NLG CLE: Fighting the Criminalization of Unhoused People

NLG CLE: Fighting the Criminalization of Unhoused People
Saturday, May 19, 2018 -
9:00am to 12:00pm

On Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the National Lawyers Guild-LA in conjunction with the Skid Row and Venice Homeless Citations Clinics, Venice Justice Committee and LA Community Action Network will present an MCLE training program for lawyers and law students about combatting the criminalization of unhoused people. The presentation will provide background on the conditions unhoused people face in Los Angeles, including city and police policies designed to drive them from gentrifying areas. Speakers will discuss legal strategies in place to combat those harmful policies. The presentation will then provide direct training for lawyers on how to handle citation cases targeting unhoused people for “quality of life” crimes.
The first presentation will be by Peggy Kennedy of the Venice Justice Committee, General Dogon from LA CAN, and civil rights attorney Carol Sobel. Ms. Kennedy and General Dogon will describe the conditions for unhoused people and the impact of police enforcement, including the use of citations for minor “crimes” like sitting on the sidewalk (LAMC 41.18(d)) to force people out of certain areas of the city. Ms. Sobel will discuss impact litigation that has addressed some of the city’s worst abuses.

In the second presentation, Monique Alarcon, from the Law Office of Carol Sobel, and Noah Grynberg, from the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, will give practical instruction on the court procedures and approaches to defending citation cases in the courts where the clinics work. The third presentation will have John Brock, former Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender and death penalty defense coordinator, and John Raphling, currently with Human Rights Watch, discussing defending unhoused people through telling their human stories in court.

The cost of this program is $75 for attorneys and is free for law students. Any attorney who agrees to take one case for the clinic from arraignment through resolution of the case will have the fee waived.
The program will be held at the NLG-LA’s office at 3916 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City CA 90230. Free parking is available in lot behind the building.

For questions, contact John Raphling at

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