The Environmental Law Clinic won a case against the California Department of Fish and Game, whose practice of putting hatchery-raised, non-native trout into water bodies throughout California put native frog and fish species at risk. In an order issued July 18, 2007, the court found that the agency’s failure to prepare an environmental review for its trout stocking program violated the California Environmental Quality Act. Paul Spitler ’07, Sierra Martinez ’08 (BA ’03), and Justin Barnard ’08 litigated the case from start to finish.
The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) arguing that the U.S. immigration policy mandating the deportation of Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendáriz, legal immigrants who committed drug crimes in their youth, violates international human rights standards. The case was heard by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights July 20 in Washington, D.C. Lin Chan ’07 and Gloria Borges ’07 wrote the brief in support of petitioners Smith and Armendáriz.
The Community Law Clinic’s Margaret Cohen ’08 filed and argued several criminal record expungement motions in the superior courts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. In one notable case, the client’s minor convictions barred her from job promotions and other professional opportunities. Cohen persuaded the judge of her client’s entitlement to expungement, despite the opposition of the probation department.
The Youth and Education Law Project (YELP) celebrated a win for its client—a deaf child with autism who was excluded from the California School for the Deaf (CSD) because of her additional disabilities—when the case against the school was settled out of court in August. As part of the settlement, CSD will create an environment for developmentally delayed students at the school. This settlement comes after a U.S. District Court judge denied CSD’s motion to dismiss, clearing the way for YELP to pursue claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Over the course of the last year, clinic students Ruth Barnes ’07, Hope Bennett ’08, Brian Bilford ’08, Erica Blachman ’07, Laura Johnson ’07, Peter Khalil ’07, Esther Kim, ’07, Jonathan Olinger ’08, Will Rawson ’08, Rebecca Thalberg ’07, Julie Wahlstrand ’08, Caitlin Weisberg ’08, and Ashley Yeargan ’08 have done everything from motion practice to discovery to expert witness work in the case