Can a law that dates back to Reconstruction in the 19th Century be used to fight back against the perpetrators of racial violence that erupted in Charlottesville two years ago?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Michael Bloch, an attorney at Kaplan, Hecker & Fink LLP, to discuss his work on “the Charlottesville Case,” a lawsuit representing the victims of the Charlottesville riots when neo-Nazis and white supremacists plotted to commit acts of horrific racial violence in August 2017.

 

Eight victims of that violence filed suit, in conjunction with the nonprofit Integrity First for America (IFA), to send a clear message to every hate group in the country: “Americans will not give in to violence and hate.” The lawsuit seeks to ensure that the tragic events of Charlottesville never happen again, “… not on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, and not anywhere else in the United States of America.” Michael’s firm is representing the Plaintiffs in this new litigation.

 

Aaron and Michael discuss this case and what it may mean for the future. Michael talks about the legal strategies of the case, the decision to use an 1871 law, the relevance of this case and more. Is there a new boldness today for hatred? Can Charlottesville be seen as a catalyst for such emboldened bigotry? Michael explains that this case is about accountability, emphasizing the importance of understanding what happened and how the law can be a tool to fight back.

 

A graduate of Harvard Law, Michael is an experienced trial attorney. Having spent over seven years as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders, Michael represented hundreds of clients charged with criminal matters at all stages of litigation. Prior to working as a public defender, Michael worked at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C., concentrating in the areas of commercial litigation and legal malpractice defense. At Harvard, Michael represented clients charged with crimes in Roxbury District Court as part of the Criminal Justice Institute. He also worked with the NAACP representing a client in post-conviction proceedings as part of the Death Penalty Clinic.

 

To learn more about Michael, please visit his bio on Kaplan Hecker’s website here. Or check out his twitter, @MichaelBloch15. To learn more about Kaplan, Hecker & Fink you can follow them on twitter, @kaplanhecker.

 

To learn more about Integrity First For America, you can visit their website here. You can also follow them on Twitter, @IntegrityforUSA.

 

*IFA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to holding those accountable who threaten longstanding principles of our democracy – including our country’s commitment to civil rights and equal justice.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Michael Bloch

 

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How does pregnancy impact careers… for both parents? Is there such a thing as a “pregnancy penalty”?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Jennifer Shinall, a Professor of Law at Vanderbilt, to discuss inequity in family leave policies, the gender pay gap, pregnancy discrimination and gender stereotypes that remain in the workplace.

 

A graduate of Vanderbilt Law and Harvard University, Jennifer has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law and Economics. Jennifer focuses on employment law, employment discrimination, health economics, labor economics and more. Her research examines discrimination, particularly in the areas of gender and disability. Exploring how health status (such as obesity and pregnancy) affects labor market outcomes, Jennifer considers how these effects may differ by gender and how these disparities may be addressed by the legal system. Today Aaron and Jennifer address these topics, specifically through the lens of parental leave policies.

 

How are men and women treated differently after they have a child? Is there really a “mommy track” and a “daddy track?” Jennifer explains that gender stereotypes do persist, and not just in the legal field. She explains that despite federal protections, like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA,) pregnancy discrimination still happens. Aaron and Jennifer talk about the different expectations there seems to be around parental leave, discussing two recent lawsuits filed against the giant law firm, Jones Day.  Both lawsuits revolve around the notion of family leave and the firm’s alleged inequity in applying its policies.  

 

To learn more about Jennifer, please visit her bio page here. You can also find her on Twitter, @ShinallJennifer.

You can find a full copy of Jennifer’s article, “The Pregnancy Penalty,” here. Published in the Minnesota Law Review.

To find an abbreviated version of the article on Jennifer’s blog, click here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Jennifer Shinall

 

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Seeking justice, transparency and accountability in the tragic case of Eric Garner:

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Alvin Bragg, Gideon Oliver, and Monifa Bandele for a special conversation on police brutality, community safety, and the tragedy of Eric Garner’s death five years ago.

Alvin and Gideon are both attorneys for the Garner family and Monifa is a community activist heavily involved in the case, as well as one of the petitioners in the recent judicial inquiry brought by Alvin and Gideon, on behalf of the family.  Although the NYPD has fired Daniel Pantaleo, the police offer who placed a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner on July 17, 2014, so many questions, disturbing questions remain.  The judicial inquiry request, recently filed, seeks answers to those questions.

In today’s episode, Aaron, Alvin, Monifa and Gideon discuss the history of Eric Garner’s terrible and unnecessary death, what has happened since, and the broader implications this case and others like it have had and continue to have on our society. The conversation centers on the systemic issues that persist in our legal system and the flawed structure of our law enforcement institutions. What should be the model for community safety? Where should communities focus their resources? 

 Alvin Bragg is a visiting professor of law at New York Law School, Co-Director for the Racial Justice Project, and Co-Counsel for the Garner Family. Previously serving as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General and an federal prosecutor in New York as well, Alvin’s research focuses on the intersection of criminal law and civil rights, prosecutorial discretion and accountability, and the functions of state Attorneys General. 

Gideon Oliver manages his own firm, Gideon Law, and is Co-Counsel with Alvin for the Garner family. After receiving his B.A. in philosophy with a correlate in Women’s Studies from Vassar, Gideon graduated from Brooklyn Law School and began working as an associate in his father’s New York-based firm. Gideon has been a solo practitioner since 2009 and serves Of Counsel for several other firms. 

Monifa is Vice President and Chief Partnership and Equity Officer for MomsRising, an organization whose members aim to tackle the most critical issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots action. Monifa has more than a decade of experience in policy analysis, communications, civic engagement organizing, and project management. In addition to MomsRising, Monifa sits on the steering committee for Communities United for Police Reform and is an activist with the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

Listen in to learn more about our guests and their involvements in the Eric Garner case, and the legal actions they are taking in pursuit of the real truth about what happened to Eric Garner, justice, and accountability. This is a riveting conversation about an incredibly important topic. 

 

For more information on Alvin Bragg, visit his bio page here.

For more information on Gideon Oliver, visit his firm website here.

For more information on Monifa Bandele and MomsRising, please visit the organization’s website here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guests: Monifa Bandele, Alvin Bragg, and Gideon Oliver

 

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Have you ever wanted something so badly in your life that you would do anything to get it?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Dr. Adam Litwin to delve deep into this question, and more. A little different than our normal episode, today our guest shares his own, very personal story – one of tenacity, depression, passion, and redemption. Dr. Litwin shares his own journey of impersonating a doctor at UCLA Medical center in the late 1990s to realizing his life-long dream of becoming a physician decades later.

 

With an early introduction to medicine, Adam became infatuated with being a doctor. As a young kid, Adam found his love of medicine while watching his grandfather work as a podiatrist. In high school, Adam spent his time reading massive medical textbooks and doing anything he could to further his chances of medical school. After graduating, he started college as a pre-med student. Adam seemed to have planned out his life according to his dreams, but after one incredible experience of interning at a hospital, Adam’s life changed.  

 

Listen in to hear Adam tell his own story. Find out how a bright young man with a promising future found himself serving jail time after impersonating a doctor at a top-tier med school, and ultimately how he found his way to fulfilling his dreams. A fascinating and encouraging episode, stay tuned!

 

You can find the LA Times article, mentioned throughout here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Dr. Adam Litwin

 

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How can the law be used to hold perpetrators of racial violence and hate crimes accountable?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, to address the recent rise in hate crimes, discrimination and the intensifying activities of white-supremacist and other hate groups responsible. In today’s episode, Aaron and Kristen also talk about the ground-breaking case Kristen won recently in which she took on a neo-Nazi group for violently targeting a college student in Washington, D.C.

 

After being elected American University’s first African American female student body president, Taylor Dumpson was met with extreme racism, specifically from a neo-Nazi group and its website, the Daily Stormer.  Students were encouraged and incited to target and harass Taylor. She was sent threatening and racist messages online and she was harassed on campus.  For example, led on by the neo-Nazi group, students hung bananas with racist messages from nooses around the campus.

 

Taylor suffered PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) but persevered, graduated and now attends law school.  She also fought back, bringing in Kristen and the Lawyers’ Committee to file suit in D.C. against the neo-Nazi group and two students who were found to have committed hate crimes.  The Lawyers’ Committee and Kristen recently won a precedent-setting victory in court, along with an award of $725,000.  Kristen explains the novel way in which she used the law to argue on Taylor’s behalf and the impact that Taylor’s win has had and likely will continue to have as other, similar cases are brought in other jurisdictions.

 

A nonpartisan, nonprofit national civil rights organization, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law pursues equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. Formed at the request of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the Committee seeks to promote fair housing and community development, economic justice, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, judicial diversity and more. Formerly serving as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, as well as a leader at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., Ms. Clarke’s career has focused on work that seeks to strengthen democracy by combating discrimination faced by African Americans and others.

 

 

Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

 

Check out this incredibly important and interesting conversation, as Aaron and Kristen talk about racism, inequality, white-supremacy and the role of law, as well as an empowering story of triumph over hate. Be sure to listen to the entire episode as this week we have a fascinating P.S. from Aaron and Kristen.

 

To learn more about Kristen, please visit the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law website here.

 

Mentioned throughout the episode are other campaigns sponsored by the Lawyers’ Committee, including the No Hate Project.  You can find more information on that here. You can also find a full list of other issues and campaigns on the Committee’s homepage by clicking here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Kristen Clarke

 

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