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Judicial/Legal Advocacy Ellen Andrews October 16, 2003 Hispanic Health Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Judicial/Legal Advocacy Ellen Andrews October 16, 2003 Hispanic Health Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judicial/Legal Advocacy Ellen Andrews October 16, 2003 Hispanic Health Council

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 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

6 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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