A Victim of Trafficking Gets a New Start in Seattle
After spending 16 years of her life in conditions that amounted to forced labor, Gete [not her real name] found doors opening to a new future on July 23. That’s when the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service approved her application for a T visa and sent her an employment authorization card. For at least the next four years, Gete, a native of Ethiopia, is free to live and work in this country, with all the protections and opportunities that brings.
The news was exciting for DWT associate Kaye Fleming, who worked on the application with Gete. “It was an amazing experience to help better someone’s life,” she says.
Citations and Enforcement Actions Against California Centers for the Developmentally Disabled Must Be Made Public
About 1,700 severely developmentally-disabled people in California live in long-term health facilities regulated by the state’s Department of Public Health and operated by the Department of Developmental Services. These patients, who have conditions such as cerebral palsy and severe autism, are highly vulnerable.
In 2011, California Watch—an initiative of the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative news organization, the Center for Investigative Reporting—published a series of stories detailing failures on the part of those charged with protecting the patients at these facilities. As part of that reporting project, and to find out more, California Watch filed a public records request, seeking a decade’s worth of records relating to citations issued by the state against a half-dozen facilities.
DWT Attorneys and Staff Take Time Out for Veterans
Several hundred veterans of the U.S. armed forces, many of them homeless, poured into Seattle Central Community College on Sept. 12 to receive access to a wide variety of services at the second annual Seattle Stand Down event. And for the second year, representatives from DWT were there to lend a hand, and an ear.
Pro bono coordinator Julie Orr once again spearheaded DWT’s involvement, which grew significantly this year as five DWT attorneys took a shift. Ken Payson, a partner in the litigation group, volunteered at the event and helped to recruit other DWT attorney veterans as participants. Payson is a former Marine who served as a machine gunner during Operation Desert Storm. Also providing dedicated service were paralegal Patrick Watts (a veteran as well) and assistant Peg Benson.
Rob Balin Profiled as a "Pro Bono Hero" by Media Defence Institute
In an interview with the London-based NGO, our New York partner talks about why he chose media law as a career, what he sees as the main threats to media freedom, and why he gives time to pro bono work.
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First Quarter 2009