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  • 5.0/5.0

    Excellent attorney who not only has superior legal skills but is very experienced in the area of digital technology.

    — Peer

  • 5.0/5.0

    I have known Lisa Polansky in a professional capacity for almost 25 years. We practiced together in the Los Angeles County Public Defender Office. Ms Polansky is one of the best lawyers with whom I have had the pleasure of working. She is d...
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  • 5.0/5.0

    I worked with Janene for years. She represents her clients zealously and in an ethical manner. I hold her ability in very high regard. She also takes the the time to share her knowledge and improve other lawyers.

    — Peer

  • 5.0/5.0

    Lisa Polansky is a creative and experienced attorney. She thinks outside the box and works tirelessly on behalf of her clients. I have worked with her on several cases and have turned to her for advice many times. She serves her clients wit...
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  • 5.0/5.0

    Lisa is a very tough, intelligent, well respected lawyer.

    — Peer

Changing the way we police, prosecute, judge, and punish is the essence of criminal-justice reform. – Bryan Stevenson

By Josiah Cohen, Law Clerk at Polansky Law Firm (3L at CU Law School)

Whether you’re driving through the city, scrolling through social media, or watching the evening news, it’s impossible to miss what’s going on.  Once again, outrage over racial injustice and police brutality have boiled over into protests leading to familiar clashes between citizens and police.

And it is in no small part an indictment of our criminal justice system.

Start with the straw that broke that nation’s back: a horrific video clip attracting hundreds-of-millions of views.  An unarmed, handcuffed Black man moments before his death, begging for his life from the white police officers crushing his body.  Already recovering from the shock of Ahmaud Arbery’s brutal murder, viewers first watched in horror, then took to the streets.  From there, we witnessed aggressive police measures to shut down protestors with pushes, shoves, gas, and pepper spray.  

At this time, it is imperative that criminal defense attorneys understand the ways in which the criminal justice system is implicated in the fight for racial justice.  As eminent defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson reminded us this week, “slavery didn’t end in 1865, it evolved.”  In a Q&A with the New Yorker, Stevenson retraced the steps that modern policing took since the Civil War and Emancipation, morphing from efforts to hunt fugitive slaves to overthrow Reconstruction governments, facilitate lynching, perpetrate white terror, and stymie Civil Rights movements.  Given this legacy, it’s no surprise that law enforcement and criminal courts continue to perpetuate racial injustice to this day.

So what can criminal defense attorneys do?

1. Listen.  Non-Black and -Brown Americans will never fully understand the scope of the trauma that Black Americans have suffered for centuries.  As officers of the courts tasked with upholding equal protection under the law, lawyers especially must be willing to listen to Brown and Black voices.   

2. Listen to and Fight for Clients of Color.  As lawyers, we are witnesses to impact of prejudice at every juncture in the criminal justice system, from police stops, searches, arrests, bail, jury trials, and sentencing.  Our clients must know that we understand these travesties and are prepared to fight prejudice at every step during the course of representation.

3. Fight the System.  As lawyers, we have access to avenues and resources for change that are inaccessible to many citizens, especially racial minorities.  When we witness overreach and misconduct by the state, we cannot stand idly by.  It is our duty to the country and to the profession to bring injustice into the light and advocate for change.

At Polansky Law Firm, we are committed to listening.  We are committed to fighting for each client regardless of race, religion, or creed.  

And we are committed to advocating for justice inside and outside of the courtroom.  We understand that we will never understand; however, we stand.