sure someone can "find" basic guides as to how to act during the protests and prevent legal/criminal repercussions. I would be weary of big name civil rights attorney's in town though. As I law student I have worked among (against) some of these guys and in my opinion they are not the most stand up people in the legal profession. Typically, they talk a big talk as if they care about rights, but are just looking for a pay day. We need to find young lawyers, retired lawyers, or lawyers that may not even practice in the realms civil rights or criminal law but know the legal system and can quickly learn the basics to help us maneuver. These lawyers should be sympathetic to and even active in the cause, but not someone whose ego and love for attention is going to get in the way.

Plus my own legal is disclaimer is typically, "I am a law student and can't practice law, but I will discuss what I know about the topic and what I would do given the circumstances." I don't take clients nor sell my services. I just enlighten others on legal topics one can read or learn about in public records, texts books, and the internet. Just know if you are in a pickle stop talking and ask for a real lawyer.
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby jdub3o » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:08 pm

We're putting together a legal team today that will be on call for us!
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby BrianCassidy » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:08 pm

Becka: I am a licensed attorney in Ohio and am a supporter of the Occupy America movement, I am willing to help out except that I don't have malpractice insurance--which as you may know does not stop me practicing as long as clients know that I do not have it. As such I am open to personal liability. Thus, I am willing to help out if my malpractice insurance will be paid for. If not I understand. Either way I'm completely in support of the protest and plan to be in attendance on Saturday Oct 8th.
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby BrianCassidy » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:10 pm

One more thing--contact me at bcassid1@kent.edu if you want to talk further about this. Thanks.

BC
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby bross09 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:09 pm

The ACLU is definitely supportive of the cause.

http://www.acluohio.org/pressreleases/2011pr/2011.10.05.asp

http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/protecting-protest-occupy-wall-street

The ACLU would definitely be a good group to contact.

I am currently living at home and I know one of my former HS teachers that I really liked is/was a member of the ACLU and he might have contacts. If there is a group that will support us, it is them.
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Re: Know any progressive lawyers?

Postby TheRealAmurica » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:13 pm

I don't want to be disrespectful to Mr. Cassidy and I appreciate his support of the movement, but this is kind of what I meant by my previous post. Most of these guys are only in it for the money, not necessarily the causes they fight for. I am going to be a lawyer next fall and I have taken legal profession. Correct me if I am wrong, but couldn't #occupycleveland just agree to not sue you if indeed you messed up with some form of an engagement letter? If occupy cleveland was your client you would only harm the relationship with them if you screwed up it would be up for them to seek a malpractice claim against you, right? If we are all in this together I am not sure why they would retaliate against you if you could indeed help in representing them. I should disclose: I don't mind that Mr. Cassidy is looking out for his only personal interest. He has the right to cover his ass. But with a movement like this shouldn't risks be taken?
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