Mass Defense Committee

George Floyd BLM DTLA Support Protestors Legal Observers

If you were arrested, cited, or ticketed for your participation in any social justice protests in the Los Angeles area, the NLG-LA’s Mass Defense Committee (MDC) is here to support you through navigating the legal system post-arrest and help alleviate any confusion and anxiety you may have about what comes next. To request legal support from the MDC, please fill out the following form: We will evaluate the information submitted through this form and follow up with you shortly. Submitting an intake form does not equate guaranteed representation.



The MDC can provide support at three critical stages

Before an action:

Through our Know Your Rights (KYR) Training program, the MDC in partnership with volunteer criminal defense attorneys conducts trainings for protestors, organizers, and movement partners to inform them of their constitutional rights when protesting and provide information on important legal consequences to be aware of before, during, and after an action. To request a KYR training for your organization please fill out this form. If you are a criminal defense attorney working in the Los Angeles area with experience defending protest cases and are interested in volunteering with the MDC, please fill out the following form:

During an action:

For protests and actions, the NLG-LA Legal Observer Program provides volunteer legal observers at demonstrations to observe and document potentially unlawful or unjustified interference with demonstrators’ rights by law enforcement. Check out the Legal Observing Program under the Resources tab for additional information. 

After an action:

We help people navigate the legal process post-arrest, support with arrest-related issues, and leverage the political and legal power of our volunteer attorney network to push for no filings of criminal charges against arrested protestors. Additionally, we coordinate pro bono criminal defense representation for individuals on a case-by-case basis, based on the facts and circumstances surrounding a protest related arrest. Because our network is made up entirely of volunteer attorneys, we cannot guarantee individual legal representation to every single person who reaches out to us for support. We also work in collaboration with Jail Support services to identify protestors who are in need of legal support.

The National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles sponsors know-your-rights trainings and legal clinics in the community. Please be advised that the NLG’s sponsorship of these information sessions is not intended to and does not create an agreement to represent you in any legal matter. Unless you have a signed retainer agreement (contract) with the National Lawyers Guild, we do not represent you. Only the Executive Director, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers Guild, can approve representing you. Thus, you shouldn’t assume that because NLG-LA or its members had some contact with you, that they are your lawyer or have taken on legal work for you.
If you have provided information to the National Lawyers Guild, the information you provide on our forms and during our intake interviews will always be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to anyone, or for any purpose, without your express agreement, and then only to those other than to NLA-LA employees, and NLG-LA attorneys who need to know such confidential information to provide legal support services to you.
STATUE OF LIMITATIONS (i.e., deadlines.)
– Depending upon the incident you were involved it is important that you know about deadlines that apply to bringing a civil rights lawsuit for damages if your constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement. This may include a false arrest or injuries as a result of an arrest or use of force by law enforcement. California Government Code Sec. 910 requires that you file a claim for damages with the responsible agency/agencies within 6 months of the violation of your rights. You do not have to submit a pre-filing claim to protect your federal civil rights, but you are still subject to filing deadlines, usually up to two years from the date of the incident. Other pre-filing requirements may apply depending on what your injury was and who you want to sue. You should consult with an attorney to make sure you meet all statutes of limitations.