Ex-Offenders Housing Choices Topic of Two-Day Conference at The John Marshall Law School

Posted July 31, 2011 by

“The Disconnect Between Crime and Discrimination in Housing” is the topic for a two-day conference presented by The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center on Aug. 26 and 27.

The program will focus on how housing choices impact ex-offenders. Speakers will consider whether the denial of housing is an international act of discrimination, or if ex-offenders’ housing choices should be given special protection under the law.

Discussions include: restoring justice and housing ex-offenders; the relationship between crime, race and nationality encountered when ex-offenders try to obtain housing; intentional discrimination or disparate impact when establishing discrimination against ex-offenders under existing protected classes; ex-offenders as a new protected class; persons under protective orders; battered women and woman ex-offenders; and illegal immigrants and national origin discrimination in housing.

The conference will bring guest speakers from around the country. The Friday, Aug. 26, morning speakers include: Hon. Janine P. Geske, distinguished professor of law, Marquette State University Law School and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice (ret.); Michael Seng, co-executive director, The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic; Hon. Sheila M. Murphy, presiding judge, Cook County Circuit Court (ret.); Hon. Joan B. Gottschall, judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Thomas J. Dart, sheriff, Cook County, Illinois; George Lipsitz, professor, Department of Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara; F. Willis Caruso, co-executive director, The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic; Gregory D. Squires, professor, George Washington University; Randolph N. Stone, clinical professor, University of Chicago Law School; and Janet L. Smith, associate professor and co-director, Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Friday, Aug. 26, afternoon speakers include: Robert G. Schwemm, Ashland-Spears professor of law, University of Kentucky; Christopher Brancart, Esq., Brancart & Brancart; John P. Rehlman, managing partner, Relman Dane & Colfax PLLC; Sara K. Pratt, deputy assistant security for Enforcement & Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHEO; Steven H. Rosenbaum, section chief Housing & Civil Enforcement Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice (invited); Sara Joan Bales, deputy commissioner, Chicago Commission on Human Relations; Eric M. Kestin, investigator, Madison, Wisconsin Human Rights Commission; Mark Alber, chair, Champaign, Illinois Human Relations Commission (invited); Brenda Anibarro, policy analyst, Seattle Office for Civil Rights; Meredith Desautels, Skadden fellow, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area; and Marie Claire Tran-Leung, staff attorney, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Saturday, Aug. 27 speakers include: Allison K. Bethel, clinical director, co-executive director, The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Clinic; Debra P. Stark, professor, The John Marshall Law School; Kate Walz, staff attorney, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; Desautels; Catherine McKee, Esq., Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of San Francisco Bay Area; J. Damian Ortiz, clinical professor, The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Clinic; Brancart; Pratt; and Rosenbaum.

This program will be held at The John Marshall Law School, 315 S. Plymouth Ct., in Chicago. The early bird registration fee is $325, and the fee will increase to $375 after Friday, July, 29. Attorney participants can earn nine continuing legal education credits. Register online at www.jmls.edu/CrimeDisconnect.

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