Legal Services

Advancing racial justice through criminal justice reform

The firm has aided nearly 100 clients of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Three Strikes Project by researching and filing petitions for individuals serving excessive sentences for non-violent offenses under Mississippi’s Three Strikes law to get a parole hearing. Also, in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases violated the constitutional rights of the accused, MoFo is representing five people serving sentences in Louisiana state prisons after being convicted by non-unanimous juries, by asking courts to apply the Supreme Court decision to their cases and grant them new trials. And a legal team based in our San Francisco office worked with a private attorney and the Northern California Innocence Project to secure the reversal of Arturo Jimenez’s 1995 conviction for murder and dismissal of all charges.

We are representing five people serving sentences in Louisiana state prisons after being convicted by non-unanimous juries, asking the courts to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana to grant new trials, in partnership with the Promise of Justice Initiative.

Focused attention on securing voting rights

Recognizing the critical importance of fair and inclusive elections to advancing racial justice, the firm has worked closely with the Healthy Elections Project, formed by Stanford University and MIT. MoFo took the lead on a major effort to build out a database of more than 200 lawsuits in state and federal courts that request or challenge measures to ensure accessible and safe voting in November. MoFo was especially pleased to partner with dozens of in-house lawyers from clients whose companies wanted to join the drive toward greater racial justice with this effort. The resulting database will be an indispensable tool for state and local election officials, journalists, activists, and the public to understand the legal landscape at this time in our nation’s democracy.

Our lawyers and staff have answered questions from voters about how to obtain and cast their ballots by volunteering more than 3,500 hours to the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline.

Striking back against racially biased school discipline

We filed a federal lawsuit along with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund against the Binghamton City School district for conducting baseless and intrusive searches of four 12-year-old Black and Latina girls. The case highlights the disparate treatment and discipline rates of Black and Latina girls in their school and has helped to expose this issue across the country.

Partnered with 126 law firms across the United States as a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA)

The firm joined this coalition of law firms that will work with other organizations that are uniting to identify and dismantle systemic racism in the law and in government institutions. LFAA participant firms commit to leverage their resources to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism; to better use the law as a vehicle for change to benefit communities of color; and to promote racial equity in the law and in government institutions.

Led the initiative calling on law firm leaders to urge the repeal of New York State Civil Rights Law Section 50-a

On June 8, 2020, Larren wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the New York State Legislature to urge the repeal of Section 50-a of the state’s Civil Rights Law, which shielded police disciplinary records from public disclosure. He rallied the leaders of 30 other major law firms to sign the letter that came as the Legislature convened to respond to the tide of frustration, grief, anger, and calls for action that swept across the state and the country since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. Governor Cuomo signed the historic repeal bill into law on June 12, 2020.

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