Valeria M. Pelet del Toro Published in Civil Rights Litigation Handbook

By: 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
Published on:
May 12, 2020
Thomson Reuters

Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP law clerk Valeria M. Pelet del Toro was recently published in the latest edition of the Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook, a “practice-oriented analysis and commentary” on cutting-edge issues related to civil rights litigation. Valeria’s chapter in the Handbook, titled “Beyond the Critique of Rights: The Puerto Rico Legal Project and Civil Rights Litigation in America’s Colony,” documents the understudied history of civil rights litigation in Puerto Rico. It was originally published as a Note in the Yale Law Journal.

In the chapter, Valeria revisits the skepticism of Critical Legal Studies scholars of the “ability of rights to advance oppressed groups’ political goals” in the context of twentieth-century Puerto Rican legal and political history. Valeria focuses on the work of the Puerto Rico Legal Project to show that, to the contrary, “rights talk has historically provided a framework for effective organizing and community action.” Her scholarship pulls from original interviews with Puerto Rican and U.S. lawyers and community activists to “demonstrate the value (and limits) of rights in a colonized nation.”

This year’s publication marks the 35th Volume of the Handbook, which was originally created and edited by National Lawyers Guild members Jules Lobel and Barbara Wolvovitz. Alongside Valeria’s chapter are articles on a wide range of topics, including the broader implications of recent litigation involving issues of employment, healthcare, education, disability, and housing discrimination, among other topics. Other contributors include Adam Green, Aziz Z. Huq, Leah Litman, and Joanna C. Schwartz.

Read more about the Handbook here.

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