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Loyola University New Orleans Law Professor William P. Quigley among finalists for Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award

Loyola press release - June 24, 2016

Team of lawyers honored for social justice efforts.

Professor William P. Quigley of Loyola New Orleans College of Law is among a group of social justice lawyers who have been named finalists for the Public Justice 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Through Jones (Varden) v. City of Clanton and similar cases, the team has challenged the nation’s money bail system, which keeps more than 500,000 people in jail each night because they are unable to post bail while awaiting trial. This legal work is taking place in dozens of cities around the country.

In Louisiana, the team has successfully filed a suit resulting in Ascension Parish doing away with money bonds for arrests for nonviolent misdemeanors and continues to work with other jurisdictions around the state to do the same.

Professor Quigley is director of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center within Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, an institution providing law students the opportunity to serve the greater good while supplementing assignments with real world legal research and practice. This Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award signifies the application and strides for social justice within poverty law by Professor Quigley and team. The Poverty Law Center was founded so that students can represent others who may not be able to represent themselves.

“Justice is a team sport and I am very fortunate to be part of a great group of social justice lawyers. Together we are challenging cities across the country that keep innocent people in jail awaiting trial only because they do not have enough money to post bond,” said Quigley. “Being a finalist for this award is a tribute to Loyola which supports so much justice work.”

Quigley’s team is also involved in several other lawsuits challenging the current public defender meltdown in Louisiana, the jailing of underprivileged people for non-payment of fines and fees, and the lack of right to vote for people who have gone through the criminal legal system.

The Public Justice organization pursues high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth’s sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses. Public Justice presents its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to the attorney(s) who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.

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