The Individual Rights Section concentrates on legal issues that affect individual liberty, including questions of privacy, conscience, expression and personal autonomy.
As a lawyer committed to individual liberty and civil rights, would you like a forum where you can address the issues most important to you? If so, the Individual Rights Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) invites you to join us. We're especially seeking people with enthusiasm and ideas, people who demonstrate the willingness to pursue them with us, to join our Executive Committee. We have much to offer in return.
A Profile of the Individual Rights Section
- The Individual Rights Section offers MCLE and other programs on a range of hot-button issues, including end-of-life issues, the "war on terrorism", the status of civil rights, the impact of General Relief cuts, drug decriminalization, bias in the courtroom and sexual harassment in law offices. We co-sponsor events with other LACBA sections and outside organizations in order to increase our visibility and gain strength through coalition.
- Our Section has monitored and addressed legislation and initiatives affecting individual rights, in both Sacramento and Washington. For example, we have supported the right of unmarried couples to cohabit and of same-sex couples to marry, and opposed overbroad loitering laws and the use of attorney sanctions to chill civil rights litigation. In addition, we address such international issues as the oppression of lawyers and democratic activists in other countries.
- We also have worked with and through the LACBA Trustees. We drafted - and successfully urged the Trustees to adopt - a model sexual harassment policy for law offices. We spurred the Trustees to create a committee on sexual orientation bias, support jury unanimity, and oppose anti-plaintiff and anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives. We bring issues before California's lawyers through our active participation in the State Bar Conference of Delegates.
- Our Section members founded (and have supported for many years) a program of pro bono advocacy at County homeless shelters and welfare offices. We also advocate for poor people by opposing cuts in welfare benefits and medical care, police abuse of homeless people, and anti-camping laws.
- Members of the Executive Committee have served on various LACBA committees, including the Outstanding Jurist Committee, the Committee on the Future of the State Bar, the Bioethics Committee, the Judicial Appointments Committee, the Animal Issues Committee, and the Appellate Courts Committee. We have also served as LACBA Delegates to the State Bar Convention.