Posted by Dan Weinberg on May 12, 2014
2014 is already proving to be a challenging and exciting year for the Montana Innocence Project (MTIP). Keegan Flaherty, executive director, has replaced Jessie McQuillan, who had to step down for health reasons. We appeared in court for our first Daubert and summary judgement hearing, and we’ll soon give an oral argument in another case in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. With important transitions and big milestones, I want to provide you with an update of MTIP's goals:
First, we are working hard to maintain capacity for casework litigation, as MTIP’s active litigation caseload has grown from 1 to 8 cases. Successfully advancing these innocence cases is our top priority. Our legal director is responsible for overseeing cases and working with a network of pro bonocooperating counsel to take on this intensive stage of casework.
Second, we are maintaining the fine work of our Innocence Clinic. As we ramp up active litigation efforts, we have a steady demand for new case reviews in our University of Montana School of Law Innocence Clinic. Meeting our educational goals this year, we had thirteen law, paralegal, journalism, criminal justice and social work students contribute over 1,000 hours to manage and advance our caseload.
Finally, we are expanding fundraising efforts to ensure MTIP’s financial sustainability. We have made enormous strides in the last two years to diversify our funding base and increase our fundraising each year. Due to the loss of a major federal grant, sidetracked by the US government sequester, we are focused on doubling our efforts in 2014.
Board, staff, interns, and volunteers are working hard to strategically meet our goals, ensuring that 2014 will be our most successful year yet.
Thank you for being part of MTIP through your continued support.
Dan Weinberg, Board President and Founder