Thank You for Making Spring Fling 2014 a Great Success!

By Mass Defense Coordinator, March 4, 2014 2:35 pm

Thanks to everyone who came out,  purchased a journal ad or made a contribution in support of the NYC Chapter for our annual fundraiser, Spring Fling 2014. It was a truly wonderful evening full of great music, inspiring speeches, and good company.  Read the program and honoree profiles here





Update from Lynne Stewart

By Mass Defense Coordinator, August 15, 2013 6:30 pm
Dear Guild members,

The NLG-NYC has sent the linked letters to Charles Samuels, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calling again for the compassionate release of Lynne Stewart.

We urge chapter members to take similar action,  outlined in Lynne’s most recent letter below.

August 10th, 2013

Friends, Supporters, Comrades:

Well, we are once again being educated in the meaning of “protracted struggle”, not that anyone wanted or needed this.  It was clear yesterday in Court in NYC that Judge Koeltl was not going to act solely within the “spirit ” of the law but would instead rely upon the Bureau of Prisons to make a “legal” motion on my behalf.  Although the lawyers valiantly argued that justice does not allow for a “right” without a “remedy”, in my case, the right to die at home and the fact that there is no appeal(remedy)from the Bureau’s decision.

There are new and compelling facts now before the BOP–the prognosis now of 18 months and the fact that the PET scan revealed that the most serious cancer (of the lungs) is getting worse.  The Judge yesterday, asked the Government to concede (as their papers did by not contesting any facts) that I qualified in every respect for the release.  They, of course, remained silent.   For that reason I am asking once again that all of you send a “shout” out to the BOP [Federal Bureau of Prisons], AG Holder and Pres. Obama and express any outrage you might feel that the days and months are ticking by and I remain in Texas.  The DC Prison Bureaucracy clearly would just as soon see me die here.

So, not to be discouraged or disheartened by this latest legal impediment–the walls of Jericho DID come tumbling down, eventually !!

Love Struggle,

NLG-NYC Supports Striking LSSA Staff Attorneys

By Mass Defense Coordinator, May 16, 2013 6:09 pm

[PDF of letter available here]

May 16, 2013

Raun Rasmussen, Executive Director
Joseph Genova, Board Chair
Legal Services, NYC
40 Worth Street, Suite 606
New York, NY 10013

The National Lawyers Guild-NYC Chapter fully supports the members of the Legal Services Staff Association UAW Local 2320 who were forced to go on strike on May 15. The Chapter urges the management of Legal Services NYC to immediately negotiate a fair contract with its staff. The current offer that was unacceptable to LSNYC staff fails to address key issues, including the ratio of management to staff. Currently Legal Services NYC has a ratio of 1 manager to every 3 bargaining unit employees, a seemingly wasteful ratio compared with the Legal Aid Society, which operates with 1 manager for every 5 employees.

Failing to address the issue of ratios, LSNYC instead attempts to slash healthcare benefits, virtually eliminating fertility treatments, a vitally needed service for couples trying to create a family. LSNYC also goes after 403(b) retirement benefits, seeking to cut them by 29%. For an organization that already offers its employees no pension, such cuts to retirement benefits are unpalatable.

Perhaps most alarmingly, these cuts do not just affect the employees of the organization, but will also diminish the client services central to the mission of Legal Services NYC. By undercutting employee benefits without a corresponding salary increase, LSNYC management force LSSA members out on strike, and the poor people of New York City who are served by LSNYC are denied the representation so critical to defending their rights.

We urge the management of Legal Services NYC to return to the bargaining table in good faith. The current offer from management would result in no cost-of-living salary increase, reduced healthcare, and cuts to retirement, and does not appear to be fiscally necessary. These givebacks will not serve the short-term interests of the staff, or the long-term interests of the organization and its clients. Looking upon an organization that prides itself on providing justice to vulnerable clients, we ask: Where is the justice for the staff of Legal Services NYC?

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.

National Lawyers Guild, New York City Chapter

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