Compassionate Lawyering, with Guests: Chris Poulos, Corey Brinson, Bob Herbst & George Hritz, on White Collar Week with Jeff Grant
It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Today on the podcast we have a very special show about compassionate lawyering. We have on three lawyers and one former lawyer whom I know well and respect: Corey Brinson, Chris Poulos, Bob Herbst and my old friend George Hritz.
We define compassionate lawyering as giving something more than just a case solution to clients. That is, our four guests discuss putting in that extra mile to help clients find a better, more productive life during and after their issues. They share lots of stories about successes and difficulties in representing individual clients and in advocating for humanistic changes to the criminal justice system.
It’s an important show if you are a lawyer, if you know a lawyer, and, most importantly, if you hire a lawyer.
I hope you will join us. — Jeff
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Guests on this Episode:
Corey Brinson focuses on advancing Legal Action Center’s policy advocacy priorities in New York State and plays a lead role in Legal Action Center’s criminal justice reform agenda. Before joining Legal Action Center , Corey founded the Second Chance Firm, LLC, where he serves as a criminal justice consultant, assisted people with pardons, and advocated for criminal justice reform as a lobbyist. Corey has been impacted by the criminal justice system and draws on his unique experiences to inform his work as a policy advocate. Corey has been a member of the Hartford City Council, operated a law firm where he defended 400 people in criminal matters in state and federal court and won acquittals at trial, and served in the Air National Guard and received the National Defense Service Medal for military service in Saudi Arabia on September 11, 2001. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCONN and a law degree from UCONN School of Law. He is currently a candidate for a LLM (master of laws) in Human Rights and Social Justice from UCONN School of Law. Corey is from Hartford, Connecticut, and he is a big fan of UCONN basketball. Corey Brinson can be reached at: email@example.com .
Christopher Poulos is an attorney and the Executive Director of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council. Prior to his appointment, he served as Executive Director of Life of Purpose Treatment at the University of North Texas, where he was also an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice. During law school, he served at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Sentencing Project. Poulos has advised United States Senator Angus King (I-Maine) on addiction and justice policy and served on several local, state, and federal taskforces related to criminal justice policy. Poulos has also taught in the Political Science Department at Seattle Central College. The United States Department Justice consulted with him as one of the nation’s most successful people following incarceration. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law, where he was President of the American Constitution Society and represented children facing criminal charges as a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic.
Poulos is a national leader in criminal justice policy and addiction recovery. He has presented his work to diverse organizations across the United States — including state and federal prisons, jails, large nonprofits, national conferences, universities, law schools, the White House and other governmental bodies, as well as addiction recovery organizations.
Prior to law school, Poulos overcame many obstacles, including tragic family losses, addiction, homelessness, and a federal incarceration. He now dedicates his life to helping others overcome or avoid similar challenges and he supports a public health-based approach to addiction. His work promotes equal access to the law and seeks to end mass incarceration and the collateral consequences now facing the tens of millions of people with criminal convictions.
Poulos’s work and story have been featured in the Christopher Poulos can be reached at New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News, Harvard Law & Policy Review, The Epoch Times, and a myriad of other national and local media outlets. He was named among “Maine’s Most Intriguing People” in Portland Magazine’s annual publication and selected as a “Law Student of the Year” by National Jurist Magazine. firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bob Herbst has been trying civil and criminal cases to juries for almost 40 years. He grew up on the criminal side of the court as a federal prosecutor in Chicago and Philadelphia, where he specialized in major economic crime and public corruption cases, and as Executive Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, where he headed the Investigative Bureaus and supervised all of that office’s investigations and prosecutions of white collar crime and official corruption. Since 1983, Mr. Herbst has been in private civil litigation and criminal defense practice, specializing, on the civil side, primarily in civil rights, employment and housing discrimination cases and class actions in the federal and state courts. He has more than 25 years’ experience representing victims of police, corrections and other municipal or state misconduct; sexual harassment and other forms of sex or gender discrimination; race, ethnic, and disability discrimination, and consumer and securities fraud. His experience also includes cases involving whistleblower-protection, malpractice, defamation, false allegations of child abuse, inadequate premises security, commercial, banking and real estate disputes, products liability, and intellectual property. Mr. Herbst has actively represented his clients in mediation and arbitration as well as in court, and often counsels employees prior to, and in an effort to avoid, litigation. He is currently Independent Counsel to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
George Hritz handles complex litigation, arbitration and other disputes and often serves as part-time general counsel for individuals and companies. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he was a classmate of Bob Herbst, and Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
George clerked for a federal district judge in New York and was associated with the Cravath law firm. After and during periods of government service in Washington D.C., he was a partner at the Hogan Lovells law firm and its predecessors in New York for 30 years before starting his own practice in Connecticut and in New York, where he is also of counsel to the Westchester law firm founded by the son of the judge he clerked for at the beginning of his career.
George has published numerous articles in U.S., European, Asian and Middle Eastern journals and presented at various litigation and arbitration conferences and panels on ethical issues, electronic discovery, international arbitration, extraterritorial jurisdiction, litigation funding, legal history and U.S. anti-slavery litigation and separate settlement counsel and other dispute resolution techniques.
In addition to his law practice, George is co-founder, President Emeritus and General Counsel of Princeton in Africa, which has placed over 500 recent college and professional school graduates at more than 50 organizations in over 30 African countries in the past 20 years. He also served for over 30 years on the Board and Overseers of the International Rescue Committee, a prominent refugee relief organization and was its General Counsel.
George also served as Associate Independent Counsel in a federal grand jury investigation and lengthy trial of a former U.S. government official in Washington, D.C. and as Associate Special Counsel to a Special Inquiry of the United States Senate. He also served as the Chairman of a municipal planning board in New York, as the capital campaign co-chair for a historic Westchester church and chairman and member of co-op and condominium boards in Connecticut and Manhattan. George Hritz can be reached at email@example.com.
You can find all episodes of our podcast “White Collar Week with Jeff Grant” on our website prisonist.org, our Facebook page, Podbean, YouTube (video), SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Welcome to White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, a podcast serving the white collar justice community. It’s the isolation that destroys us. The solution is in community.
If you are interested in this podcast, then you are probably already a member of the white collar justice community — even if you don’t quite know it yet. Our community is certainly made up of people being prosecuted, or who have already been prosecuted, for white collar crimes. But it is also made up of the spouses, children and families of those prosecuted for white collar crimes — these are the first victims of white collar crime. And the community also consists of the other victims, both direct and indirect, and those in the wider white collar ecosystem like friends, colleagues, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, academics, researchers. Investigators, mitigation experts, corrections officers, reentry professionals, mental health care professionals, drug and alcohol counselors, — and ministers, chaplains and advocates for criminal and social justice reform. The list goes on and on…
In this very eventful summer 2020, our mission is to introduce you to other members of the white collar justice community, to hear their very personal stories, and hopefully gain a broader perspective of what this is really all about. Maybe this will inspire some deeper thoughts and introspection? Maybe it will inspire some empathy and compassion for people you might otherwise resent or dismiss? And maybe it will help lift us all out of our own isolation and into community, so we can learn to live again in the sunshine of the spirit.
Along the way, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned in my own journey from successful lawyer, to prescription opioid addict, white collar crime, suicide attempt, disbarment, destruction of my marriage, and the almost 14 months I served in a Federal prison. And also my recovery, love story I share with my wife Lynn Springer, after prison earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, pastoring in an inner city church in Bridgeport CT, and then co-founding with Lynn in Greenwich CT, Progressive Prison Ministries, the world’s first ministry serving the white collar justice community. It’s been quite a ride, but I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
So I invite you to come along with me as we experience something new, and bold, and different this summer — a podcast that serves the entire white collar justice community. I hope you will join me.
Rev. Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div. (he, him, his)
Co-founder, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc., Greenwich CT & Nationwide
Co-host, The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast
Host, White Collar Week
Mailing: P.O. Box 1, Woodbury, CT 06798
Donations (501c3): http://bit.ly/donate35T9kMZ
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/jeff-grant-woodbury-ct/731344
not a prison coach, not a prison consultant
Thank you for listening to White Collar Week.
Please subscribe, rate and review the podcast if you loved it — it helps others suffering in silence find us if they need us!
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is the world’s first ministry supporting the white collar justice community. Founded by husband and wife, and Lynn Springer in Greenwich CT in 2012, we incorporated as a nonprofit in Connecticut in 2014, and received 501(c)(3) status in 2015. Jeff has over three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law (former), reentry, recovery (clean & sober 17+ years), and executive and religious leadership. As Jeff was incarcerated for a white-collar crime he committed in 2001, he and Lynn have a first-hand perspective on the trials and tribulations that white-collar families have to endure as they navigate the criminal justice system and life beyond.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is nonsectarian, serving those of all faiths, or no faith whatsoever. To date we have helped over three hundred fifty (350) individuals, and their families, to accept responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge the pain they have caused to others. In accordance with our commitment to restorative justice, we counsel our members to make amends as a first step in changing their lives and moving towards a new spiritual way of living centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance, empathy and service to others. Our team has grown to over ten people, most with advanced degrees, all of whom are currently volunteering their time and resources.
Progressive Prison Ministries’ goal is to provide spiritual solutions and emotional support to those who are feeling alone, isolated, and hopeless. We have found that these individuals are suffering from a void but are stuck, and don’t know what to do about it. Our objective is to help them find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what may seem like insurmountable problems. Many of those we counsel are in a place where their previous lives have come to an end due to their transgressions. In many cases their legal problems have led to divorce, estrangement from their children, families, friends and support communities, and loss of a career. The toll this takes on individuals and families is emotionally devastating. White-collar crimes are often precipitated by other issues in the offenders’ lives such as alcohol or drug abuse, and/or a physical or mental illness that lead to financial issues that overwhelms their ability to be present for themselves and their families and cause poor decision making. We recognize that life often presents us with such circumstances, sometimes which lead us to make mistakes in violation of the law.
All conversations and communications between our ordained ministry, and licensed clinical relationships, and those we serve fall under state privilege laws. This is one reason that attorneys often allow and encourage their clients to maintain relationships with us while in active prosecution or litigation situations.
If you, a friend, family member, colleague or client are suffering from a white collar criminal justice issue or are experiencing some other traumatic or life-altering event, and would like to find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what seems like insurmountable problems, please contact us to schedule an initial call or appointment.
Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.