NLG legal observer training August 11, 2016

July 29, 2016

In light of recent demonstrations across the country and here in Portland, and the planned actions which may result in interface with the legal system, the Pdx NLG chapter is offering a Legal Observer training.

The Legal Observer program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal legal system. In addition to Legal Observers, Guild attorneys often provide legal defense for protesters who are arrested and bring civil litigation if needed. Legal workers, law students, and lawyers connected with the NLG are invited to train with two experienced LOs.

Those who complete the training will be asked to sign an agreement with the NLG regarding standard practices and confidentiality.

If you need childcare, please let us know by August 8, 2016. RSVP here or at portlandchapter @


Space is limited, and location, in inner SE Portland, will be sent to those who RSVP.



Collective Legal Resistance! NLG Member Kris Hermes Event This Sun. 6/26, 4-6 pm

June 24, 2016
Join us this Sunday, June 26th, 4 pm to 6 pm, at Mother Foucault’s Bookshop for an engaging discussion with activist and author Kris Hermes on political repression, the National Security State, and collective legal resistance.  This event is co-sponsored by the Portland NLG chapter, the Civil Liberties Defense Center, the Hella 503 Collective, Portland Rising Tide, and will be moderated by NLG attorney Ashlee Albies.

Hermes, formerly on staff with the National Lawyers Guild and a member of multiple radical law collectives, will discuss how the playbook of tactics developed during the 2000 Republican convention protests are still used to stifle dissent across the U.S. today. Hermes will also discuss ways in which activists can employ radical, innovative and confrontational forms of resistance to the legal system.  Hermes is the author of Crashing the Party: Legacies and Lessons from the RNC 2000, published by PM Press.  Crashing the Party is an engrossing combination of social history and courtroom drama, the book explains the origins of contemporary protest policing and the creative resistance used to overcome it.

When: This Sunday, June 26th at 4-6 pm
Where: Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, 523 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214
Event Page

Hope to see you there!

2016 NW Regional Conference, April 8-9, Seattle Wa

April 1, 2016

The conference is a gathering of Guild members from the region — legal workers, law students, lawyers, and jailhouse lawyers — at which we make decisions about regional governance, share victories and resources, and learn more about the important work Guildmembers are doing in the Northwest.

The 2016 conference will be held April 9-10 at the University of Washington School of Law.

This year’s theme is intersectionality and the law. Highlights include: special guest panelist Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, President of the National Lawyers Guild; keynote address by Dean Spade, Professor of Law; anti-racism training; panels on local resistance to mass incarceration and organizing for housing and economic justice. CLE credit pending for Oregon and Washington.


More information and registration link here:

Stu Sugarman Presente!

April 1, 2016

The Portland NLG mourns the loss of one of its local stalwart members, Stuart Sugarman. Stu was a longtime and well-respected criminal defense attorney, representing countless activists and helping to coordinate mass defense for years in Portland and beyond, mentoring activists and lawyers alike in standing up for justice. His passing is a huge loss to the legal and activist community in Oregon.

The NLG is grateful for Stu’s tireless work in support of justice, and sends condolences to his friends and family.

Link to Oregonian story on Stu’s impact.

Video: Human Rights in the US CLE

June 8, 2015

In the past several years, legal aid, public defense and public interest attorneys have integrated human rights principles rooted in international law into the struggles of the individuals and community organizations they represent.   On December 12, 2014, the Portland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild presented a CLE program on Human Rights in the US: Incorporating International Law into Everyday Practice.

The speakers included:

  • Lauren E. Bartlett, Local Human Rights Lawyering Project Director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C.
  • Gwynne Skinner, Associate Professor Law and director of the International Human and Refugee Rights Clinic, Williamette University College of Law.
  • Steven Goldberg, Member Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, former chairperson of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee

This is the first part of that CLE program running approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. The program was approved for 5.5 Oregon CLE credits.

The materials for the program are posted at

For questions and further information, contact Steven Goldberg at

Human Rights in the US CLE

October 7, 2014

The Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and American University College of Law Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law present:


This CLE will be held on Friday, December 12, 2014, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Portland Building Auditorium, 1120 SW 5th Ave.

Detroit residents are challenging water cut-offs before the United Nations.

The Supreme Court cited international law in its decision striking down the death penalty for juveniles.

Increasingly, legal aid, public defense, and public interest attorneys have integrated human rights arguments into advocacy before judges and policy-makers, as well as integrating human rights principles into the struggles of the community organizations they represent. This CLE will provide public interest attorneys with practical strategies, sample arguments, and resources to integrate human rights into daily work at the state and local level in the U.S. Electronic course materials are included in the cost of registration. Speakers include:

Lauren E. Bartlett, Research and Training Director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law;

Gwynne Skinner, Associate Professor of Law and director of the International Human and Refugee Rights Clinic, Willamette University College of Law; and

Steven Goldberg, National Lawyers Guild Portland Chapter, former chair of National Lawyers Guild International Committee.

The CLE has been approved for 5.5 credit hours.

Click here for detailed agenda and speaker bios.

Cost to Attend

  • $75 (legal aid lawyers, public defenders, and NLG members)
  • $175 (OSB members)
  • FREE to representatives of community organizations (registration is required)
  • Scholarships are available for legal aid lawyers, public defenders, new lawyers, legal workers, and law students. To apply, please contact Steven Goldberg at 503-445-4622 or

Questions about the CLE? Contact Steven Goldberg at 503-445-4622 or

Right 2 Dream Too Declares Victory

September 16, 2013

After weeks of difficult negotiations between R2DToo and Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Mark Kramer, NLG attorney for R2DToo and the  NW  4th and Burnside property owners, announced the settlement. “There were a number of complicated hurdles  we overcame to get this very positive result,” said Mr. Kramer. “The settlement is a ‘win-win-win’ for R2DToo, the property owners and Portland. Right 2 Dream Too moves to a home accepted as legitimate by Portland. The oppressive fines and assessments against the property owners will be dismissed. Although the lawsuit filed by R2DToo and the property owners will also be dismissed, all parties acknowledge that the issue is still open as to whether houseless people, with the permission of a private property owner, have the right to sleep safely on private property without interference by the city. That is an issue that will be fought in the future in a different case.” 

Part of the negotiations involved collaboration between R2 and Commissioner Fritz to find a new home that would remain close to services and public transportation. “The site under the Lovejoy onramp to the Broadway Bridge has many positive aspects,” explained R2 Executive Board member Trillium Shannon. “Services and buses are within walking distance and the overpass will provide excellent protection from the elements. This is an historical first in Portland. Previously, the City demanded that Dignity Village locate their site in East Portland far from services and convenient public transportation.”

“Since October 2011 Right 2 Dream Too has provided shelter and other services for an average of 60 people per night who otherwise would have been forced to sleep on the streets,” says organizer Ibrahim Mubarak. “This self organized grassroots model is both legal and effective. But even with our success, a recent study revealed that close to 1,900 children, women and men in Portland are without a safe place to sleep every night. This agreement shows that the City is acknowledging the problem and starting to work with us instead of against us.”