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Prison Litigation:
A Workshop for Plaintiffs’ Attorneys

Keynote Speaker: Stephen Bright

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Name: Stephen Bright  
Title: President & Senior Counsel
Organization: Southern Center for Human Rights

Stephen Bright is president and senior counsel for the Southern Center for Human Rights. He served as director of the Center from 1982 through 2005. He has represented prisoners in challenges to inhumane conditions and practices and people facing the death penalty at trials and on appeals; written essays and articles in scholarly publications, books, magazines and newspapers about the right to counsel, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, judicial independence, and other topics and testified before committees of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He has taught courses on criminal law and capital punishment at Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, Emory, Georgetown, Northeastern, and other law schools.

The work of the Center and Bright has been the subject of a documentary, Fighting for Life in the Death Belt (EM Productions 2005), and two books, Proximity to Death by William McFeely (1999) and Finding Life on Death Row by Kayta Lezin (1999). The Fulton Daily Law Report, a legal newspaper in Georgia, named Bright “Newsmaker of the Year” in 2003 for his contribution to bringing about creation of a public defender system in Georgia. He received the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award in 1998; the American Civil Liberties Union’s Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty in 1991; the National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s Kutak-Dodds Prize in 1992, and other awards.

Before coming to the Center, Bright was a legal services attorney in Appalachia, and a public defender and director of a law school clinical program in Washington, DC. He was born in Kentucky and grew up there on a family farm.

Presentation: Keynote: Prison Reform Advocacy in the Era of the Roberts Court
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Workshop Panelists:
 
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Name: Elizabeth Alexander  
Title: Director
Organization: ACLU National Prison Project

Elizabeth Alexander is the Director of the National Prison Project of the ACLU. She has briefed and argued three prison conditions of confinement cases in the United States Supreme Court, and has also argued cases in six other federal appellate courts. She currently serves as lead counsel in Hadix v. Caruso, involving health care for thousands of Michigan prisoners. This case was featured in a CBS “60 Minutes” segment in February 2007. Alexander has published a number of articles on prison issues and has been a frequent speaker on criminal justice issues. She graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University and from the Yale Law School.

Presentation: Current Challenges & Opportunities: Medical Care Cases
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Name: Jim Austin  
Title: President
Organization: JFA Institute

James Austin is one of the nation’s leading experts on prisoner classification. He is the president of the JFA Institute, which he established in 2003. Prior to that he was the director of the Institute on Crime, Justice, and Corrections at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., from 1999–2003 and the executive vice president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency where he was employed for 20 years. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including, e.g., Objective Prison Classification: A Guide for Correctional Agencies (2004); Juveniles in Adult Prisons and Jails: A National Assessment (2000); and Objective Jail Classification Systems: A Guide for Jail Administrators (1998).

Dr. Austin was jointly appointed by the Department of Justice and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to monitor the State’s compliance with the issues specified in a Memorandum of Agreement. He has also served as the project director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance-funded corrections options technical assistance program, which provides a wide variety of assistance to local jails, probation, parole, and prison systems. He directed two BJA projects that focused on juveniles in adult correctional facilities and a national assessment of adult and juvenile private correctional facilities. He also assists parole boards in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Maryland to develop risk assessment systems for prisoners eligible for release. And he serves as an advisor to The Urban Institute’s “Returning Home” Initiative.

Dr. Austin was named by the American Correctional Association as its 1991 recipient of the Peter P. Lejin’s Research Award, and received the Western Society of Criminology Paul Tappin Award for outstanding contributions in the field of criminology. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Wheaton College in Illinois in 1970, a Master of Arts from DePaul University in Chicago in 1975, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, Davis in 1980.

Presentation: Mental Health Care & Classification
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Name: Greg Belzley  
Title: Partner
Organization: Dinsmore & Shohl

Greg Belzley is a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl, in Louisville, Kentucky, where his practice focuses on the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of persons in jails and prisons. He was lead counsel for plaintiffs in three strip-search class actions resolved with multimillion-dollar settlements. A verdict for a client who was physically and verbally abused while jailed overnight was reported as a notable verdict in The National Law Journal. He was plaintiffs’ counsel in cases in which the United States Courts of Appeals for the First and Sixth Circuits first barred blanket strip-searches of pre-trial arrestees. He is a frequent writer and lecturer on class actions and jail and prison litigation.

Presentation: Sustaining Your Practice Economically - Attorneys Fees & Contingency Practice
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Name: Randall Berg  
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Florida Justice Institute, Inc.

Randall C. Berg, Jr. established the Florida Justice Institute, Inc., a public interest law firm in Miami in 1978. He has been involved in numerous individual and major statewide class action lawsuits for injunctive relief and damages aimed at improving Florida’s prisons and jails over the past 29 years. He also handles other large impact cases for the poor in the areas of housing discrimination, disabilities, and for violations of persons’ civil rights and civil liberties. Berg has written and lectured extensively on civil rights and civil liberites issues. He worked for years to develop our nation’s first IOLTA program, and then assisted nationwide in establishing and defending the constitutionality of IOLTA as the Director, founder, and counsel of the National IOLTA Clearinghouse. IOLTA has been responsible for creating nearly $3 billion to largely fund legal services for the poor. He is past Chairman of the Corrections Committee of The Florida Bar, and past President of the ACLU of Florida. He served on the late Governor Chiles’ Transition Criminal Justice Task Force, and several legislative committees dealing with criminal justice and corrections issues. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law, and directs the Volunteer Lawyers’ Project for the U.S. District Court for the S.D. Fla. Among the honors he has received are Common Cause’s Public Service Achievement Award, the Human Rights Award from Amnesty International, and several awards for developing and defending IOLTA from The Florida Bar Foundation, the ABA, and the National Assn. of IOLTA Programs.

Presentation: Litigating Against Private Corrections and Health Care Providers
 


 
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Name: Michael Bien  
Title: Managing Partner
Organization: Rosen, Bien & Galvan LLP

Michael W. Bien, a partner at the San Francisco litigation boutique, Rosen, Bien & Galvan, LLP, has successfully litigated a series of major civil rights class actions against state and federal correction agencies. These cases have resulted in significant prospective relief regarding unconstitutional conditions of confinement, denial of mental health care, unlawful discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities, protection of prisoners from sexual assault, and parole revocation reform. Bien has also secured damages awards for individuals injured by inadequate prison psychiatric care and sexual assault of female prisoners. He is co-lead counsel in the pending three-judge court proceeding to impose a PLRA population cap on the California prison system. He is also well-recognized for accomplishments in developing the law of civil rights attorney’s fees. He has briefed and argued several appeals to the Ninth Circuit regarding prisoner rights and civil rights attorneys’ fees issues, including the effect of the attorney’s fees provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Bien is a 1980 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law. He was a litigation associate and partner at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison from 1980–1990. Bien has consulted, written and lectured on civil rights and attorney’s fees issues on numerous occasions. He received an award from the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice “for outstanding contribution to the preservation of prison inmates’ rights” in 1994 and from the California Coalition for Mental Health as “Outstanding Mental Health Advocate” in 2003. In addition to prisoner rights, disability rights, and other civil rights and attorney’s fees issues, Bien and his firm also specialize in employment discrimination, general commercial litigation, antitrust litigation, First Amendment litigation, class actions, and other complex trial and appellate litigation.

Presentation: Coping With the PLRA
Sustaining Your Practice Economically - Attorneys Fees & Contingency Practice
Link to Website


 
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Name: John Boston  
Title: Director
Organization: The Prisoners’ Rights Project of the New York City Legal Aid Society

John Boston is Director of the Prisoners’ Rights Project of the New York City Legal Aid Society and co-author of the Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual. The Prisoners’ Rights Project, established in 1971, defends the human rights of prisoners in the New York State prisons and New York City jails through class action and individual litigation that has yielded landmark court decisions and consent decrees concerning violence against prisoners, medical care, racial discrimination, access to the courts, education for young prisoners, and other subjects. PRP’s current major litigation projects include sexual abuse of women prisoners in New York State, staff violence in the New York City jails, denial of adequate mental health care to state prisoners, and prison disability rights.

Presentation: Networking Resources: Probono.net; Issues In Individual Litigation; Coping with the PLRA
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Name: Bob Fleischner  
Title: Attorney
Organization: Center for Public Representation

Robert D. Fleischner is an attorney at the Center for Public Representation in Northampton, Massachusetts where he specializes in mental health law. A 1973 graduate of Boston College Law School, his litigation includes juvenile justice, prisoners’ rights, school desegregation, fair housing, civil commitment, right to treatment, and community services cases. He has authored articles in law reviews and professional journals and is the co-outhor of Guardianship and Conservatorship in Massachusetts, published by Lexis. He is lead counsel in Disability Law Center v. Massachusetts, the case challenging isolation of prisoners with mental illness in the Massachusetts prison system.

Presentation: Working with Pro-Bono Attorneys
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Name: Howard Friedman  
Title: President
Organization: National Police Accountability Project, National Lawyers Guild

Howard Friedman is the principal in the Law Offices of Howard Friedman P.C., a civil litigation firm in Boston, Massachusetts. His practice emphasizes representing plaintiffs in civil rights cases, particularly police misconduct litigation. Howard began his career in 1977 as a staff attorney at the Prisoner’s Rights Project in Boston. He is the President of the National Police Accountability Project of the National Lawyers Guild and he served as chair of the Civil Rights Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) (now the American Association for Justice). He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Goddard College.

The firm represents prisoners in a variety of cases. Current cases include a damages class action on behalf of prisoners and former prisoners at the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston who are locked in cells with no toilets or running water; a class of detainees who were unlawfully strip searched; and the estate of a young woman who died of dehydration in the Health Services Unit of the state prison for women while detoxing from drugs and alcohol.

Presentation: Networking Resources: National Lawyers Guild; Issues in Class Action Litigation
Link to Website


 
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Name: Ernest Galvan  
Title: Partner
Organization: Rosen, Bien & Galvan LLP

Ernest Galvan is a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Rosen, Bien & Galvan, specializing in complex civil litigation. During the past eight years, he has pursued large scale institutional reform litigation on behalf of prisoner and parolee classes. In 2003, Galvan represented the plaintiff class of all California parolees in the resolution of the decade-long Valdivia case, which resulted in a complete overhaul of parole revocation proceedings in California, including for the first-time, appointment of counsel for all parolees, and the institution of probable cause hearings promptly after arrest on parole revocation charges. Implementation and enforcement of the Valdivia remedy is still continuing. Galvan has represented the class of California prisoners and parolees with disabilities in the Armstrong disability-rights class action, in which plaintiffs’ counsel remains active in enforcing a series of remedial orders to ensure that prisoners and parolees with disabilities are not denied access to correctional and parole programs. Galvan and his firm also have considerable experience in litigating civil rights attorneys fees issues in prison and non-prison cases. Galvan is a 1997 graduate of Yale Law School.

Presentation: Issues in Class Action Litigation
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Name: Robert Greifinger  
Title: Consultant physician
Organization: Correctional health care policy and quality management

Robert B. Greifinger, M.D. is a correctional health care policy and quality management consultant. Dr. Greifinger is Professor (Adjunct) of Health and Criminal Justice and Distinguished Research Fellow at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He has published extensively in the area of correctional health care, is a frequent speaker on public policy, communicable disease control and quality management in corrections. Dr. Greifinger was the principal investigator for the report to Congress on Seizing Public Health Opportunities through Correctional Health Care (2002). Dr. Greifinger is the editor of Public Health Behind Bars: From Prisons to Communities (2007).

Presentation: Working with Experts
 


 
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Name: Gene Guerrero  
Title: Senior Policy Analyst
Organization: Open Society Institute, Washington Office

Gene Guerrero is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Washington Office of the Open Society Institute. He concentrates on the fields of criminal justice and civil liberties and in this capacity, he works to reduce the excessive reliance on punishment and incarceration in the United States and to promote fair and equal treatment in all aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system. Specifically, Guerrero coordinates working groups of state and local government representatives, civil rights advocates, criminal justice practitioners, and academics to consider law enforcement reforms, sentencing changes, increased use of alternatives to imprisonment, and programs to assist the reentry of prisoners back into society. Guerrero lobbies the US Congress on issues of importance to the Open Society Policy Center.

Guerrero has a distinguished career as a civil rights advocate in Washington, DC and around the world. Prior to joining OSI, Guerrero served as the Director of the Torchlight campaign at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now known as Human Rights First) in Washington, DC. There, he directed a national legislative advocacy campaign to protect the rights of refugees. Before that, he was the Country Director of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Namibia. Guerrero also spent many years working for the American Civil Liberties Union as the ACLU Georgia Director and in the ACLU Washington Office.

Guerrero serves on the Board of the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area. He received his M.A. in History from Georgia State University, and his B.A. in Sociology from Emory University.

Presentation: Congressional Activity: Second Chance Act
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Name: Steve Hanlon  
Title: Partner
Organization: Holland & Knight (Community Services Team)

Stephen F. Hanlon manages Holland & Knight’s Community Services Team, which provides legal representation to people and groups that otherwise could not afford it. In 1997, the firm received the American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award. The American Lawyer has described Holland & Knight as a “Pro Bono Champion.” Hanlon’s major civil rights work has included prisoner rights, challenges to indigent defense systems, death penalty litigation, challenges to high stakes testing, a claims bill in the Florida Legislature for the survivors of the town of Rosewood, housing, employment and AIDS discrimination, and a constitutional challenge to unconsented medical experimentation.

Hanlon, who began practicing law in Missouri in 1966 and in Florida in 1976, is past chairman of the Public Interest Law Section of the Florida Bar, and a past President of Florida Legal Services, Inc. He is the immediate past Chair of the Executive Council of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the ABA. Hanlon is a past member of the ABA Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly and the ABA Coordinating Group on Bioethics and the Law. Among the many honors he has received are the Nelson Poynter Award from the ACLU of Florida in 1996 for his commitment to civil liberties and civil rights, the Steven M. Goldstein Criminal Justice Award from the Florida Association of Criminal Lawyers in 2000, and the Equal Justice Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights in 2001.

Presentation: Mental Health Care & Classification; Working with Advocacy Organizations
Link to Website


 
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Name: Gordon Kamka  
Title: President
Organization: Kamka and Associates, Inc.

Gordon Kamka is the President of Kamka and Associates, Inc., a criminal justice consulting firm. His primary activities include project management and management consulting with private and public sectors organizations involved with the delivery of various services in criminal justice.

Prior to founding Kamka and Associates, Inc., in 1981, Kamka served as Maryland’s Secretary for Public Safety and Correctional Services. In this capacity, Kamka was responsible for overseeing thirteen diverse agencies including the Division of Corrections, Division of Parole and Probation, Parole Commission, State Police, Fire Marshal, Civil Defense, Criminal Inquiry Compensation Board, Inmate Grievance Commission and Commission on Correctional Standards. From 1973 to 1979, Kamka served as Warden of Baltimore City Jail, one of the largest urban detention centers in the United States.

Since 1981, Kamka has inspected and reported on more than 400 jails and prisons across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He taught for ten years at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in psychology and criminal justice at the University of Baltimore. Additionally, he was one the four contributing editors to the Journal of Prison and Jail Health, a national journal featuring articles concerning medicine, law, corrections and ethics. Kamka is also a well known lecturer in the field of criminal justice and public administration. Kamka graduated from the University of Maryland and the University of New York, from which he holds a B.A. and Master of Science degree, respectively, with a major in Psychology. He has completed postgraduate studies in public administration at the University of Southern California, American University and the Wharton School University of Pennsylvania.

Presentation: Working with Experts
Link to Website


 
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Name: Jody Kent  
Title: Public Policy Coordinator
Organization: The ACLU National Prison Project

Jody Kent is the Public Policy Coordinator for the National Prison Project of the ACLU. Prior to joining the NPP, she worked at the ACLU of Southern California, in Los Angeles, as the Jails Project Coordinator, where she was responsible for monitoring the L.A. county jails to ensure that legal requirements were met and basic services were provided to prisoners. In June 2006, Jody was appointed to a panel of experts that reports to a federal district judge to negotiate and develop plans to reduce overcrowding at the nation’s largest jail. Currently, Jody is the coordinator of the Coalition to Stop Abuse and Violence Everywhere (SAVE), which is a broad coalition dedicated to amending the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Presentation: Congressional Activity
Link to Website


 
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Name: Elizabeth Koob  
Title: Partner
Organization: Koob & Magoolaghan

Elizabeth L. Koob is a founding member of Koob & Magoolaghan, established in 1987. Prior to entering private practice, Koob worked in Bronx Legal Services, first as a Staff Attorney and then as a Senior Attorney in the Special Litigation Unit which was responsible for all impact litigation commenced by the program. From 1980 through 1985, Koob additionally served as the elected President of the Union of Legal Services workers in New York City, and participated in the negotiation of city-wide union contracts, numerous contract disputes, labor board hearings and employment related arbitrations. Koob has served as a member of the Public Interest Committee of the New York State Bar Association and given talks to Judicial committees and various organizations concerning both employment rights and prisoners rights. At the recommendation of Professor Martin A. Schwartz, the author and editor of the treatise Section 1983 Litigation: Claims, Defenses and Fees, Koob was recently appointed editor of the next edition of Volume 2 of the treatise, addressing the issue of attorneys’ fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988. Koob is a 1976 graduate of New York University Law School; She received her undergraduate degree, in Philosophy, from Barnard College of Columbia University.

Presentation: How to Plead & Prove Substantial Money Damages
Link to Website


 
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Name: Lisa Kung  
Title: Director
Organization: The Southern Center for Human Rights

Lisa Kung is director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, one of the most respected civil and human rights law firms in the country. Based in Atlanta, SCHR was created in 1976 to respond to the deplorable conditions in prisons and jails in the South and to the United States Supreme Court’s decision that year allowing the resumption of capital punishment. Kung joined SCHR in 1999 as a staff attorney, and worked especially on class action challenges to failures in the criminal justice systems in Georgia and Alabama. She was lead and co-counsel in a number of major cases, including litigation challenging extreme overcrowding and poor medical care in various jails; guard brutality at the Georgia prison incarcerating the state’s most seriously mentally ill men; the lack of indigent defense in Coweta County, Gerogia; and on behalf of all women incarcerated in Alabama. Kung became SCHR’s director in January 2006, succeeding Stephen B. Bright. Kung is a 1997 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Review of Law and Social Change. Following law school, Kung was a Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City. She then returned to Atlanta to work at the Law Center for the Homeless as a Soros Justice Fellow. She was recently named by American Lawyer as one of the nation’s top 50 young litigators.

Presentation: Issues in Class Action Litigation; Working with Experts
Link to Website


 
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Name: Terry Kupers  
Title: Psychiatrist
Organization: Wright Institute

Terry A. Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. is Institute Professor at the Wright Institute, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and, besides practicing psychiatry at his office in Oakland, he consults to various public mental health centers and jail mental health services. He provides expert testimony as well as consultation and staff training regarding the psychological effects of prison conditions including isolated confinement in supermaximum security units, the quality of correctional mental health care, and the effects of sexual abuse in correctional settings. He has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, as well as to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International . Dr. Kupers has published extensively, including the books Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It (1999) and Public Therapy: The Practice of Psychotherapy in the Public Mental Health Clinic (1981). He is co-editor of Prison Masculinities (2002). He is a Contributing Editor of Correctional Mental Health Report, and received the Exemplary Psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in 2005.

Presentation: Mental Health Care & Classification
Link to Website


 
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Name: Nina Loewenstein  
Title: Staff Attorney
Organization: Disability Advocates, Inc. (NY)

Since 2001 Nina Loewenstein has been a Staff Attorney at Disability Advocates, Inc., a public interest law firm in Albany N.Y. that provides representation to individuals with disabilities and conducts impact litigation as part of New York’s protection and advocacy system. She has been the primary attorney at Disability Advocates on Disability Advocates Inc. v. NYS Office of Mental Health et al. (DAI v. OMH), a lawsuit challenging inadequate mental health treatment in New York state prisons. Disability Advocates is one of three advocacy offices monitoring the settlement of DAI v. OMH. Loewenstein has presented on numerous topics concerning prison litigation and protection and advocacy access issues for the National Disability Rights Network. She graduated from New York University School of Law in 1992. She then clerked for Justice Alan Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court, where she was also one of two law clerks who reviewed death penalty cases for the Court.

Presentation: Networking Resources: Protection & Advocacy Organizations
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Name: Joan Magoolaghan  
Title: Partner
Organization: Koob & Magoolaghan

Joan Magoolaghan’s entire professional career has been dedicated to civil rights and public interest law issues. From January 1979 until May 1982, Magoolaghan was a staff attorney at Westchester Legal Services and subsequently attorney-in-charge of the Housing Unit of the Senior Citizen Law Clinic at Pace University School of Law. While employed at Westchester Legal Services Magoolaghan was engaged in state and federal litigation, including trial and appellate work. From June 1982 until March 1984 Magoolaghan was the Managing Attorney at Bronx Legal Services, one of the largest legal services offices in the country. Magoolaghan entered private practice in 1984 as a sole practitioner, and subsequently, in 1987, with Elizabeth L. Koob, formed the firm of Koob & Magoolaghan. In 1989/1990, Magoolaghan served as the President of the Yonkers Lawyers Association. For many years she was retained by New York’s Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions, Association of Supreme Court Justices to draft model jury charges. Magoolaghan graduated from Hofstra University Law School in 1979.

Presentation: How to Plead & Prove Substantial Money Damages
Link to Website


 
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Name: Jesselyn McCurdy  
Title: Legislative Counsel
Organization: American Civil Liberties Union

Jesselyn McCurdy is a legislative counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington, D.C., Legislative Office, and is responsible for defending civil liberties in Congress and in the executive branch in the area of criminal justice. As legislative counsel, McCurdy covers various criminal justice issues, including drug policy, capital punishment, police accountability, prisoners’ rights, mandatory minimums, racial profiling, and federal sentencing guidelines. She is also a member of the ACLU’s Safe and Free team.

McCurdy received a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Rutgers University and a J.D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

Presentation: Congressional Activity
Link to Website


 
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Name: Alan Mills  
Title: Legal Director
Organization: Uptown People’s Law Center

Alan Mills is the Legal Director of the Uptown People’s Law Center–a not-for-profit community legal clinic located on the northside of Chicago. The Law Center is a store front, community based legal clinic, focusing on representation of prisoners in conditions of confinement cases; disabled people whose applications for public benefits have been wrongfully rejected; tenants facing eviction; and victims of domestic violence. Mills began representing prisoners at Cook County jail during law school; he has tried dozens of individual cases on behalf of prisoners in state and federal court during the last 30 years. He was one of the team of lawyers who represented a class of prisoners challenging the access to the courts provided to prisoners in Illinois maximum security segregation units (Walters v. Edgar)-until Lewis v. Casey gutted the case-and is currently class counsel in an action challenging the way in which prisoners are punished by being sent to Illinois’ supermax prison, without due process (Westefer v. Snyder). Mills graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1981. Since 2005, he has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching a seminar on Prisons and Prisoners’ Rights. For the last five years, he has also helped train attorneys appointed to represent prisoners in civil rights cases by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Presentation: Issues In Individual Litigation
 


 
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Name: Margo Schlanger  
Title: Professor of Law/Director
Organization: Washington University in St. Louis/The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse

Margo Schlanger is professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, and the director of the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. She received her J.D. in 1993 from Yale and then took up a two-year appointment as Law Clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993–1995). From 1995 through 1998, she was an attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where her practice focused on police and prison civil rights issues. Before her appointment at Wash. U., she was Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard from 1998 to 2004. Professor Schlanger is a leading academic authority on prisoners’ civil rights and litigation; in addition to her teaching and research in this field, which has been published in leading law reviews, she is currently a member of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, and the reporter for the American Bar Association’s ongoing revision of its standards governing the Legal Treatment of Prisoners.

Presentation: Networking Resources: Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse; Current Challenges & Opportunities: The Proof Arms Race
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Name: Brenda Smith  
Title: Professor
Organization: Washington College of Law at American University

Brenda V. Smith is a professor at the Washington College of Law at American University where she teaches in the Community Economic Development Law Clinic. Professor Smith is also the Project Director for the United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Cooperative Agreement on Addressing Prison Rape, and a Commissioner on the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, a position to which she was appointed by U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.). Prior to her faculty appointment at the Washington College of Law, Professor Smith was the Senior Counsel for Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center and Director of the Center’s Women in Prison Project and Child and Family Support Project. Professor Smith is a 1984 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a magna cum laude graduate of Spelman College in 1980.

Presentation: Congressional Activity: Prison Rape Elimination Act
Link to Website


 
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Name: Margaret Winter  
Title: Associate Director
Organization: ACLU National Prison Project

Margaret Winter is Associate Director of the National Prison Project of the ACLU. For the past three years, she has been involved in the Prison Project’s special initiative to investigate and challenge conditions resulting in prisoner rape. She was lead counsel in a case involving sex slavery in a Texas prison, which resulted in the first federal appellate court decision recognizing the equal protection rights of gay prisoners not to suffer discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F.3d 503 (5th Cir. 2004). In collaboration with Holland & Knight, she brought a class-wide challenge on behalf of Mississippi Death Row prisoners to the conditions of confinement, resulting in a sweeping injunction that was largely affirmed by the Fifth Circuit, Gates v. Cook, 385 F.3d 503 (5th Cir. 2004).

She was the recipient in 2000 and 2001 of grants from the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to inform state policy in Mississippi and Alabama—the only two states that categorically segregated prisoners with HIV and excluded them from educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs. As a consultant to task forces in both states, she helped prepare reports and recommendations that resulted in an end of HIV prison-program segregation in Mississippi in 2001, and in Alabama in 2003.

Presentation: Mental Health Care & Classification
Link to Website


 
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Name: Paul Wright  
Title: Founder and Editor
Organization: Prison Legal News

Paul Wright is the editor and co-founder of Prison Legal News, the longest publishing independent prisoner rights magazine in US history. He is the co-author of The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the US Prison Industry (1998); Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor (2003) and the forthcoming Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Imprisonment (2008). His articles have appeared in a variety of publications. He is also the National Lawyers Guild Jailhouse Lawyer national co-vice president. A former prisoner, Paul was imprisoned for 17 years in Washington State until his release from prison in 2003. During and since his incarceration, he has successfully litigated a wide variety of censorship and public records issues against prison systems around the country both pro se, as a plaintiff and on behalf of Prison Legal News. He is on the advisory board of Stop Prison Rape. Paul is a former Military Policeman and a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Soviet history. Paul founded PLN in 1990 while imprisoned. He is a 2005 Petra Fellow and a 2007 recipient of the James Madison Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government.

Presentation: Networking Resources: Prison Legal News; Issues in Individual Litigation: FOIA
Link to Website


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