How to Obtain Accountability for Civil Rights Violations During a Pandemic
Friday, May 29 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
5.5 General CLE Credits
CLE Webinar via Zoom – Link sent upon Registration – Only 100 virtual seats available so reserve your spot today
9:00 Check in and Intro – Matt Coyte, Coyte Law, P.C., Program Moderator
9:15-10:15 Prisoner Release During the Pandemic: Ways to Challenge Incarceration and Basics for Building a Civil Rights Case
As the virus unravels in New Mexico, defense lawyers need to advocate for release. We will suggest some of the many ways to approach release arguments. Should you fail in this endeavor, you may have to bring a civil rights case. We will go through the ways to get your client out, the basics of a 1983 medical treatment case, and a brief update on systemic challenges and advocacy during the COVID-19 era.
Presenters: Margaret Strickland, McGraw & Strickland, and Lalita Moskowitz, Equal Justice Works Fellow and Staff Attorney, ACLU-NM
10:15-10:45 The Evils of the PLRA and How to Get Around Them: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
Presenter: Adam Baker, Baker Law Office, LLC
10:45-11:00 MORNING BREAK
11:00- 12:00 Mass Injunctive Relief: Going Beyond with Class Actions
The use of consent decrees and injunctive relief to bring substantive change for everyone in the system with discussions of the pros and cons of the Duran and McClendon lawsuits.
Presenters: Alexandra Freedman Smith, Law Office of Alexandra Freedman Smith, and Kate Loewe, Law Office of Ryan J. Villa
12:00-12:45 LUNCH BREAK
12:45-1:45 Individual Injunctive Relief: A Road Map for Breaking New Ground in the Age of Coronavirus
As Covid-19 rages across the country, the opioid epidemic continues to explode, especially within America’s jails and prisons. Now more than ever, we are seeing the importance of strategic public health interventions in jails and prisons. This session will focus on legal strategies that have been employed to expand access to medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, as well as individual injunctive relief claims for medically vulnerable people incarcerated during the spread of COVID-19. Both of these claims can be models for a variety of medical care issues that arise within prisons, jails, and detention centers.
Presenter: Joseph Longley, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU National Prison Project
1:45-2:45 Making a Compelling Damages Presentation in a Post-Covid World
Participate in a give-and-take discussion on how to emphasize the shocking psychological damages of solitary confinement to a jury that lives in a post-Covid world. Learn how to demonstrate the horrors of a case to people already exposed to the distressing toll of coronavirus.
Presenter: Matt Coyte, Coyte Law, P.C.
2:45-3:00 AFTERNOON BREAK
3:00-4:00 Breaking News: A search for the truth behind the reports and the press releases
Are we getting accurate information from our government about solitary confinement and covid testing statistics? Has MDC really eliminated solitary? Are the covid numbers accurate? Hear from a journalist on the cutting edge of these issues and a new NMCDLA project to help release those at risk.
Presenters: Jeff Proctor, Criminal Justice Reporter for New Mexico In Depth and a Contributing Editor at the Santa Fe Reporter; and Sheila Lewis, Ad hoc Coordinator of the NMCDLA Reconsideration of Sentence Project