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Popper & Yatvin is a Philadelphia law firm established in 1988 by Alan Yatvin and Howard Popper.  We concentrate our practice in criminal defense in state and federal courts, police misconduct  litigation and representation of special education students.  Learn more about the firm at http://www.popperyatvin.com/  When reading the blog, be aware that words highlighted in blue are links to related documents or websites.

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Yatvin co-counsels suit against New York Department of Education on behalf of students with diabetes.

Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin is serving as co-counsel in a federal class action lawsuit filed on November 1, 2018, alleging the New York City public schools routinely violate the rights of students with diabetes by denying them necessary services and even excluding them from some school activities altogether. Almost two months into another school year, many parents of children with diabetes still face the impossible choice of sending their child to school without knowing whether their child will receive the necessary diabetes-related care or keeping them at home.

Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”), the American Diabetes Association (“ADA”), and Law Offices of Popper & Yatvin are suing the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) and other New York City agencies for their systemic failure to ensure that students with diabetes can attend school safely and have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers. This constitutes a clear violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the New York City Human Rights Law. Continue reading “Yatvin co-counsels suit against New York Department of Education on behalf of students with diabetes.”

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Yatvin Key Member of Defense Team at the ICC

A decade ago Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (Bemba) was charged by the Office of the Prosecutor (Prosecutor) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with crimes committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003 (murder and rape as crimes against humanity, murder and rape as war crimes, and pillaging as a war crime). Mr. Bemba was President of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), a political party founded by him and based in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Commander-in-Chief of its military branch. The events giving rise to the charges took place on the territory of the CAR, during an MLC intervention to support Ange-Félix Patassé, the then President of the CAR, in suppressing a rebellion. Bemba was convicted on March 21, 2016.

Aime-kilolo
Mr. Aimé Kilolo Musamba

Bemba was represented in this Main Case at the ICC by Aimé Kilolo Musamba (Kilolo), a lawyer from DRC, who is also a French speaking member of the Brussels Bar.

In November of 2013, Mr. Kilolo and three other members of the Bemba defense team were arrested. Bemba was already in custody on the main case. Mr. Kilolo remained in custody in The Hague, seat of the ICC, for the next 11 months. Kilolo and the others were charged a few weeks later with offences against the administration of justice. Essentially, this case was about witness and evidence tampering. Continue reading “Yatvin Key Member of Defense Team at the ICC”

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Yatvin a 2018 Super Lawyer

The 2018 list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers includes Alan L. Yatvin of the Philadelphia Law Firm Popper & Yatvin.  This is Yatvin’s 15th consecutive year of being honored, having been named a Super Lawyer every year since the program’s creation in 2004.

The Super Lawyer distinction is given to only a very small percentage of Pennsylvania‘s attorneys each year.  Attorneys are only considered for inclusion in the list of top rated attorneys if they have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement across 12 indicators. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto the list. The selection process, recognized as legitimate by bar associations and courts across the United States, is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Only attorneys who can be retained by the general public are considered. Honorees are selected annually for each state and practice area.

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

In other news, Martindale-Hubbell has again recognized both Yatvin and Popper & Yatvin partner Howard D. Popper with the highest possible level of professional excellence – AV Preeminent. This peer review rating reflects a combination of achieving the highest General Ethical Standards and Legal Ability ratings.  2018 marks Yatvin’s 35th year as an attorney.

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Affordable Insulin Initiative Takes a Step Forward

In the June of 2016, the Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) asked Board Member Alan L. Yatvin to chair the ADA’s Insulin Access Workgroup to address the problem of access to affordable insulin.  Charged with helping to develop and inform ADA policy, the Workgroup was made up of members and officers of the Board of Directors.  Working with then-Chief Advocacy Officer, Shereen Arent, the Workgroup developed a Resolution on Insulin Affordability which was approved by the Board on November 17, 2016.

Insulin Isn’t a LuxuryYatvin then worked with ADA staff to build and publicize an on-line petition based on the resolution, seeking transparency in the insulin supply chain and affordable insulin.  The petition also called on Congress to hold hearings to identify the reasons for the dramatic increases in insulin prices and to act to ensure all people who need insulin have affordable access to this lifesaving medication.  The Stand up for Affordable Insulin Petition, has garnered over 300 thousand signatures and is the ADA’s most successful petition. Continue reading “Affordable Insulin Initiative Takes a Step Forward”

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On the passing of Linda Brown: Remembering Brown v. Board of Education

Image result for linda brownOn Sunday, March 25, 2018, Linda Brown of Topeka, Kansas, passed away at age 75.  Brown was an educational consultant, civil rights activist and public speaker.  But to many she was also the face of a historic decision on desegregation in public education.

In 1950, then seven year old Linda Brown asked her father, Oliver, why she had to make a long walk across train tracks and a busy street to catch a bus to an elementary school across town, when the Sumner Elementary School, attended by her friends from the integrated neighborhood in which she lived, was just four blocks from her house. Oliver Brown promised his daughter he would try to change that. Topeka’s high schools and junior high schools were already integrated, but its elementary schools remained segregated.  On the advice of the NAACP, he took her to Sumner to enroll, but they were turned away.  Oliver Brown then agreed to be a plaintiff in a suit against the Topeka Board of Education.  That suit led to a landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court outlawing so-called separate but equal discrimination in public education.  By the time of the 2004 ruling, Linda Brown was enrolled in an integrated junior high school.1 https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/26/597154953/linda-brown-who-was-at-center-of-brown-v-board-of-education-dies

On the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision, I wrote an essay for Philadelphia’s newspaper serving the legal community, The Legal Intelligencer.  On the occasion of Linda Brown’s passing, I am republishing that essay about the case her father brought to fulfill a promise to her.

Continue reading “On the passing of Linda Brown: Remembering Brown v. Board of Education”

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Footnotes   [ + ]

A snowy December night in The Hague

I was in The Hague for a meeting of the Association of Defense Counsel at the International Courts (ADC-ICT).  This was my last day in The Netherlands before heading home and it was snowing.

Winter Landscape with Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp

With images of Hendrick Avercamp’s impish 17th century paintings and childhood memories of Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (book and movie) dancing in my head, I set out for the “centrum” to fill the last afternoon of my vacation.  However, that snowy, frozen canal climate is long gone from this country.  Unused to so much snow in a short period of time the Dutch city was, if not paralyzed, substantially slowed down.

After wandering around mostly deserted streets, I headed for the oh-so-convenient bus whose route dropped me practically at the door of the home of my friend Michael Karnavas, where I was staying.  Over the next hour, it finally dawned on me that despite the illuminated boards assuring that the bus was 9 minutes, then 4 minutes, then 1 minute away, before disappearing from the board altogether, the buses had ceased running.  So, I caught the tram to the beach, which I knew stopped behind the building housing the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) a 10 minute walk from my lodgings.

As I walked back, I stopped by the Churchillplein fountain, in front of the Tribunal, to reminisce and contemplate its impending closing.

Continue reading “A snowy December night in The Hague”

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Yatvin addresses West African delegates at U.S. State Department program

On October 25, 2017, Popper & Yatvin partner, Alan L. Yatvin, addressed law enforcement and civil society representatives from West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal) on police reform experiences and strategies.  The program was part of the United States Department of State’s, Study Tour to Review Use of Force and De-escalation Training, Enhance Community-policing Practices, and Strengthen Interagency Coordination in the Sahel.1The Sahel is a semi-arid tropical savanna eco-region in Africa, which forms the transitional zone between the Sahara Desert to the north and the more humid savanna belt to the south known as the Sudan (not to be confused with the country of the same name).  The Sahel stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the west, eastward through northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, the great bend of the Niger River in Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, south-central Chad, and through the nation of Sudan to the Red Sea coast.  Co-presenting with Yatvin was Carlton L. Johnson, a former Chief of the Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Civil Rights Unit, now with the law firm of Archer & Greiner. Continue reading “Yatvin addresses West African delegates at U.S. State Department program”

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Footnotes   [ + ]

Sex-Shamed To Death: How Oklahoma Prosecutors Used Sex And Infidelity To Put A Woman On Death Row

Today we write to recommend an essay by our long-time friend and colleague, Marc Bookman.  Marc is the co-director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, a non-profit agency helping adults and juveniles facing severe punishments.

Marc’s essay, Sex-Shamed To Death: How Oklahoma Prosecutors Used Sex And Infidelity To Put A Woman On Death Row, was published on October 10, 2017, by IN JUSTICE TODAY, a publication of Harvard’s Fair Punishment Project.

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Court of Appeals agrees with Yatvin on student’s right to attorney’s fees

In 2008, Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin filed an administrative complaint under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on behalf of Emily R., a second grader in the Ridley School District, in suburban Philadelphia. On March 30, 2017, after two previous appearances on this case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Yatvin was again before the Court for oral argument. Continue reading “Court of Appeals agrees with Yatvin on student’s right to attorney’s fees”

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Yatvin essay published in The Champion magazine

The May issue of The Champion, magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) contains an essay by Popper & Yatvin partner, Alan L. Yatvin.


Informal Opinion: Representing ‘Those People’ Achieves Justice

By Alan L. Yatvin

“How can you represent those people?” In three decades as a criminal defense attorney, I had heard that question many times — at cocktail parties and from prosecutors, police, victims, law students, and once even from a judge. It comes with the territory. I understand that people accused of crimes are often automatically condemned, while their lawyers are regarded with contempt. However, as I walked along that steamy January afternoon, I was shocked by the source of the question. This time it was my wife, Laura, prompted by a just completed hour-long audio tour of a former fruit orchard on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Continue reading “Yatvin essay published in The Champion magazine”

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