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Defense Lawyers

The role lawyers should play in restorative justice programmes is an provocative and complex issue. On one hand, defense lawyers are used to speaking for their clients and restorative processes require the parties to speak for themselves. Nevertheless, a lawyer can be an important safeguard against due process and human rights violations. These articles address these and related matters.

In Dharun Ravi trial, criminal retribution will not serve justice
from the Guest Column by Joseph C. d'Oronzio in the Star-Ledger: I watch with increasing discomfort as the arch of justice sways with uncertainty in that New Brunswick courtroom where the fate of former Rutgers University freshman Dharun Ravi is being considered.
Lawyers Peacemakers
After all aren't most lawyers peacemakers. They definitely solve the most major problems here in the USA. Where would we be without them?
Lawyers promote restorative justice & therapeutic jurisprudence
from Lorenn Walker's entry on Restorative Justice and Other Public Health Approaches for Healing: While a lot of “lawyer dissing” goes on, some of it easily understandable, many lawyers and judges (who are also lawyers) should be recognized for promoting restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence.
Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law
from Lainey Feingold's review on BeyondChron: J. Kim Wright is an ambitious woman. In this comprehensive resource manual, she describes dozens of ways in which lawyers, judges and legal workers across the country (and around the world) are attempting to change their profession for the better. The terms sound hopeful – Holistic Law, Renaissance Law, Transformative Law, Law with a Meditative Perspective. Spiritual Law, Law as a Healing Profession, Restorative Justice, Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Most profoundly, as the title reflects, “Lawyers as Peacemakers.” Lawyers as Peacemakers, published by the American Bar Association, clocks in at over 500 pages including appendixes, resources and information about its many contributors. The book includes essays, quotes, interview snippets, profiles and articles written by both Wright and leaders in the various alternative legal processes she explores.
Problems with legal aid
from Chris LaHatte's blog Legal Rambling: What is the answer? Encourage more appropriate charges instead of over prosecution-always a problem. Then, if the appropriate charges are laid, encourage more guilty pleas by use of greater allowances for preparation for sentencing, more use of restorative justice and more resources for expert reports such as drug and alcohol abuse, psychologists, and better probation reports.
Porter, Thomas W., Jr.. Restorative Justice and Our System of Justice: One Lawyer's Journey
In this essay, Thomas Porter recounts his own personal journey to seeing justice in terms of a restorative justice paradigm. It is a story of profound change in his consciousness with respect to the meaning of justice, ways to respond to conflicts that serve justice, and the practice of law. This journey was marked by several milestones in his practice as a civil trial lawyer, his work as a mediator, a trip to South Africa, and study with Howard Zehr and others. Porter summarizes key ideas in a restorative justice paradigm, and then he sketches those milestones in the process of his evolving understanding and affirmation of restorative justice.
Daicoff, Susan. The Comprehensive Law Movement
The comprehensive law movement is a collective term referring to a number of new approaches to the conception and practice of law. Susan Daicoff locates much of the impetus for this movement in an increasing dissatisfaction – on the part of lawyers, clients of lawyers, and others – with the established practice of law, especially in its formal and adversarial character. In contrast, the new approaches seek more collaborative, comprehensive, healing, and humane forms of law practice. In this presentation then, Daicoff discusses a cluster of topics relating to the comprehensive law movement: lawyer personality, distress, and dissatisfaction; precursors to the comprehensive law movement; and different 'vectors' that seem to be moving toward common goals with respect to new ways of practicing law (e.g., therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, transformative mediation, problem solving courts, and collaborative law).
Dick, Terese. Milwaukee County's Community Conferencing Program: The Role of the Defense Lawyer
In this article, Terese Dick, a public defender in Wisconsin, discusses the role of the defense lawyer in a community conferencing program. Based on the principles of restorative justice, community conferencing attempts to assess the harm done by a criminal act and then determine how to repair the harm and hold the perpetrator accountable. To explain the role of the defense lawyer, Dick begins by identifying three stages in the conferencing process. Dick then explains that in this process the role of the defense lawyer is not so much advocate for the defense client in the traditional adversarial context, but support person. The defense lawyer is a 'counselor at law' representing the client's best interests, but with the recognition that the client has already accepted responsibility for his or her actions.
Czwartosz, Elzbieta. Awareness of RJ among lawyers in Poland (abstract).
The aim of the study that will be presented was to diagnose the level of knowledge of RJ and mediation procedures among lawyers (including practitioners like judges, prosecutors and future lawyers-students). The subject of our interest was how the respondents assessed advantages, restrictions and dangers connected with implementing mediation into the criminal law system. The study consisted of three aspects: 1) The way of understanding the idea of RJ, i.e. presumptions concerning the model of RJ, knowledge of consequences of new law order, knowledge of law settlements concerning the application of mediation. 2) Attitudes towards the institution of mediation in the community of lawyers, beliefs concerning efficacy of mediation in penal conflicts and reasoning for its application in different phases of the trial process. 3) Preferred model of conducting mediation in court practice: expectations connected with the role and function of mediator, beliefs concerning the reasoning of mediation application in certain types of penal conflicts, views concerning criteria for the selection of cases for mediation. Author's abstract.
Anonymous. Restorative Justice: A Lawyer's Perspective
Pene Williams, a lawyer who has been involved in conferences, believes that restorative justice can be either positive or negative, depending on the case. In one experience, Pene’s client (the offender) made a complete turnaround while in another, the victim’s family was not ready to meet the offender in such a close setting. Restorative justice, in her opinion, should continue to remain an option, not a requirement, with consideration of each case.
Volz, Gregory and Miller, Rachel and Trevaskis, David Keller. Youth courts: Lawyers helping students make better decisions
The motto of the Chester Youth Court is "Students Helping Students Make Better Decisions." For five years, lawyers, working with a variety of community partners, have been helping Chester students achieve this objective and in the process, have given them a voice to advance not just disciplinary justice, but also educational and economic justice. In this pursuit, lawyers have successfully achieved the highest aspirations of our profession and provided youth with the tools to successfully protect and defend themselves. Student empowerment is the fundamental touchstone of youth courts. Currently, eleven million youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four are neither in school nor employed.2 For these "disconnected youth," America is hardly a "Land of Opportunity"; the "American Dream" is no more than a distant memory from their father's generation.3 America's greatest strength has always been our democratic values and institutions. Society's current inability, or unwillingness, to inculcate these values in our nation's youth threatens our democracy. Public schools were created to inculcate these values of citizenship. That promise has been forgotten at many schools. Quality youth courts can instill those values.
Cooper, James M and Barton, Thomas D. Preventive law and creative problem solving: Multi-dimensional lawyering
The authors of this essay explore the image of the lawyer in order to advance new dimensions of what it should mean to be a lawyer. If the conventional or traditional idea of a lawyer is that of a fighter (characterized by the authors as vertical lawyering), Barton and Cooper contend for two other dimensions: the lawyer as problem solver and designer (characterized by them as horizontal lawyering). To argue their perspective, they explain the need for the multi-dimensional lawyer in relation to the evolution of legal procedures and lawyering. They also describe the fighter lawyer as operating in rewind mode – trying to reconstruct the past to establish liability and culpability in order to legitimize and win the case. In contrast, the lawyer as problem solver or designer operates in fast forward – trying to design environments and foster relationships that prevent conflict or that creatively resolve conflict.
Cochran, Robert F., Jr. "The criminal defense attorney: Roadblock or bridge to restorative justice."
Cochran points out that, while alternative dispute resolution is now common in civil litigation, it is virtually unheard of in criminal justice cases, despite the recognized problems with the current criminal justice system. In this context Cochran introduces the potential of restorative justice to transform the treatment of criminal cases. With this in mind, he examines the question whether the criminal defense attorney will serve more as a bridge or a roadblock to restorative justice processes and outcomes. Specifically he deals with the following: helping clients take responsibility for their actions; confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation; and lawyer/client discussions of restorative justice.
Hyams, Ross and Batagol, Becky and King, Michael S and Freiberg, Arie. Non-Adversarial Justice
This comprehensive book provides a large overview of emerging trends in Australian criminal justice. While the current system operates under adversarial justice, there have been increasing movements away from it. Some alternative forms of non-adversarial justice that have developed are therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, preventive law, creative problem solving, holistic approaches to law, and appropriate or alternative dispute resolution. Each approach is presented in its own chapter, with information about their backgrounds, potential benefits, and potential drawbacks. The authors then compare and contrast procedure under adversarial justice and non-adversarial justice in the context of family law. Then the book shifts away from modes of justice to specific developments in the legal system that reflect growth away from adversarial justice. These include problem-oriented courts, diversion schemes and intervention programs, indigenous sentencing courts, and managerial and administrative justice. Lastly, the authors develop what the application of adversarial justice to coroners, court management (specifically the development of the judicial role), lawyers, and legal educators would look like.
Cuzzo, Maria Stalzer Wyant. The Code of the Peaceful Warrior: A Restorative Justice Response to Recent Events
Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States, some asked Maria Cuzzo (lawyer, teacher, and practitioner of mediation and conflict resolution) about the possibilities of a mediation or restorative justice response to the events.

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