|Impact Litigation and Social Justice Warriors
Description: Class-action lawsuits are an important tool to advance civil rights. This panel will focus on the value of impact litigation to advance social justice and civil rights. Attorneys from various jurisdictions will share their experiences in bringing impact litigation related to prison conditions, racial profiling, and other targeted and vulnerable populations. They discuss strategies to continue to use impact litigation as a tool to advance civil rights.
Elissa Johnson, Southern Poverty Law Center
Tracie Washington, Professor, Dillard University, Louisiana Justice Institute
Stanley Young, Covington & Burling LLP
|From Training to the Streets: What are the Standards for Street Protest and First Amendment Policing?
Description: From Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter to Anti-Ban protest, cities and towns in America have seen an increase in street protest over the past decade, and since January 20, there are almost daily street protests in frequency and volume of participants never before seen in our history. The panel will discuss how criminal laws apply when First Amendment activity is in play, how municipalities can properly train our police forces to properly apply such standards and how to protestors and police can work better to ensure expressive speech activities are given the proper constitutional safeguards.
Moderator: U.S. Magistrate Richard Bourgeois
Wylie Stecklow, New York, NY
Tara Johnston, Sheriff's Department, Baton Rouge, LA
Eileen Rosen, Chicago Police Department
|The Criminal Justice System as a Means to Create Revenue. For-Profit Policing: Fines, Fees, and Forfeitures
Description: Reform of the American justice system has captured the attention of the American public. While the discussion has focused on sentencing policies, police accountability, and reentry issues, there is a less-examined, but equally significant issue: Increasingly, our justice system has come to rely on the criminal justice system as a means to create revenue. This panel examines the problems of for-profit policing and the alarming trend of using fines, fees, and forfeitures to fund law-enforcement agencies.
Darpana Sheth, Arlington, VA
Sara Zampierin, Southern Poverty Law Center
|Pre-Trial Detainees v. Post-Conviction Prisoners: Did the Supreme Court Decision in Kingsley Mark a Sea Change or is it a
Distinction Without a Difference?
Description: In Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S. Ct. 2466 (2015), the Supreme Court held that a pretrial detainee may prevail on an excessive force claim if he or she shows that the force used was objectively unreasonable, regardless of whether the officer had a subjective intent to cause the detainee harm. In reaching this decision, the Court granted greater protections to pretrial detainees under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause than convicted prisoners enjoy under the Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment still requires proof of a subjective intent to cause harm before a violation will be found. The Ninth Circuit has interpreted the Kingsley decision to apply to all claims brought by pretrial detainees, not just those based on allegations of excessive force. This panel will explore the ramifications of Kingsley and query whether other circuits are likely to follow the Ninth Circuit's expansive reading of Kingsley. If so, what will that mean for jail litigation?
Moderator: Stephen Haedicke, New Orleans, LA
Liz Cummings, New Orleans, LA
Jim Mullaly, New Orleans, LA
Theresa Powell, New Orleans, LA
|Use of Force Continuum: Comparing Federal and State Standards
Description: This panel will discuss how local (non-federal) police officers are trained in terms of when it is appropriate to use force, how much force is authorized and the discretion given to law enforcement to make decisions. We will discuss the application of implementing law enforcement’s understanding of the Use of Force Continuum to compare and contrast relevant cases which address the Court’s understanding of reasonableness.
Moderator: Theresa Powell, Springfield, IL
Panelists: Susan Hutson, New Orleans Police Department Independent Monitor
Bill Mullaly, New Orleans Police Department Swat Training
Gary Bizale, New Orleans, LA
|An Eploration of the Cutting-Edge Issues at the Intersection of Civil Rights and Immigration Law
Description: This panel will address key issues at the intersection of civil rights and immigration law. We will discuss the broad nature of the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to interrogate, detain and remove non-citizens and how the agency exercises its authority. We will discuss a number of hot topics, including the recent Executive Orders and how they impact the civil rights of non-citizens. Other topics will include the now-defunct NSEERS program and the prospect of a so-called Muslim registry; Fourth Amendment issues and motions to suppress; immigration detainers; and issues affecting immigrant children, including the right to an education. Finally, the Immigration Section Chief from DHS’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) will discuss her office and address how immigrants and their advocates can best utilize it as a resource.
Moderator: Jeffrey Feinbloom New York, NY
Panelists: Laura Olson, DHS, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Immigration Section Chief
Kathleen Gasparian, New Orleans, LA
Hiroko Kusada, Profession of Law, Loyola New Orleans Law School
|"Religious Freedom" vs. LGBT Equality: Legislative Attempts to Empower Anti-LGBT Discrimination
Description: Laws have been passed or proposed on the state and federal level which privilege anti-LGBT religious beliefs and give legal protection to anti-LGBT discrimination. Under the so-called First Amendment Defense Act introduced in the House of Representatives (HR 2802), federal employees or contractors could refuse service to LGBT citizens or terminate LGBT employees if they professed a religious belief that LGBT people should not be permitted to marry, or that sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage are improper. HR 2802 ironically defines "discriminatory action" as any action taken by the government against a person who discriminates against LGBT people. In 2016, Mississippi passed a nearly identical law: HB 1523. A federal court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining its enforcement. Even if HB 1523 is struck down, it is unlikely to be the last word in the use of claimed "religious freedom" as a means to oppose LGBT equality. This panel, which includes attorneys taking part in the HB 1523 litigation, will discuss the legal issues raised by HB 1523, and will look forward to what might come next.
Panelists: David Thompson, New York, NY
J. Dalton Courson, New Orleans, LA
Alysson Leigh Mills, New Orleans, LA
|Disparate Impact Claims: Recent Case History and Application for Fair Housing Claims
Description: On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court, by a five-to-four margin, ruled that a disparate impact claim was cognizable under the Fair Housing Act. While upholding disparate impact theory, the Court imposed significant limitations on its application in practice "to protect potential defendants against abusive disparate-impact claims." In particular, the Court held that a racial imbalance, without more, cannot sustain a claim, and directed lower courts to "examine with care" the claims at the pleadings stage. This panel will address the history of this case and other laws affecting housing discrimination claims and how they now form the basis for Fair Housing claims and defenses to them.
Moderator: Joy Willing, Jones Walker, New Orleans, LA
Panelists: Toni Jackson, Jones Walker, New Orleans, LA
Cashauna Hill, Executive Director, Fair Housing Action Center, New Orleans, LA
Laura Tuggle, Executive Director, South East Louisiana Legal Services
|Charters, Cybers and Special Education: Old Wine in New (and Leaky) Bottles
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been around in its various forms for more than forty years. It guarantees a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities, and that they will be educated to the maximum extent appropriate with their non-disabled peers. The IDEA’s core principles, including full access to education, individualized evaluation and prescriptive program development, full parental participation, prior written notice, and parents’ opportunity to challenge educational decisions for students with disabilities, have had a profound impact on the lives of children and their families. How will the growing emphasis on school choice initiatives, including charter schools, cyber-charter schools, and school voucher programs, affect those lives? In this panel, experienced counsel from both sides, representing parents and school districts, will explore the foundations of special education law and the impact of those initiatives on access, quality and accountability for today's special education students.
Moderator: Ken Gelburd, Pennsylvania
Panelists: Caryl Oberman, Pennsylvania
Eden Heilman, Southern Poverty Law Center
Jaimme Collins, Adams Reese, New Orleans
|Federal Prohibitions and Medicinal Drug Use: Interstate Traveling with Medical Marijuana
Description: The panelists on the marijuana panel will present an overall view of current legal status regarding the growth, production, distribution, and use of marijuana for medicinal and adult use in the new environment across the many states and their potential interaction with federal laws. Specific State laws that have legalized marijuana to various degrees or manners and their practical implications before, and at, trial will also be discussed.
Moderator: Bonnie Kift, Ligonier, PA
Panelists: Jerry Goldman, Anderson Kill & Olick, New York, NY
Steph Sherer, Safe Access Now, Washington, DC
Sean McCallister, Denver, CO