In the News

India West: Attorney Nilay Vora Wins NAPABA’s First Pro Bono Award

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Nilay Vora 2014

“The Washington, D.C.-based National Asian Pacific American Bar Association has named Nilay U. Vora the recipient of its inaugural NAPABA Pro Bono Award, given to an attorney or team of attorneys for outstanding pro bono service involving litigation to advance or protect civil rights or who has provided direct legal services to individuals in the advancement of justice.

He will be honored at NAPABA’s annual gala Nov. 8 [2014] in Scottsdale, Ariz.”

Excerpt from India West, November 14, 2014

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Baton Rouge Advocate: Court seeks ‘special master’ to cool down death row

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Special master to monitor compliance

By Joe Gyan Jr. jgyan@theadvocate.com

MAY 4, 2014

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson, who toured the Angola prison last summer and ruled in December that heat indexes recorded on death row amount to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, said he’ll appoint either Quigley, Medina or Hebert as special master in the case within the next few days. (more…)

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New Orleans Times-Picayune: Judge to appoint special master, give final order in Angola’s death row heat case

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By Quincy Hodges, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

A federal court judge Wednesday heard testimony from three candidates, which, if chosen, will oversee a cooling plan aiming to improve heat levels for death row inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola.

Attorney Nilay Vora, who represents plaintiffs’ James Magee, Elzie Ball and Nathaniel Code, 57, says both Quigley and Medina have the resources and the flexibility as professors to perform weekly visits to Angola more so than Hebert. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the courts are required to pay for the special master position. Vora says either professor would cost the court system less than Hebert.

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New Orleans Times Picayune: Angola prison heat trial wraps up as judge confirms visit to Louisiana’s death row

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By Lauren McGaughy, NOLA.com | The Times Picayune 

August 07, 2013

A federal court judge in Baton Rouge will decide whether three inmates on Angola prison’s death row are put at a higher risk of illness and death due to high temperatures at the state penitentiary. The outcome of the federal suit will be determined by the judge’s reading of their disability rights as well as the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Eight Amendment.

During closing remarks Wednesday, plaintiffs’ counsel Nilay Vora said the defense relied too heavily on the three inmates’ previous medical records and not on the issue of “future risk.”

He added the only difficulty the state cited in installing air-conditioning or other cooling systems would be cost, but said the prison budget does not include funds brought in by the controversial biannual rodeo or filming done on site.

He closed by saying the public interest was clearly at stake in any case where a person’s constitutional rights are being violated, and added the issue fell into what constituted the “evolutionary standard of decency that marks the progress of a maturing society.”

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