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Keynote- Bill Goodman
Big Picture – Which Way Forward for the Guild: Legal Work for the Movement in Times of Change
How do we connect our day-to-day work with the larger Guild mission of systemic change? What role has the Guild played in the broader social movements of the past? What is the role of the Guild and People’s lawyers in championing social change and advocating human rights in these modern times? What can we learn from international human rights norms to advance social change? This panel will address these questions from a variety of perspectives, helping us use the lens of our past to see the promise of our future, and will engage with the attendees on how to do the work, to the end that human rights are elevated over private property interests.
Mass Incarceration – Stopping the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Keeping Kids Out of Prison
Mass incarceration in the United States has reached disturbing proportions. No where is this warehousing of our people more prevalent than with the incarceration and detention of our children. This panel will focus on how to cut off points of entry for children into the system by examining various populations, including Undocumented Youth, Young Women, Young Men of Color, and LGBT Youth. Speakers will discuss action that lawyers and legal workers can take to defend these groups, keep them out of the system, and build a movement to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
Labor – Workers Fighting Back: Responses to Austerity, Attacks on Unions, and Economic Inequality
The trade union movement in the United States is at an historic crossroads and millions of non-union workers are without a fair wage and basic protections. In these dire economic times, austerity measures and attacks on workers are threatening economic equality. From Madison to Michigan to Chicago, we’ll discuss related legal and organizing strategies for fighting back. In doing so, the panel will extract examples from traditional labor unions, industrial unionism, worker centers, and community campaigns. We will hear from grassroots labor leaders on the cutting edge of the resistance discussing the new challenges and how we will meet them.
Protest – Legal Response to Mass Political Protest, NSSEs, and NATO
The NATO summit is coming to Chicago in May, and with it will be mass political protest. The meetings of NATO and the G8 (now secreted away to Camp David) have been designated as National Special Security Events (NSSEs). Previous NSSEs have seen widespread police actions aimed at diffusing or stopping dissent, including: preemptive raids, surveillance, infiltration, utilization of aggressive crowd-controlling tactics, confiscation of journalists’ materials, and unlawful containment of crowds and mass arrests without probable cause. Come get an overview of NSSEs and legal responses to rights violations, before, during and after mass protests. On the practical side, learn the ins and outs of legal observing, staffing a legal office, and jail support operations for NSSEs.
Crimmigration 101: A Primer on Navigating the Immigration Consequences of Criminal Cases
What does immigration law have to do with your criminal case? Panelists explain the merger of immigration and criminal systems—which has overseen the monstrous growth of people incarcerated and private prison profits—and track the increasingly harsh immigration consequences of crimes over time. Discuss the role of immigration advice in competent criminal lawyering. Learn about immigration detainers, and what happens to your clients as they move through the criminal system, as well as how Cook County is fighting back. Finally, get an overview of common red flags in criminal cases, and raise your awareness of the possible immigration consequences as you help your client navigate the criminal system–from initial arrest, to decisions about trial and pleading, to sentencing and expungement. Consider this as an initial step to raise your awareness of the many overlapping issues. The workshop will provide tools and contacts for further questions and learning opportunities.
Police Accountability – How To Win Section 1983 Wrongful Conviction Cases
The nearly impossible has happened and your client’s criminal conviction has been overturned! Now how do you press on and vindicate your client’s constitutional rights through a civil suit? This panel will focus on how civil rights attorneys can develop the facts, legal theories, and jury themes necessary to win a section 1983 suit premised on a wrongful conviction. Panelists Jon Loevy and David Cerda, two of our stellar section 1983 police misconduct attorneys, will discuss the relevant case law and their successful strategies in these cases. We will also have a client share his experience as a successful plaintiff in a wrongful conviction civil suit and explain how Guild lawyers can best serve clients’ needs in these cases.