Powell Law Group - Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation Attorney In Richmond, VA

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Racial Inequality Has No Room Here

Powell Law Group keeps racial equality top of mind for every client, whether race is at the forefront of the case or just a foundational factor of the client’s personal story. Believing that all humans deserve fair treatment everywhere - at work, in the hospital or on the frontlines fighting for our country - Wayne Powell has built his practice to support the hardworking, blue collar population that many times is under represented, especially when it comes to being the victim of a personal injury scenario.

HBO recently did a documentary highlighting the amazing work by Bryan Stevenson and the work of Equal Justice Initiative. Premiering tonight, June 26 at 8pm EST, the full film can be viewed for free until July 31 on HBO.com, with all rights being lifted 6 months after that for broader distribution and viewing. This story of our nation’s history and how it’s driven our current legal system to over index the incarceration of black men must be changed for the future of our nation to thrive.

If this topic stirs your heart and blood like it does ours, take a look at this Tuesday TED Talk post we did last year about how statistics are the key to fighting crime.


The Powell Law Group in Midlothian believes in the justice system and your rights. Working hard to bring justice to each of their personal injury and workers’ compensation clients, Wayne Powell and his team of lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and assistants are dedicated to continued education which they find echoed in this insightful Tuesday TED Talk series. Hope you enjoy them and learn something, too.

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job or in an accident, please reach out to us. We provide free case reviews and decades of experience to get you what you deserve.

PERSONAL INJURY | WORKERS’ COMPENSATION | CRIMINAL DEFENSE | CONTACT US

Voting Day - Tuesday TED Talk: "There's No Such Thing As Not Voting" by Eric Liu
I would like to vote for the first time because things are changing for Hispanics. The border wall is nothing. It’s just a wall. The wall of shame is something. It’s very important to vote so we can break down this wall of shame. I have passion in my heart. Voting gives me a voice and power. I can stand up and do something.
— The Joy of Voting, a poem written by ESL students in Hartville, Ohio shared by Eric Liu

This weeks TED Talk is by Eric Liu in the spirit of today’s midterm elections in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Wayne Powell is a firm believer in democracy, and shares Eric Liu’s passion for civic engagement in your community. “As an attorney, you are the voice for someone in a courtroom, but as a leader in my community, I keep the same mentality about being a voice for the people. I have a unique perspective about the power of democracy with so many of my clients being naturalized citizens, passionate about their identity as Hispanic Americans, dedicated to work and family values that better their communities. They want to feel represented, and know their rights and the rights of their families are protected. Democracy is a gift, and we should continue to maintain and protect that.”

Inspired by Liu’s talk about the importance of democracy, the Powell Law Group encourages you to exercise your civic duty and vote TODAY in Virginia’s Midterm Election. Voting has always been important, but in today’s culture and political landscape, its crucial. Make sure you get to the polls and cast your vote!


Here are just a few quotes from Eric Liu’s talk:

Eric Liu | Vote | Powell Law Group
  • “All citizenship is local. When politics is about us and our neighbors and other people in our community coming together to create experiences of collective voice and imagination, we begin to remember that this is the stuff of self-government”

  • “Voting matters because it is a self-fulfilling act of belief. It feeds the spirit of mutual interest that makes any society thrive. When we vote, even if it is in anger, we are part of a collective, creative leap of faith. Voting helps us generate the very power that we wish we had.”

  • “We live in a time right now, divided, often very dark, where across the left and the right, there's a lot of talk of revolution and the need for revolution to disrupt everyday democracy. Well, here's the thing: everyday democracy already gives us a playbook for revolution.”


You can verify your polling location, see which candidates are on the ballot, and look up voter resources on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Vote, Because “There is no such thing as not voting!”

Tuesday TED Talk: "My Wish: Manufactured Landscapes And Green Education" By Edward Burtynsky

This weeks TED Talk Tuesday is brought to you by Edward Burtynsky a photographer dedicating his pieces to exposing humanity’s impact on the earth, and inspiring the conversation and movement towards sustainable living. Mr. Burtynsky has won multiple awards for his work, such as the 2016 Governor General’s Award in Arts and Media and the 2005 TED Prize. These images are meant as metaphors to the tragedy and the beauty of our modern existence, and it shows the dilemma at how the world is suffering at the hand of human successes.

TED Talk Tuesday | Powell Law Group | Edward Burtynsky 1.png
TED Talk Tuesday | Powell Law Group | Edward Burtynsky 2.png
  • “Be challenged by the photos -- to say, ‘Wow, this is beautiful,’ on one level, but on the other level, "This is scary. I shouldn't be enjoying it."”

  • “There's something that we're not seeing there. And it's a scary thing as well. Because when we start looking at the collective appetite for our lifestyles, and what we're doing to that landscape -- that, to me, is something that is a very sobering moment for me to contemplate.”

  • “This is a need for power, and they're willing to go through this massive transformation, on this scale, to get that power.”

  • “I photographed this woman in China- she’s been through Mao, and she's been through the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution, and now she's sitting on her porch with this e-waste beside her. It's quite something. This is a road where it's been shored up by computer boards in one of the biggest towns, and recycling is nonexistent.”

  • “I want to use my images to persuade millions of people to join in the global conversation on sustainability. And it is through communications today that I believe that that is not an unreal idea.”


Wayne Powell is a passionate advocate for the environment as well. From investing in clean energy, reducing our dependence on oil, and reducing our carbon footprint, there is no end to the list of ways to adapt to sustainable living. If you live in Virginia, check out Virginia Energy Sense sponsored by the State Corporation Commission.

I have represented a few Workers’ Compensation cases where those individuals worked in coal mines or mining jobs. As a business owner, I value advances in technology and innovation, and I understand the need to adapt to modernization. I believe we must never take the individual workers for granted, and recognize that when we talk about renewable energy, the men and women who work to build and maintain our energy structure in the Commonwealth are the human stakeholders alongside business and the environment. I hope we continue to think of advances in technology and energy that move away from conditions that hurt individuals and that hurt our environment.
— Wayne Powell

Check out some Edward Burtynsky’s website for his projects, photography portfolio, films, and books. And if you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact the Powell Law Group to learn how our experience in helping people get justice might be right for you.


Tuesday TED Talk: "The Power Of Diversity Within Yourself" by Rebeca Hwang

This weeks TED Talk Tuesday is brought to you by Rebeca Hwang, an inventor, entrepreneur, social innovator, investor, teacher, and a female leader in technology. Currently Mrs. Hwang serves as the co-founder and managing director of Rivet Ventures, a company helping female decision makers, creators, and investors get involved in women-led markets. Rebeca’s TED Talk is about embracing the many elements of your identity to make diversity a characteristic of your success.  

 Some quotes from Rebeca Hwang:

  • “I felt as though I could be either Korean or Argentinian, but not both. It felt like a zero-sum game, where I had to give up my old identity to be able to gain or earn a new one.”

  • “Perhaps this could be an advantage. It was easy for me to stand out, which couldn't hurt in a world that was rapidly changing.”

  • “Now, today my identity quest is no longer to find my tribe. It's more about allowing myself to embrace all of the possible permutations of myself and cultivating diversity within me and not just around me.”

  • “I hope that instead of feeling anxious and worried that they don't fit in that one box or that their identity will become irrelevant someday, that they can feel free to experiment and to take control of their personal narrative and identity.”


In a world continuing to adapt and change with globalization, embracing diversity in your background is not only personal beneficial, but pride in that diversity combats racism, discrimination, and prejudice. Our communities and our country are made up of people with complex identities, where those complexities should be viewed as a strength rather than used as a platform to alienate others.
— Wayne Powell
Wayne Powell | Army Award.jpeg

Wayne Powell believes the best way to incorporate diversity in your life is to embrace new culture and to travel. As a member of the International Association of Lawyers, and during his time in the United States Army, Wayne traveled and lived abroad, developing respect and appreciation for cultures, languages, and customs around the work that have influenced his professional and personal beliefs.

Para nuestras lectores bilingües y hispanohablantes, por favor visite https://www.ted.com/talks/rebeca_hwang_el_valor_de_nuestra_diversidad_interna para ver esta conversación como fue originalmente escrito en español.

TED Talk Tuesday: "The Revolutionary Power of Diverse Thought" by Elif Shafak

In this TED Talk Tuesday piece, we explore the complexity of our current times. Elif Shafak, a writer blending East and West, feminism and traditional, shares her perspective of today’s trend toward tribalism that pulls us apart and her hope for humanity’s ability to move towards multiplicity as the antidote and nuance as the connector.

Noting her multicultural, multinational, complex experience self, Shafak shares her appreciation of storytelling and individual human rights, much like Wayne Powell. A white man born and raised in the south can quickly get a label and tossed into a tribe before opening their mouth. The same way a black man can be labeled as he walks across the street at night or a Latino-looking woman getting out of her car with many children might begin a story in one’s mind that assumes something about them. Sadly, research today shows social media drives tribalism and this “clash between two certainties” that Shafak speaks of is highlighted. She points out how we are being denied the right to be complex. And complex the Powell Law Group knows the world is.

Wayne learned from his heritage, both good and bad, and crafted his future to treasure the nuance. His education steeped in learning multiple languages to better understand others, rooted in belief for our country, as well as helping other countries, and a burning passion to help the “common man” when life is at its most bleak, it’s the unique story of each client that keeps Wayne passionate about his legal practice of almost 40 years.

So from populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy. And from isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism and the beauty of diversity.
— Elif Shafak
 
 

Above we give you a glimpse of Elik Shafak’s literary works. They are all available on Amazon and worth checking out, if you enjoyed her TED Talk like we did.

Also, if you or a loved one face a dark time due to an injury, you don’t have to feel alone no matter if your far from your “motherland” or in the same town you were born. From traumatic brain injuries to back problems and mental health, Powell Law Group understands the “what happened to you” for each client is going to be different and range from simple to complex, but we go into every case with the same goal: Make sure our clients are getting the best medical care possible and receive maximum compensation to live the best life possible for their unique personal situation. Case reviews are free and our experience in helping people find justice is vast.

TED Talk Tuesday: "How Diversity Makes Teams More Innovative" by Rocío Lorenzo

Diversity in companies. Yes, thankfully these days people are trying to be more thoughtful with their hiring strategy and team structure. But why? Just because “diversity” is a buzz word. NO. Because diversity matters.

In this 2017 TED Talk by Rocío Lorenzo, a telecom and media company consultant for the current digital age, she walks us through the research of 171 companies that clearly outlines how a company can be more innovative through diversity. Bolstering up your company’s competitive advantage through more original ideas by attaining a richer diversity, now that’s a TED Talk you should have 11 minutes and six seconds for!

For the last fifteen years, Lorenzo has worked extensively in telecommunications and media, advising senior executives across Europe and the US on strategy development, growth programs and large scale transformations. Below are a few noteworthy excerpts from her TED Talk:

  • Many leaders I met saw diversity as something to comply with out of political correctness, or, best case, the right thing to do, but not as a business priority.

  • Our data shows that for gender diversity to have an impact on innovation, you need to have more than 20 percent women in leadership.

  • My generation, your generation, represent the best-educated female generation in history, but we have failed to achieve leadership in significant numbers. Education just did not translate into leadership.

  • Making or breaking the success of diversity in your business boils down to two things: Who to hire, and who to develop and promote.


Diversity in the workplace is one of the things that set the Powell Law Group apart from other small law firms. It is one thing to be able to provide a service in Spanish, it is another altogether to have an understanding for cultural norms and customs, and respect for the humanity of others.
— Wayne Powell

Wayne Powell believes in the innovative nature and ideas that a diverse team bring to his business. With native Spanish speakers, a predominantly female staff, and a broad range of ages, we embrace the diverse demographics that make up our staff. Check out Powell Law Group’s amazingly talented and experienced staff, both in life breadth and legal help.


And just in case you need a visual reason to listen to this TED Talk, these slides are just a few of Lorenzo’s interesting findings.

TED Talk Tuesday: "Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime" by Anne Milgram
Public safety is the most important function of government. If we’re not safe we can’t be educated, we can’t be healthy, and we can’t do the other things we want to in our lives.
— Anne Milgram

When Anne Milgram became the Attorney General of New Jersey in 2007, she was stunned to find out just how little data was available on who was being arrested, who was being charged, who was serving time in jails and prisons, and who was being released. Anne Milgram is focused on reforming the criminal justice system through smart data, analytics and technology. She is currently a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law.

Anne Milgram excerpts to note:

  • Two thirds of the people in our jails are there waiting for trial. They haven't yet been convicted of a crime. They're just waiting for their day in court. And 67 percent of people come back. Our recidivism rate is amongst the highest in the world. Almost seven in 10 people who are released from prison will be rearrested in a constant cycle of crime and incarceration.

  • Using data and analytics to help make the most critical decision in public safety: whether they pose a risk to public safety and should be detained, or don’t and should be released. This one decision impacts everything- sentencing, drug treatment, crime, violence.

 

Anne explains current US arrest stats and the simple tool she and her team of data scientists and researchers and statisticians to build a universal risk assessment tool, so that every single judge in the United States of America can have an objective, scientific measure of risk.

They can now predict three things:

  1. Whether or not someone will commit a new crime if they're released

  2. Phether someone will commit an act of violence if they're released

  3. predict whether someone will come back to court


Practicing personal injury and workers’ compensation law for nearly 40 years, Wayne Powell has seen the crime and incarceration cycle first-hand:

Fortunately, working in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have one of the lowest recidivism rates in the country. It goes to show the system is not totally incapable of change, especially with changemakers like Anne Milgram, and attorneys who follow through with their clients, offering them more than just legal advice and council, but resources that they can turn to once they leave the courtroom. I am determined to support my clients so that they’re not part of that statistic or that cycle.
— Wayne Powell
Click to read the full article on usnews.com

Click to read the full article on usnews.com

Report: Virginia Has Lowest Inmate Recidivism Rate Again

Virginia officials have announced that the state's re-incarceration rate is the lowest in the country for the second year in a row. (November 3, 2017)


The Powell Law Group in Midlothian believes in the justice system and your rights. Working hard to bring justice to each of their personal injury and workers’ compensation clients, Wayne Powell and his team of lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and assistants are dedicated to continued education which they find echoed in this insightful Tuesday TED Talk series. Hope you enjoy them and learn something, too.

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job or in an accident, please reach out to us. We provide free case reviews and decades of experience to get you what you deserve.

personal injury | Workers’ Compensation | Criminal defense | Contact us

TED Talk Tuesday: "The Human Stories Behind Mass Incarceration" by Eve Abrams
I’ve been working in the justice system for a long time, but it will still take my breath. I’ll walk into a courtroom struck by the fact that there are a disproportionate amount of people of color.
— Eve Abrams

In this TED talk, Eve Abrams talks about mass incarceration and discusses her research about convictions in the United States of innocent people based on faulty eyewitness testimony and without forensic evidence. Mrs. Abrams biggest piece of advice is to not just assume that your criminal justice system is working, but to take on the responsibility to question and challenge those assumptions for a just society.

Recently, Wayne Powell has been involved in a case that included partnering with the Innocence Project at the University of Virginia School of Law. This client was convicted and sentenced to 40 years over a crime with no forensic evidence, no testimony from witnesses, and was referred the representation of a fraudulent attorney. Cases like these are why Wayne Powell is a dedicated member of the legal community, striving to represent justice in his community and in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Powerful Abrams Quotes:

“Estimates of how many innocent people are locked up range between one and four percent, which maybe doesn't sound like a lot, except that it amounts to around 87,000 people. That's not even counting the roughly half a million people who have been convicted of nothing -- those presumed innocent, but who are too poor to bail out of jail and therefore sit behind bars for weeks upon months, waiting for their case to come to trial -- or much more likely, waiting to take a plea just to get out.”

“We elect the district attorneys, the judges and the legislators who operate these systems for we the people. As a society, we are more willing to risk locking up innocent people than we are to let guilty people go free. We elect politicians who fear being labeled "soft on crime," encouraging them to pass harsh legislation and allocate enormous resources toward locking people up.”


Thanks for checking out our latest TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

TED Talk Tuesday: "How teachers can help kids find their political voices" by Sydney Chaffee

This weeks TED Talk is by Sydney Chaffee, the 2017 National Teacher of the Year who has spent the past year traveling the country to talk to educators and social justice leaders about the power of education. Sydney takes a look at education in America, and how the classroom environment can make or break the path for social justice in our country. Education is an important issue to Wayne Powell, the product of a public school education that gave him the opportunities that lead him to a career in the military, public service, and running a small business.

Education can be a tool for social justice.
— Sydney Chaffee

One of Wayne’s most notable contributions to education in the Commonwealth of Virginia was during his time as President of the Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa. Founded in 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its campus chapters invite for induction the most outstanding liberal arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities.

When our students walk into our classrooms, they bring their identities with them. Everything they experience in our rooms is bound up in historical context, and so if we insist that education happens in a vacuum, we do our students a disservice. We teach them that education doesn’t really matter, because it’s not relevant to what’s happening all around them
— Sydney Chaffee

The Powell Law Group is dedicated to creating a positive impact for education in our community. This year, we are sponsoring the classrooms of two teachers in the Chesterfield County Public School system. Check out their classrooms, their wish lists, and updates here.

Whether you want to help us in this mission or begin your own, remember as Chaffe said, "Teaching will always be a political act. We can't be afraid of our students' power. Their power will help them make tomorrow better." May we work together to give each student their chance.


Thanks for joining us for our TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

TED Talk Tuesday: The Mothers Who Found Forgiveness, Friendship

Welcome to our next TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In remembrance of the lives lost on this date 17 years ago, today’s TED Talk is a collaborative speech by Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi at TEDWomen 2010.  Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez' son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi's son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another. Their friendship has become a powerful symbol for forgiveness and their story has become a platform for the dialogue about national resilience.


You have to be generous, and your hearts must be generous, your mind must be generous. You must be tolerant. You have to fight against violence. And I hope that someday we’ll all live together in peace and respecting each other.
— Aicha el-Wafi

911 | Powell Law Group.png

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11, 2001. Please visit their website for more information and donation page.


Tuesday TED Talk: How jails extort the poor

We hope you've been enjoying our weekly Tuesday TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration curated by Wayne Powell.

In this talk, Salil Dudani discusses the problems created in our country by a bail-based jailing system. As an investigator with civil rights lawyers, Dudani reflects in his experience with racial profiling, debtors prisons, and how the justice system disproportionately affects poor and marginalized communities. Salil Dudani works as a legal activist for Civil Rights Corps, a nonprofit dedicated to researching and representing those affected by poverty jailing and systemic injustice in the legal system.

With almost four decades of experience as a practicing attorney, Wayne Powell knows the barriers that exist for individuals living in poverty, and the impact that a debtors based legal system plays in undermining justice. As an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division in the 1980’s, Wayne worked as an advocate against pre-trial detention that is designed to punish poor and marginalized members of communities in the Commonwealth.


Here are some of the quotes and concepts from Mr. Dudani’s TEDTalk that Mr. Powell found especially powerful and worth emphasizing:

“It is easy to forget how demeaning and coercive it is to cease control over another person’s body when your society has normalized the images of arrests and handcuffs.”

“Illegal extortion schemes aren’t being run in the shadows, they’re being run out in the open, as a matter of public policy”.

“Poverty jailing plays a very visible, central role in our justice system. In our bail system, whether you’re detained or free pending trial is not a matter of how dangerous you are or how much of a flight risk you pose, it’s a matter of whether you can post your bail amount.”

"We are told that jails are for criminals, but in reality, that’s not the case. 3 of every 5 people in jail in the U.S. are there pre-trial; they haven’t been convicted or plead guilty to any offense.”

TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series. Powell Law Group in Virginia hopes you have been enjoying our Tuesday TED Talk Series. You can CLICK HERE to see others we have shared. 

TED Talk Tuesday: Ronald Sullivan speaks of freeing the innocent

Welcome to our next TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

Being a representative of the law is a powerful role, and attorneys, prosecutors, and elected representatives in the judicial system should consider the weight of their decision making in every case they come across.
— Wayne Powell

In this talk, Harvard Law Professor Ronald Sullivan talks about his defense of thousands of innocent persons wrongfully convicted. Professor Sullivan has merged legal theory and practice over the course of his career in unique and cutting-edge ways. Professor Sullivan is a leading theorist in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, trial practice and techniques, legal ethics, and race theory. He is the faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute and the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop.

“Justice doesn’t happen. People make justice happen. Justice is something that people of good will make happen.”
— Ronald Sullivan
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Separated Border Families: Wayne Powell & International Association of Lawyers

Viewpoints Aligned

As a United States representative of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers), Wayne Powell attended the June conference in New York where the separation of border families was a hot topic. Below is the intro to a joint statement, followed by aligned thoughts from Wayne Powell.


New York, June 30, 2018

REUNITE DETAINED CHILDREN AT THE BORDERS

UIA | Wayne Powell | Separated Families.png

Upon the occasion of the Governing Board meeting of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers), convened in New York, NY, USA, on June 30, the undersigned signatories note with grave concern the recently imposed United States policy, as implemented by President Donald J. Trump, ordering the inhumane separation of immigrant children from their parents at the United States borders. While we note that the Executive Order recently issued by President Trump revoked the policy for future child detainees, the Executive Order did not address a plan with respect to the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated in the wake of the implementation of President Trump’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.

Click to continue reading the joint statement on the International Association of Lawyer's website.


As a member of the UIA, I stand in support of the statement issued urging that all children affected by President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy be reunited with parents within 30 days, 14 days if the children are younger than 5 years. We must insist that these authorities help the parents and children establish communication with one another, and make a continued effort to reunite these families.

We must put an end to sending young children in court without legal representation and without their legal guardians. I, along with many of my fellow lawyers from the UIA, are here to assist in reuniting these children and their families, and ensuring they have an advocate for them in court, and that they understand their rights.

Almost 20 years ago, I represented a Hispanic family whose children had been taken from them by an American family while in their home country handling the legality of their formal immigration to the United States. My clients, a modest, humble, religious couple returned to their home country to visit the American Consulate and retrieve their immigration papers. The couple left their children in the temporary custody of the father's employer. After they obtained their papers and came back to the U.S. "legally" and anxiously awaited their reunion with their children, the American couple simply responded that they would be taking the children permanently and not returning them to the parents.

I petitioned the juvenile relations court at that time in a predominantly Caucasian, suburban county to retrieve the children for their parents. I incorrectly assumed that this would be a straightforward process seeing as there was no reason why the birth parents of these children were undeserving of their custody rights, and the law would be on their side. Neither father nor mother had any criminal background, no prior legal troubles, and were involved members of their Protestant church and their community. Much to my shock, when I attended the hearing before the substitute judge, the ruling stated that the children were "better off" with the Caucasian, American couple. The motivation was clear. Without reference to the integrity of the biological parents and without evidence to suggest that they were anything other than loving parents, a family was ripped apart. U.S. citizenship was equated to good character or parenting competency in this case, a superiority complex rooted in prejudice. This process was grueling for my clients both emotionally and financially. They were unable to pay me for my representation after our initial appearance in juvenile and domestic relations court. I was unwilling to leave them without representing in the pursuit of an appeal. During the appeal in the Circuit court, the judge immediately granted custody to the natural parents, my clients. I instructed the American couple to deliver the children to the parents’ house within a half an hour of leaving the courthouse.

In my case, justice was done, but it's significant to know that the same racist, intolerant attitude, and superiority expressed by the judge and the Caucasian couple remains strong in our society. These opinions are even articulated among the highest officials in the land. An intolerant justice and immigration system should not be considered a new "normal" by a nation whose foundation is built on immigrants. Crime does not have a skin color, an ethnicity, a language, or a religion. Officials, citizens, migrants alike should be held to the same standard of due process.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an injustice,

call Powell Law Group today. (804) 794.4030


TED Talk Tuesday: Four ways to fix a broken legal system

We’re continuing our posts for TED Talk Tuesday, a series where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In this video, Philip K. Howard talks about how certain professions in America are limited because of complexity of the laws that govern them and the fear of being sued, particularly in areas like business, education, and healthcare. Attorney Philip K. Howard founded the nonpartisan group The Common Good to combat this culture and reform several key areas of our legal system.

Wayne Powell understands how similar business, healthcare, and law are, mainly because of how difficult these areas of our society are to navigate.

In Powell Law Group's line of work, we're not only tasked with helping our clients navigate the legal system, but in workers compensation and personal injury.  We’re also constantly working with physicians, providers, and insurance companies. The healthcare system, the judicial system, the business world are full of defensiveness and therefore can lead to mistrust.


Bout Philip K. Howard | TED Talk Tuesday with Wayne Powell of Powell Law Group

Some quotes from Mr. Stevenson's TED Talk that are particularly powerful and worth highlighting:   

“The law is a powerful driver of human behavior”.

“For law to be the platform for freedom, people have to trust it."

“We’ve been told that we can judge any dispute against the standard of a perfect society where everyone agrees to what is fair. That just isn’t realistic.”


I appreciate Mr. Howard’s point of view that the biggest hurdle for success in our legal system is the trust of the American people.
— Wayne Powell
TED Talk Tuesday: How I defend the rule of law

Today on TED Talk Tuesday with Wayne Powell of Powell Law Group, we share Kimberley Motley.  The only western litigator in Afghanistan, she discusses her learning over the past 10 years from CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies to pro bono work for young girls. 


Justness is using laws for their intended purpose: to protect. Justness is a global problem. The need for justness is so great, it cannot be ignored.
— Kimberley Motley

Highlighting the hard job journalists have in sharing global injustice and helping to understand what's going on in the world around us, Motley talks about the need to protect journalists in order for keep governments accountable and transparent. 

She points out that 280 million boys and girls under 15 are in marriages that prolong the vicious cycle of poverty, poor health, lack of education.

One specific case Motley shares talks about a 12-year-old girl sold into marriage by her brother. This child is tortured after refusing to become a prostitute for the family. When Motley finally meets her while given a safe haven by Women for Afghan Women, she begins to understand the lack of education partly kept the child in this situation.


... she didn’t know what her rights were, but she did know she had a certain level of protection by her government that failed her, and so we were able to talk about what her legal options were.
— Kimberley Motley

After watching this TED Talk, Wayne Powell points out several personal beliefs that have driven his career and litigation practice for almost four decades:

  • A law is not just a piece of the legal system, but a cultural change, adapting people’s impression of justice, fairness, and other principles that the system depends on.

  • The law is suppose to be what governs behavior in order to protect the people, and a change in the law should reflect the will and the way those people wish to be governed.

  • Protecting everyone's right to be free protects all of us, because it means we have built a system of fairness. What we once saw as individual problems, or state level problems, are global problems, and are amongst the shared responsibilities we have as a part of the international legal community.

At Powell Law Group, we find many of our clients who have been injured don’t always know the laws, but feel their current injury is the fault of another person or company. It is in our understanding of the law that we are able to help clients find justice.

If you or someone you know needs help to find justice, call Powell Law Group to learn how Wayne Powell and his team have been helping people navigate the American justice system for nearly four decades.


We all need to create a global culture of human rights and be investors in a global human rights economy, and by working in this mindset, we can significantly improve justice globally.
— Kimberley Motley

Tuesday TED Talks: Curated By Wayne Powell - Post 2

This is our second TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In this video, Bryan Stevenson, human rights lawyer and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, talks about the hard truths of the American justice system. He focuses on the imbalance of incarceration rates for the African American male population and the power of identity in the pursuit of justice.  Stevenson spends his career fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

After watching, Wayne Powell notes how compelling Bryan Stevenson’s remarks are about how the makeup of our prison system and how the identities of those incarcerated has changed drastically in the past 40 years. Mass incarceration has changed our world, and disproportionately affects poor communities and people of color that shapes future generations. 

As an attorney, I think it’s vital that the legal community stay committed to understanding the challenges of those who are disadvantaged by the justice system based on their identity.  
— wayne powell

Quotes from Stevenson's TED Talk that are particularly powerful and worth highlighting:   

“There is a capacity within every person to contribute to perspective that is hopeful.”

“The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. We cannot be fully, evolved human beings without caring about human rights.”


Bryan Stevens TED Talk | Wayne Powell Thoughts | Powell Law Group
Tuesday TED Talks: Curated by Wayne Powell - Post 1

This is a our first TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In this first video, Vivek Maru discusses the importance of changing the relationship between people and the laws that control them.

How to put the power of law in people’s hands- Vivek Maru, TED Global 2017

Wayne denotes how Vivek Maru makes one brilliantly important statement, "The law should be simple and understandable in order to protect everyone. It is the responsibility of lawyers like myself not only to represent our clients during their cases, but help them understand the laws to better protect them in the future. Well informed citizens make for well functioning communities.”

Here are some quotes from Mr. Maru’s TED Talk that are particularly powerful and worth highlighting:   

 
 
Law is supposed to be the language we use to translate our dreams about justice into living institutions that hold us together.
It can feel like law is shrouded in a coat of complexity.
If we’re going to make justice a reality for everyone, we need to turn law from an abstract thought or a threat into something every person can understand, use, and shape.
 
 
TED Talk Tuesday | Wayne Powell | Vivek Maru's TED Talk