In the News
A round-up of interesting articles that have come across our desks.
Philadelphia Court of Appeals Adopts Proposal to Improve Attorney Work-Life Balance
The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals adopted a proposal that would require most legal briefs and other court documents to be submitted by 5 p.m. on the day they are due in an effort to improve attorneys’ work-life balance. The court adopted the new rule despite opposition from select bar associations and other lawyer groups that said an earlier filing deadline could exacerbate pressure on lawyers and sow confusion among attorneys from other parts of the country who do not often practice in the court. Jay Silberblatt, the president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, said the ”compelled quality-of-life intervention, while well-intended, unnecessarily multiplies the pressure already engrained in federal practice.” Reuters Law has additional information including how this rule may positively benefit pro se litigants.
Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Groups Launch Effort to Unify Organizations
A group of 24 U.S. civil rights and criminal justice groups and advocates launched ”End the Trial Penalty Coalition.” This effort brings together organizations from across the ideological spectrum, from the ACLU, the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to Right on Crime. The alliance intends to lobby Congress, state legislatures, courts and local bar associations on its key priorities: eliminating or reducing the use of mandatory minimum sentences; giving judges more discretion to ”look back” and adjust excessive sentences; removing language often used in plea agreements that requires defendants to waive certain legal rights; and requiring prosecutors to give defendants access to all evidence against them regardless of whether they accept a plea. Read more about the criminal justice statistics that inspired this advocacy effort at Reuters Law.