Judicial legal advocacy
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Judicial/Legal Advocacy. Ellen Andrews October 16, 2003 Hispanic Health Council. Supportive Role. There is a reason lawyers go to school for 3 years – this is HARD, expensive, and no one else understands it Chances are that you will be in either of two roles in a lawsuit

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Judicial/Legal Advocacy

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Judicial legal advocacy

Judicial/Legal Advocacy

Ellen Andrews

October 16, 2003

Hispanic Health Council


Supportive role

Supportive Role

There is a reason lawyers go to school for 3 years – this is HARD, expensive, and no one else understands it

Chances are that you will be in either of two roles in a lawsuit

  • Encouraging/development

  • Support

    Hopefully, you will be part of making things better, have a role in defining the settlement, if there is one


Not to be done lightly

Not to be done lightly

  • It can look attractive to file a lawsuit -- make them do the right thing -- but it should be a last resort

    • It is expensive

    • It can take forever

    • Bridge burning, bad feelings

    • Not predictable

    • Risky – You could lose and do more harm


Why you may not have any other choice

Why you may not have any other choice

  • They refuse to deal with your consumers or the issue

  • You’ve tried everything else

  • You need a judge to resolve an issue once and for all

  • They have made it clear that only legal action will make them do the right thing

  • You are being sued (or about to be)

  • They are about to do something horrible and there is no other way to stop them

  • To stall while you get legislation passed


Working with legal advocates

Working with legal advocates

  • Be realistic -- understand that they are bound by the law, not the real world you and your client live in, they can only sue over what is illegal, and even if they do their job right, sometimes we lose

  • Consider them your champion – get them what they need, when they need it

  • Be gentle – this is very hard work

  • Be up front about why you are helping – what you want to see come out of it

  • Be discrete – they should not tell you something you should not know, but keep your mouth buttoned anyway, you never know who you are talking to

  • Be patient – some suits drag on for decades


How you can help

How you can help

  • Link with legislative advocacy – after all they are suing based on the law

  • Research

  • Get answers to questions (at public meetings, private discussions, etc.), get documents

  • Find plaintiffs, support them thru the process

  • Link to other resources, policymakers


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