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Stone Pigman Offers Support to Vera Institute of Justice

As part of its continuing efforts to help rebuild New Orleans, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, L.L.C. is providing its support, including office space, to attorneys and project managers of the Vera Institute of Justice. Known for its dedication to improving the fairness and efficacy of the justice system as a whole, New York City-based Vera is helping New Orleans put in place various proposals to improve the infrastructure of the area's criminal justice system.

Last year, at the request of the New Orleans City Council, Vera examined and assessed the area's criminal justice system. Vera presented a plan to the city council which consists of best practices to rectify inadequacies and examples of how those practices are implemented in other parts of the country.

The group led a productive retreat in the fall attended by area leaders involved in various aspects of the criminal justice system, including the District Attorney, public defenders, Criminal Sheriff, Superintendent of Police, City Attorney, and judges. It was convened by Councilmember James Carter and Luceia LeDoux from Baptist Community Ministries, which is supporting Vera's work. The attendees continue to meet regularly under the banner of the New Orleans Criminal Justice Leadership Alliance to advance the agreed upon reform agenda. That agenda includes four major areas for improvement including early case assessment, pretrial release options, alternative sentencing and different approaches to municipal offenses.

"Vera has made a commitment to improving our criminal justice system," Jennifer Borum Bechet, Special Counsel to Stone Pigman, said. "Stone Pigman is pleased to commit its own resources to support that effort."

"We are deeply committed to helping New Orleans develop a more effective and efficient criminal justice system," Vera's director, Michael Jacobson, said, adding: "Having staff 'on the ground' will be an enormous asset and we are very grateful to Stone Pigman for generously offering office space to our staff."

The Vera Institute of Justice is dedicated to making justice systems fairer and more effective through research and innovation.

Founded in 1929, Stone Pigman has earned its reputation representing national, regional and local businesses in a full range of litigation and business matters, including corporate, securities, real estate, intellectual property, health care, tax and estate planning.

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