The Daily Journal on September 19, 2018 named Altshuler Berzon LLP partner Michael Rubin one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the State of California, for the second year in a row. Emphasizing Altshuler Berzon’s public policy and public interest work on behalf of low-income workers and consumers, the Daily Journal’s article discussed several of Rubin’s recent victories and pending cases in which the firm’s attorneys have developed new legal strategies “to ensure the protection of existing rights that are being stripped away by employers or companies.”
On September 7, 2018, the federal court for the Northern District of Florida issued a preliminary injunction requiring Florida’s Secretary of State to direct the Supervisors of Elections in 32 Florida counties to make available a facsimile sample ballot in Spanish to voters protected by Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act, and to publish the sample ballot in advance of the election along with instructions in Spanish for how to use it to help cast a vote.
Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act prohibits states from denying the right to vote of Puerto Rican-educated American citizens based on their inability to speak, read, or understand English. The Puerto Rican community surged in Florida following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, but many Florida counties still run English-only elections. On August 16, 2018, Altshuler Berzon LLP, along with co-counsel at Demos, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and SEIU, filed a class-action complaint on behalf of more than 30,000 Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans in the 32 counties, as well as several civic engagement organizations, and sought a preliminary injunction to allow Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans the ability to cast a meaningful vote in the upcoming and future elections. The case is Marta Valentina Rivera Madera, et al. v. Ken Detzner, et al., N.D. Fla. Case No. 1:18-cv-00152.
In granting a preliminary injunction, the court held that continuing to conduct English-only elections in counties that are home to Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans clearly violates the Voting Rights Act. As the Court explained: “Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Unique among Americans, they are not educated primarily in English-and do not need to be. But, like all American citizens, they possess the fundamental right to vote. The issue in this case is whether Florida officials, consistent with longstanding federal law, must provide assistance to Puerto Rican voters who wish to vote. Under the plain language of the Voting Rights Act, they must.” The Court also held that absent such assistance, those voters “would face the false decision to vote in a manner they do not meaningfully comprehend or not vote at all,” which “is antithetical to what our democratic government stands for.”
You can read the Preliminary Injunction Order here.
Altshuler Berzon LLP is extremely grateful to its 2018 Summer Associates, who were wonderful colleagues and performed exemplary legal work: James Baltzer (Stanford Law School), Nicholas DeFiesta (Stanford Law School), Dylan Saba (Berkeley Law), Robin Tholin (Harvard Law School), and Daniel Yablon (Berkeley Law).
Additionally, Altshuler Berzon LLP congratulates them on accepting the following post-graduation judicial clerkships:
James Baltzer will be clerking for Judge Marsha Berzon of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 2019-2020 term, and with Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court for the 2021-2022 term.
Nicholas DeFiesta will be clerking for Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York for the 2020-21 term.
Robin Tholin will be clerking for Judge Marsha Berzon of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 2020-2021 term.
Daniel Yablon will be clerking for Judge William A. Fletcher of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 2019-2020 term, with Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Southern District of New York for the 2020-2021 term, and with Judge David S. Tatel of the D.C. Circuit for the 2021-2022 term.
The law firm typically hires four or five summer associates each year. Information about recruiting is available by clicking here.