We believe there is a legal cure for a variety of our societal ailments. Over the past two decades, grassroots movements and the legislative branch have been transformed by technological advancement in ways that have left the judiciary outpaced and outdated. While the average person’s sheer access to legal information is at an all-time high, the legal system is still widely viewed as stuffy, boring and inaccessible. According to one popular theory, the law is intentionally complicated and inaccessible in order to bar access to the general citizenry to whom it applies. But the law can also be seen as a map with which committed lawyers can locate and navigate toward genuine social justice, rather than advancing frivolous litigation or protecting oligarchical financial interests. Our goal is to make our clients and adversaries a part of that process.
Unfortunately, many lawyers’ frames of reference are limited by their legal education and a general lack of financial and strategic resources with which to litigate against powerful municipalities, corporations, governments, and wealthy citizens. To address this, we at Marashi Legal seek to build a multidisciplinary team of grassroots organizations (who can provide legal “standing” on compelling issues), social justice/policy experts (who can provide guidance and institutional history on those issues), graphic designers and software engineers (who can effectively record, store and represent complex information) and filmmakers/photographers (who can document and skillfully portray injustices). We work together to develop new and creative approaches to using the legal system and provide those underserved by it with a powerful voice.
At Marashi Legal we believe the impossible is possible. Our current mantra is borrowed from the book we just read, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. It is, that “We can do hard things”. Here at Marashi Legal, we do hard things, and we think when presented with a compelling enough reason, other people will do hard things too.
It is not just in taking hard legal cases, which we do. We take cases where there is an injustice, even if the law in that area is not in our favor. In our case, Mercado v. City of New York, we took a false arrest case where there was probable cause for the arrest, and we won.
We also work with adversaries to collaborate on innovative solutions to meet our client’s goals. We do hard things. Our clients also do hard things. We prioritize communication and compassion when working on all our cases, and that often leads to adversaries who, in turn, will think of creative solutions that will lead to better polices. One of our clients brought a lawsuit motivated his desire to change the way the NYPD deals with those who have mental health issues. While, ultimately, he chose to settle his case, he was able to get parties to the table in three seperate mediations, working on collaborating a mutually beneficial deal to improve the lives of many New Yorkers, including the NYPD, who at the time of his lawsuit had not been trained in dealing with those undergoing mental health crises.
In Ying Li v. City of New York, a very complex case, we partnered with two separate firms, to create a strong alliance that was able to get our client, much-needed redress. We are so good at forging alliances, that we even forge alliances between our clients! Where our client was the estate, and his mother, we were able to get his six adult children from three different women in several states, on the same page, all working together to successfully settle one of the largest payments in a NYC jail litigation.
We work with a multidisciplinary group of experts to frame policy issues in dynamic and engaging ways and to tap the legal system’s underutilized capacity to create peaceful change. Our strategic approach is to promote alliance and look beyond damages, awards and settlements for individual plaintiffs in order to leverage facts and law to actually change the specific governmental policies that initiated, furthered, and/or ignored the conduct leading to civil rights violations. When you get justice, you are joyful. You are more whole. That is what we know clients want. In our case, Meister v. City of Hawthorne, we negotiated a landmark settlement where new policies for police interactions with the deaf were implemented in dozens of counties across California. While it is so painful to endure government abuse of authority, to bring a lawsuit knowing you are making an impact for others, brings joyful results.