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Social Justice Monday: Massive Injustice in Misdemeanor Courts

Monday, Oct 22, 2018
12:00 PM - 12:50 PM PDT
Room C5Map Location
This event does not require an RSVP.

Gideon's Army: Future Public Defenders presents

Massive Injustice in Misdemeanor Courts:

What Lawyers Can and Should Do About It

Monday, October 22, 2018

Noon – 12:50 p.m.

Sullivan Hall, Room C5

Soup Lunch Provided 

Please join Professor Boruchowitz for a discussion of the widespread failure to provide effective assistance of counsel in misdemeanor courts throughout the country. He will also discuss some of the significant progress that has been made, and what lawyers and law students can do to help remedy the problems.

Professor Robert C. Boruchowitz is the Director of The Defender Initiative at Seattle University School of Law. He also supervises the Calhoun Family Fellowship. He was the Director of Seattle’s Defender Association for 28 years and founded the Defender’s Racial Disparity Project. Professor Boruchowitz has appeared at every level of state and federal court. He has been an expert witness in systemic denial of counsel litigation and co-investigator on a study of the costs of seeking the death penalty. He was lead researcher and co-author of "Minor Crimes, Massive Waste--The Terrible Toll of America's Broken Misdemeanor Courts." Currently, Professor Boruchowitz is working on a Justice Department-funded project with the Sixth Amendment Center to improve public defense in several states. He developed a seminar and a clinic on Right to Counsel and taught in the Youth Advocacy Clinic and criminal procedure courses. He also developed a seminar on Law and the Holocaust and the Abuse of Executive Power. He has written a paper for the American Constitution Society on diverting and reclassifying misdemeanors and an article for Seattle Journal for Social Justice on the right to counsel in misdemeanors. As founding president of Washington Defender Association, a founding member of the American Council of Chief Defenders, and a long-term member of the WSBA Council on Public Defense, he has been instrumental in developing defender standards. As a Soros Senior Fellow and with a grant from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, Professor Boruchowitz worked on right to counsel in four states. He has received numerous awards, including the NACDL Champion of Indigent Defense Award.

Social Justice Monday is an organized, weekly series hosted by the Access to Justice Institute in partnership with students, student organizations, and other departments across the law school. If you are interested in organizing a Social Justice Monday for the 2018-2019 academic year, please contact Abby Goldy at