Monday, May 30, 2016

May 31: Learning from the DC Housing Conditions Court

If you are interested in quality affordable housing, tenant rights, and housing conditions generally, attend or watch online What Can We Learn from the D.C. Housing Conditions Court? New Data Suggests Unusual Model Works Well Tuesday, May 31 from Noon - 2:00 pm (doors open at 11:30 am).   The event takes at the D.C. Bar (1101 K St NW in the Conference Center).   The brown bag event is sponsored by the D.C. Bar Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section.

Fritz Mulhauser, Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section Steering Committee will moderate.   Panelists are:

  • Beth Mellen Harrison, Legal Aid Society of D.C.
  • Jessica Steinberg, George Washington University Law School Clinics
  • Hon. Melvin R. Wright, Judge, D.C. Superior Court

About the program, from the announcement:

The program will feature a presentation of new data about the process and outcomes of a little-known unit within D.C. Superior Court that appears to be successfully dealing with housing code violations, and that differs greatly from other courts in its accessibility for unrepresented tenants.

Jessica Steinberg, clinical professor at George Washington University Law School, will present her research based on observing more than 300 hearings in the Housing Conditions Court and studying dozens of case files. She will explore the court's unique alternative procedures that seem to be yielding more highly favorable outcomes than commonly seen in housing courts elsewhere—that is, positive resolution of independently verified tenant claims about the habitability of rental units.

The originator of the court and its first judge, Hon. Melvin R. Wright, will be a discussant. He will be joined by Beth Harrison, Supervising Attorney in the Housing Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society of DC and the Director of Legal Aid’s Landlord-Tenant Court-Based Legal Services Project and Housing Right to Counsel Pilot Project.

The program will be of general interest to those concerned with maintaining safe and livable housing in the District for people of low and moderate incomes, and also to those concerned with access to justice more generally and ways to enhance courts' functioning to better cope with claims presented by unrepresented people.

Pre-registration for this program is encouraged but not required; walk-ins are welcome.   To register for the online webcast, register here.

Questions?   Contact the Bar via email,

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