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July 3, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Hundreds of Kenyan women who claim that they were attacked and raped by British soldiers were granted government legal aid to pursue a class-action suit against the Defense Ministry. The 650 women say they were the victims of routine attacks, including gang rapes, by troops stationed in Kenya over a 30-year period beginning in 1972. Martyn Day, their British lawyer, said he has documentary evidence that British commanding officers in Kenya failed to investigate.
March 27, 2003 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The nation's second largest program of legal aid for poor people narrowly survived a challenge from conservative activists Wednesday, thanks to a 5-4 ruling from the Supreme Court. The decision was greeted with relief by lawyers who represent victims of domestic abuse, children in foster care, elderly consumers who have been defrauded and others who are too poor to afford legal representation.
March 18, 2003 | Tracy Wilson, Times Staff Writer
For Ventura County Public Defender Kenneth I. Clayman, March 18, 1963, is a momentous date -- right up there with his wedding anniversary. Clayman, 61, is so passionate about it, in fact, that last week he persuaded county leaders to proclaim today "Gideon Day in Ventura County." The title refers to the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Gideon vs.
March 2, 2003 | Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
A state appellate court has upheld a judgment against a Modesto businessman who used the term "legal aid" in advertisements, but is not an attorney and charged his low-income clients hefty fees for typing simple forms. The case against Walter Moore, who also used the name Jeff Simmons, sparked a consumer alert by the state attorney general's office, which warned against businesses that use the term but provide costly and shoddy services that may hurt clients in court.
January 5, 2003 | Karima A. Haynes, Times Staff Writer
Nothing in Bruce Zucker's upbringing seems to have prepared him for his life's work defending the poor. A tall, athletic man who favors pleated khakis and starched button-down shirts, Zucker grew up in an upper-middle-class enclave in the west San Fernando Valley, far from the poverty he now sees every day. At Taft High School and UCLA, Zucker said, the closest brush with poverty was reading newspaper articles about unscrupulous bosses withholding wages from garment district workers.
December 10, 2002 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON--The Supreme Court took up a $5 dispute Monday to decide the fate of a little-known legal aid program that supplies $162 million a year to aid the poor, the elderly and the disabled. The case centers on the interest held in escrow for a few days, or weeks, by law offices or real estate firms. The short-term depositors unwittingly -- and sometimes, unwillingly -- contribute a few dollars to a novel legal aid program begun in 1981.
November 21, 2002 | Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
Nearly 1.5 million poor families in California do not have access to lawyers when they confront disputes involving education, employment, health care or other needs, according to a report issued Wednesday by a special state bar commission. The state has increased its spending on legal services for the poor in recent years. But it still spends considerably less than several other major industrial states and has many fewer lawyers available to serve the poor.
November 1, 2002 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
Nurse practitioners at the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica take digital photographs of victims' injuries and analyze slides with a high-definition microscope. They use state-of-the art technology to examine sexual assault victims and then present comprehensive rape kits to police investigators. Unusual for its advanced forensic capabilities, the nonprofit facility serves more than 1,000 victims a year, offering free medical treatment, professional counseling and legal assistance.
Proposed changes to visiting rules at state prisons would limit inmates' access to legal help and reduce public knowledge about conditions within the penal system, lawyers for convicts say. The changes were released last week by the Department of Corrections and are not yet final. A spokeswoman, Terry Thornton, said the public has until Aug. 9 to submit comments on the proposal.
State Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer is warning Californians to beware of businesses that advertise "legal aid" or "legal services," only to provide costly and shoddy services that may hurt clients in court. The warning, in a recently released consumer alert, is a reaction to businesses that prey on the public's trust in legitimate legal aid organizations.
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