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Philip Morris

National Litigation Monthly Report - (960900) (From 960516 Through 960820)

Date: Sep 1996 (est.)
Length: 11 pages
2073880750-2073880760
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spider_pm 2073880750_0760

Fields

Author
Bailey, D.S.
Gonzalez, T.
Henderson, T.J.
Kohrman, D.B.
Mcconkie, P.J.
Mendy, S.
Sanford, V.M.
Document File
2073880733/2073881083/Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights - 960000
Type
REPT, REPORT, OTHER
Area
BRING,MURRAY/CARLSTADT
Named Organization
4th Circuit
4th Circuit Court Appeals
African American Community
Allegheny County Housing Authority
Arent Fox
Biggs Battaglia
Blue Ribbon Commission
Community Group
Community Relations Service
Court Appeals
Cravath Swaine
Davis Polk
Edgewood Borough Council
Epa, Environmental Protection Agency
Fair Housing Action Center
Greater Miami Legal Services
Hill Tucker
Hogan Hartson
Hope Inc of Miami
Hud
Jenner Block
Lawyers Comm
Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County
Legal Service
Mexican American Legal Defense + Educati
Morrison Foerster
Naacp
Natl Assn for the Advancement of Colored
Neighborhood Legal Services Assn
Omelveny Myers
Pa Commonwealth Court
Pa Human Relations Commission
Pa Human Rights Commission
Panel of Experts
Public Advocates
Rise
San Francisco Lawyers Comm for Urban Aff
San Jose School
School Board
Southern Environmental Law Center of Cha
State Environmental Agency
Sullivan Cromwell
Thomson Muraro
Ucla
Univ of Miami
Urban League
Urban League of Pittsburgh
US Court Appeal 3rd Circuit
US Dept of Justice
US Supreme Court
Usdc Nd Ca
Va Supreme Court
Wilmington School
Woodland Hills School
Site
N327
Named Person
Abrams, W.
Adker
Affeldt, J.T.
Barr, T.
Battaglia, V.F., S.R.
Berk, S.
Boies, D.
Brannan, P.A.
Bricker, R.
Cardozo, R.
Davis, S.
Diamond, G.
Dicke, M.S.
Driscoll
Edwards, R.
Estremera, A.
Feinstein, E.J.
Fleischaker, M.
Forrest, K.
Garciarodriguez, F.
Goldstein, S.
Hayes, D.
Herman, H.
Jimenez, M.
Kolb, D.F.
Kreeger, M.
Labarbera, N.
Larger, V.
Londen, J.
Lucas, L.
Mahoney, M.
Mcferrin, T.
Mernick, G.H. III
Messitte, J.
Oakes, J.
Ottaviano, D.
Paterson, E.
Pina, E.
Pina, R.
Ridge, T.
Riley, G.
Roberts, A.
Rodriguez, I.
Romero, M.
Rosenzweig, S.M.
Ruiz, R.
Sanders
Seicshnaydre, S.
Swartz, M.
Waxman, B.
Weston, C.
Williams, L.L.
Author (Organization)
Lawyers Comm for Civil Rights Under Law
Master ID
2073880734/0810

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Litigation
Feda/Produced
Date Loaded
15 Aug 2002
UCSF Legacy ID
jmo85c00

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I I I I I I I I I I I 1 e I co-Chairs Paul c Saunders MJrc L Fleruhaker SeeMary David R. Mdrcws 7rmrarcr Myles V. Lynk Counsel Jerome Ubin Fxttudve Director Barbara R.Amwlne Lawyers' Comtnittee for Civil Rights Under Law 1450 G Street, NW TeL 202/662-8600 Suite 400 Fax: 202/783-0857 Washington, DC 20005 Bulletin Board: 202/783-0854 NATIONAL LITIGATION MONTHLY REPORT -- (SEPTEMBER, 1996) (From May 16, 1996 through August 20, 1996) Direct Dial: (Thomas J. Henderson, Deputy Director; Daniel B. Kohrman, Supervising Attorney (Housing/Community Development and Education); David S. Bailey, Stc{ff Attorney/Scientist (Environmental Justice); Selena Mendy, Staff Attorney (Environmental Justice); Pace J. McConkie, Staff Attorney (Education); Tonya Gonzalez, Legal Assistant (Education and Housing); and Valerie M. Sanford, Administrative Assistant) CHILDREN IN POVERTY/EDUCATION I. LITIGATION A. LAWYERS' COMMITTEE PETITIONS COURT OF APPEALS FOR REHEARING AFTER ADVERSE DECISION IN WILMINGTON SCHOOL DESEGREGATION CASE The legal battle for equal educational opportunity in the metropolitan Wilmington, Delaware public schools again advanced to the attention of the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit when the Lawyers• Committee filed, on August 7th, plaintiff's Petition for Rehearing and Suggestion for Rehearing In Banc. A 2-1 panel majority of that court had recently affirmed the district court's declaration of unitary status and relinquishment of jurisdiction over the school systems. The dissenting member of the panel determined that, while supervision should be terminated with respect to a number of aspects, it should be retained as to several facets of the school systems' operations, including the desegregation of classrooms and elimination of segregative ability grouping or "tracking" practices and their discriminatory effects. Coalition to Save Our Children v. State Board of Education, No. 95- 7452 (July 24, 1996). Plaintiff argues in its petition that the panel majority failed to assess whether the district court's findings of fact satisfied the governing legal standard for unitary status, instead judging the district court's conclusory findings that the school systems had achieved unitary status solely under the "clearly erroneous" standard. In failing to apply the appropriate legal standard to the lower court's findings and conclusions, the panel majority replicated the error of the district court in effectively imposing the wrong legal standard -- a standard that misallocated the burden of proof to the plaintiff Coalition by requiring it to demonstrate that the practices of the school systems represented current intentional discrimination. _ The CommBee was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy
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LAWYERS' COMMPITEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW National Litigation Monthly Report Page 2-- The Coalition requested rehearing for the purpose of seeking a remand to the district court regarding certain school practices, specifically: (a) classroom student assignment practices that place equally-achieving minority students in low-level courses and white students in higher-level courses and the adverse effects that flow from those assignments on minority students' achievement and educational opportunities; (b) discipline practices that exclude minority students from the learning process through suspensions at twice the rate of white students; and, (c) practices that have resulted in the continuation of racially identifiable extracurricular activities throughout the school systems. A determination on the petition is pending. Co-counsel for the Plaintiffs include Thomas Barr, David Boies, Sandra Goldstein and Katherine Forrest, of Cravath, Swaine and Moore in New York; Victor F. Battaglia, Sr., of Biggs and Battaglia in Wilmington, Delaware; Leonard L. Williams in Wilmington, Delaware; and Louis Lucas of Memphis, Tennessee. B. LAWYERS' COMMITTEE CONSULTS WITH PARENTS, COMMUNITY GROUPS ON PROPOSED REDISTRICTING PLAN FOR PITTSBURGH CITY SCHOOLS Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania recently signed into law recent legislation stripping the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and state courts of jurisdiction over matters of student assignments to public schools. The Urban League of Pittsburgh and various parents of children in Pittsburgh public schools recently contacted the Lawyers' Committee regarding the effect of this legislation on, anticipated redistricting proposals to establish "neighborhood schools." Pittsburgh City schools are presently under a school desegregation order issued by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania pursuant to guidelines and elements promulgated by the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission. On April 30, 1996, the school district dramatically retreated from an earlier redistricting proposal and agreed to adopt a limited plan consistent with its desegregation obligations. The Lawyers' Committee is presently reviewing the new plan in order to develop an appropriate legal response. Consultation with parents and the Urban League are in progress. The Lawyers' Committee is counseling with Daniel F. Rolb and the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York regarding possible acceptance and placement of this case. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
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IAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW I I I I I I , I I I I I I I I I National Litigation Monthly Report Page 3-- C. MOTION FOR PARTIAL UNITARY STATUS IS WITHDRAWN PURSUANT TO CONSENT AGREEMENT REACHED BY PARTIES IN SAN JOSE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION CASE The school district's motion for a declaration of unitary status and relinquishment of federal court jurisdiction as to student assignments was avoided when parties to the San Jose school desegregation proceedings agreed to a formal stipulation modifying that portion of the existing Consent Decree. Vasouez v. San Jose Unified School District, No. C-71-2130 RMV (PVT) (N.D. Ca.). In essence, the parties agreed that the district will continue its desegregation efforts in elementary schools without the employment of numerical standards by combining neighborhood school assignments with voluntary Majority to Minority intradistrict transfers, magnet schools, targeted recruitment and programmatic enhancements. At the middle and high schools, desegregation will be achieved and closely monitored pursuant to similar voluntary measures. Plaintiffs and counsel are presently working with the school district regarding any necessary redrawing of boundaries and attendance zones and in securing sites for the construction of new schools in areas conducive to voluntary desegregation measures. The agreement successfully avoids any judicial pronouncement that the school district is unitary in any facet of its operations and defers, for several years, motions by the district seeking such a declaration regarding any provisions of the Order. Co-counsel are Jack Londen, Michael S. Dicke and Matt Rreeger of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco; Manuel Romero, Irma Rodriguez, and Martha Jimenez of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and Francisco Garcia-Rodriguez and Antonio Estremera of Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County. D. PLAINTIFFS SECURE COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT FROM STATE AND SCHOOL OFFICIALS REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF REMEDIES IN WOODLAND HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT Concluding a rigorous schedule of negotiations and discovery, the Lawyers' Committee participated in five full days of hearings before a special master appointed by the district court and secured, on the last day of hearings, a comprehensive consent agreement with the defendant Woodland Hills School District and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, ensuring effective and adequate implementation of remedial programs pursuant to the desegregation decree in Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 71-538 (W.S. Pa.), for the coming 1996-97 school year and beyond. The hearings were conducted May 23-31, 1996, in Pittsburgh. Plaintiffs' had previously moved the court to determine a 1 remedial obligations of the school district and the Commonwealth, both programmatic and financial, prior to the date by which defendants must submit preliminary budgets for the coming school tJ 0 V W 00 00 0 V Ot N I
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LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW National Litigation Monthly Report Page 4-- year as required by state law. The agreement reached resolves all budgetary concerns which had, to some degree, thwarted full implementation of the remedy over recent years. It also resolves all major remedial concerns. The agreement includes measures to fully implement, for the first time, a comprehensive staff development plan necessary for adequate and effective implementation of the court's orders to redesign curriculum, instruction and testing and the delivery of higher order thinking skills to all students in heterogeneous classrooms. An outside expert will consult with the school district on this measure. Among other things, the agreement also brings Dr. Jeannie Oakes of the UCLA Graduate School of Education into the case to evaluate to evaluate the school district's progress in dismantling its segregative ability grouping or "tracking" practices and their discriminatory effects on minority students. The parties are presently developing a comprehensive plan to be implemented by the district addressing its racially disparate discipline practices. This plan will be the basis for continued discovery and potential hearings during the late fall of this year. Also pending is the parties' motion seeking further relief on monitoring and evaluation of the remedy. Co-counsel for the Plaintiff is Edward J. Feinstein of Pittsburgh. E. FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF SCHOOL DESEGREGATION IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND Judge Peter J. Messitte recently reasserted the role of the federal court in the longstanding school desegregation case in Prince George's County, Maryland by ordering a panel of experts to provide the court and parties with a comprehensive review of the school district's progress in implementing the ordered remedial relief. Vaughns and NAACP v. Board of Education of Prince George's County, No. PJM 72-325 (D. Md.). The court's order also sets a schedule for parties to file any motions for relief, including motions for unitary status, and prepare for a potential trial on all issues between October 15 and December 31, 1997. The court seeks a resolution of the issues for implementation during the 1998-99 school year. The case received renewed attention from plaintiffs and the court when the school board announced its intention to unilaterally modify the district's magnet school admissions policies without consultation with plaintiffs and approval from the court. Hearings were held on the limited issue of magnet admissions for the coming 1996-97 school year on August 9th in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Lawyers' Committee has reactivated its role as plaintiffs' counsel in the case and participated in those hearings and is prepared to pursue"the matter with co-counsel as set-forth in the court's I I I I I I
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I I I I I I I ' I I I I I I LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGH?5 UNDER LAW National Litigation Monthly Report Page 5-- scheduling order. Plaintiffs include the Prince George's County Branch of the NAACP and African American children and parents in the county. Prince George's County will also participate in the proceedings as a defendant party pursuant to the court's order granting its motion to intervene. Co-counsel are Patricia A. Brannan, George H. Mernick, III and Tracy McFerrin of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC. F. PREPARATIONS CONTINUE FOR LITIGATION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT ISSUES IN CALIFORNIA The Larry P. v. Riles litigation is anticipated to proceed on remand in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in the next few months. The Lawyers' Committee, therefore, is working with plaintiffs' counsel to develop effective litigation strategies regarding the use of IQ test scores in assessing African American children for placement in certain special education classes considered. to be "dead end" courses or the "substantial equivalent" of the former educable mentally retarded (EMR) classes at issue in the 1978 injunctive proceedings. Committee efforts are now focused on the issues to be tried on remand and expansion of the original remedies imposed in this action. Litigation efforts are in cooperation with Stefan M. Rosenzweig and John T. Affeldt of Public Advocates, Inc.; George Riley, Allison Roberts, Ray Cardozo and Rogelio Ruiz of the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers; and Eva Paterson and Crystal Weston of the San Francisco Lawyers' Committee for Urban Affairs. s * s * FAIR AND AFFORDABLE HOUS/NG/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT L LIT1GATlON A. TRI-CITY NAACP v. CITY OF LEESBURG -- WHILE NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE, PLAINTIFFS SEEK SCHEDULE FOR DISCOVERY AND TRIAL CONCERNING UNREMEDIED HOUSING SEGREGATION AND DISCRIMINATORY URBAN DEVELOPMENT POLICIES In this litigation against a small Florida city and a regional hospital agency located there, based on claims that the defendants have harmed members of a historically African American community which they consider a promising site for commercial development, negotiations are ongoing with the City defendants. For several
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LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW National Litigation Monthly Report Page 6-- months, following a mid-May trip to Florida for negotiations and client consultations, talks with the City have proceeded, but only at a snail's pace. (The hospital agency defendants continue to resist involvement in serious settlement talks.) The parties have exchanged several rounds of.proposals, with plaintiffs focusing on creating a community development corporation ("CDC") substantially controlled by members of the City's African-American community. Negotiations have been made particularly difficult by delays in receiving communications from the defendants, by repeated changes in defendants' development plans (and associated changes in City proposals), and by continued City resistance to the creation of community-based, independent investment entities (such as a CDC) with resources available to improve the African American community in Leesburg. Because of this meager progress in settlement talks, the Committee and co-counsel have requested a trial date of December 1, 1996, to be preceded by expert discovery and submission of pre-trial statements earlier in the Fall. D. Stuart Meiklejohn, Michael Swartz, and Nicole LaBarbera, of Sullivan and Cromwell are co-counsel in this matter. Dennis Hayes and Willie Abrams of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in Baltimore, Maryland, and Harley Herman of Leesburg, Florida also serve as co-counsel. B. SANDERS v. HUD -- LOCAL DEFENDANTS' CONTINUING OBSTRUCTION OF COURT-ORDERED PUBLIC HOUSING DESEGREGATION LEADS COMMITTEE TO THREATEN RETURN TO COURT TO SEEK ENFORCEMENT OF CONSENT DECREE In the last several months, the Committee has continued to face a series of challenges to the progress achieved so far in implementing comprehensive remedies pursuant to a Consent Decree approved in December 1994. Although it appeared earlier in the summer that 23 single-family homes had been identified for use in housing former residents of segregated public housing, final arrangements failed to go through for all but six units in a single suburb (Edgewood). Moreover, HUD and the local defendants agree to start anew efforts to identify a substantial group of single-family homes for use as public housing in various communities in Allegheny County. In early August HUD also announced it would not approve a proposed six-unit townhouse development for the same purpose. (HUD so far has made no more than minimal progress in obtaining viable proposals to develop up to 77 units in mixed income developments.) In July HUD decided to re-bid a contract for consulting services for planning the community and economic development component of the Sanders remedy. The consultant chosen in a prior selection process then pulled out of the project. And in mid-August, County officials refused to provide for potential bidders specifications for the planning assignment. This and other instances of obstruction of implementation by the local defendants led the Committee in mid-August to give notice to the other parties of its
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LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW I I I I I I I I I National Litigation Monthly Report Page 7-- intent to return to Court for enforcement of the Consent Decree absent prompt corrective action by local authorities. The Committee also has continued to seek the dismissal of parallel litigation filed this spring, challenging the initial sites selected for housing former public housing residents in single-family homes. See Borough of Edgewood v. Cisneros. Most recently, Committee staff filed a Motion to Dismiss a Counter-Claim against the Committee's former co-counsel, Neighborhood Legal Services Association (NLSA) (and its executive director), initiated by the Allegheny County Housing Authority. The Committee's Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint against NLSA filed by members of the Edgewood Borough Council (as well as the Borough itself) and other municipal officials, also is pending before Judge Gustave Diamond, the same judge responsible for the Sanders litigation. Co-counsel in the case is Donald Driscoll of Pennsylvania Legal Services Community Justice Program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. C. PINA. ET AL. v. MUTCHNIK. ET AL. -- COMMITTEE OBTAINS $81,250 AND SIGNIFICANT INJUNCTIVE RELIEF IN SETTLEMENT OF LITIGATION INVOLVING NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION IN THE PRIVATE HOUSING MARKET On June 6th, the Committee and its co-counsel reached a comprehensive settlement of this Fair Housing Act litigation on behalf of a Hispanic couple denied the right to rent space in a mobile home park in the Florida Keys. The Committee obtained very significant monetary relief of $81,250 to cover damages for the individual plaintiffs, Reynolds and Esther Pina, damages for the plaintiff testing organization, H.O.P.E., Inc, of Miami, and its employee Victor Larger, and attorneys' fees and expenses. Plaintiffs' counsel also secured extensive injunctive relief, extending over the next three years, including: detailed non- discrimination obligations; requirements that the defendants produce data (by race and age) regarding their current tenants and future applicants for openings in the park; a requirement that defendants maintain records regarding rental applications and the reasons for rejecting them; a requirement that defendants (and future employees) undergo training in fair housing laws and practices, by the plaintiff H.O.P.E.; and a commitment to advertise in Hispanic language as well as traditional media on equal terms. The Pina settlement, combined with several recent favorable rulings on significant discovery issues, relevant to defendants' ability to pay punitive damages, which plaintiffs obtained just prior to final approval of the settlement (rejecting defendants' assertion of an "accountant-client" privilege barring disclosure of financial data regarding defendants' net worth; and requiring production of defendants' tax returns to establish their net worth) represent a major victory for the Committee and its co-counsel. In fact, the r
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LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW National Litigation Monthly Report Page 8-- Committee already has received several requests for information about these legal rulings from other fair housing attorneys in the region. The Committee hopes to build on this success and its prior victory in Dade County in Givens v. Hamlet Estates, in the future. Co-counsel are Benjamin Waxman of Robbins, Tunkey, Ross, Amsel, Raben and Waxman in Miami, Florida and Stacy Seicshnaydre of The Fair Housing Action Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. D. ADRER ET AL. v. HUD ET AL. -- CLIENT MEETINGS AND COMPLETION OF AN INITIAL SETTLEMENT PROPOSAL MARK COMPLETION OF PREPARATIONS FOR TALKS WITH HIID AND LOCAL DEFENDANTS In the waning weeks of the summer, Committee staff and co- counsel put the finishing touches on preparations to enter into intensive negotiations with he federal government and representatives of Dade County, to attempt to settle this longstanding public housing segregation : case concerning discrimination against African American public housing residents and applicants in Miami, Florida. In late August, plaintiffs' counsel held several meetings of residents of public housing in Dade County to further clarify client preferences regarding potential relief. Plaintiffs' counsel expect to begin negotiations with defense counsel in September. Plaintiffs' settlement proposal will build on the extensive findings issued late last year by the Blue Ribbon Commission to study Dade County public housing (and plaintiffs' claims of intentional segregation of the same by defendants, and potential remedies therefor) which was appointed by the federal district court and directed (for the most part) by Professor Martha Mahoney of the University of Miami School of Law. The ranks of plaintiffs' counsel thinned as of August 1 as recently enacted prohibitions on Legal Service Corporation funding recipients' participation in class action litigation became effective. Greater Miami Legal Services had served as co-counsel in Adker since its inception. Lead counsel is Ross Bricker of Jenner & Block in Chicago, Illinois. Co-counsel is Stephen Berk of Jenner & Block in Washington; and Stephen Davis of Thomson, Muraro, Bohrer & Razook in Miami, Florida. I I I I I I :
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- LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW ~ National Litigation Monthly Report Page 9-- IJ MATTERS UNDSR INVESTIGAT/ON A. EFFORTS CONTINUE TO IDENTIFY RIGHT FIRM TO HANDLE MATTERS INVOLVING DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT OF HISTORICALLY SEGREGATED AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES IN TWO SOUTHERN CITIES I 1 I I I I I 1 I I I In recent months, the Committee has proceeded on two tracks in connection with major matters implicating longstanding patterns of segregation of African American communities in small cities in the States of Georgia, Florida and Virginia. Committee staff have continued to try to identify the right firm to take the lead in pursuing each of these significant and potentially path-breaking litigations while pressing forward with factual investigations focused on historical patterns of unremedied de lure segregation. As we have previously reported, the Virginia case is being investigated on behalf of a community group concerned with adverse housing and economic development impacts on a historically segregated African-American neighborhood, and the denial of equal housing and community development opportunities to African American citizens of the city generally, and African American residents of the neighborhood in particular. Originally formed in order to resist development proposals, the community group's concerns have expanded to encompass a variety of inequalities perpetuated by local officials. Committee staff hope soon to turn over to a firm much of the challenge of further refining legal claims, remedial strategies and related factual investigations in order to prepare a complaint for possible filing and for use in negotiations with local officials. In the interim, Committee staff have prepared for the community group a statement of grievances, concerns and claims for their use in a mediation effort sponsored by the Community Relations service of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Committee also continues to investigate links between segregated housing and environmental degradation in historically African-American communities in Florida and Georgia. These researches have centered on decisions of public officials resulting in the concentration of segregated housing and environmental hazards in the same geographic areas of the cities in question. In these matters also soon will be appropriate for placement with a firm that can assist the Committee in exploring litigation strategies likely to expand housing opportunities, alleviate discriminatory community development expenditures and remedy adverse environmental impacts. I
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I LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW National Litigation Monthly Report Page 10-- B. MAJOR NEW CASES SOON MAY BE READY FOR FIRM PLACEMENT, STEMMING FROM THE COMMITTEE'S RECENT LAW FIRM RECEPTION IN ATLANTA, AND RELATED EFFORTS BY COMMITTEE STAFF TO IDENTIFY LOCAL PROJECTS TO BE HANDLED BY FIRMS AT THE RECEPTION INDICATING A WILLINGNESS TO PITCH IN In conjunction with the May Reception for the Lawyers' Committee in Atlanta, Committee Staff recently have conducted further case intake visits to fair housing organizations in the Atlanta area. These meetings have produced several promising candidates for major fair housing litigation against both public and private entities in conjunction with groups experienced in fair housing litigation in Georgia (and other areas of the Southeast). Committee staff are hopeful that a number of new matters can be prepared soon (and in any event by late fall) for potential placement with firms, particularly if plans to hire a new housing project staff attorney bear fruit in the near future. C. COMMITTEE IS EXPLORING EXCLUSIONARY ZONING CASE IN NORTH CAROLINA, WITH PROJECTED DATE OF NOVEMBER 1 FOR SUBMISSION FOR PLACEMENT WITH FIRM Committee staff have been in regular communication for a number of months with a fair housing organization in North Carolina which is in need of assistance by a pro bono firm in regard to a potentially promising exclusionary zoning case. The case appears to involve a small city that rezoned to a single-family home classification property designated for multifamily development in a predominantly non-minority neighborhood upon learning of a proposal for development of publicly subsidized housing which would have drawn tenants from an overwhelmingly African American county housing waiting list. Possible plaintiffs include minority families on the housing waiting list who would claim they were denied an opportunity to reside in a racially integrated neighborhood, as well as the developer of the proposed project. Committee staff currently project reaching a decision about the feasibility of this matter for placement with a firm on or around November 1, 1996. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PROJECT I. LITIGATION A. CITIZENS WIN RIGHT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW OF STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY DECISIONS IN VIRGINIA <o I I I I I I 1 I I I i As previously reported, on March 26, 1996, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed the Lawyers' Committee and the citizens of Virginia a complete victory in their demand for the

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