Skip to main content

About

The New Orleans office has expanded opportunities for the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center to affect civil rights and human rights through litigation to reform the criminal justice system. The New Orleans office now has the lead litigation responsibility in Jones v. Gusman, a federal lawsuit alleging pervasive violations of prisoners’ constitutional rights in the Orleans Parish Prison.

The office is located at 4400 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA 70119-6824.

To contact the office, call 504-620-2259 or send an email to admin@macarthurjustice.org

Who We Are

James W. Craig, Co-Director

James W. Craig, Co-Director, is a veteran capital defense lawyer, and he most recently was a Senior Capital Attorney with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC), a non-profit law office providing legal representation to people facing the death penalty in Louisiana and nearby states. From 2011 to 2013, his trial work at LCAC included direct representation of indigent defendants charged with first-degree murder and facing the imposition of the death sentence.

From 1995 to 2010, Craig was a partner in the Jackson, Miss., office of Phelps Dunbar LLP. Craig represented several defendants in death penalty cases and was lead counsel in civil challenges to Mississippi’s procedure for lethal injection and its capital post-conviction system. He also defended the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi when that tobacco cessation agency fought defunding by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

From 1989 to 1995, Craig was Executive Director of the Mississippi Capital Defense Resource Center, a non-profit law office that provided assistance to capital lawyers and represented defendants in capital trials, appeals, post-conviction proceedings and federal habeas corpus cases. He was a member of the short-lived Mississippi Public Defender Commission and is a Life Member of the Mississippi Public Defender Association.

Craig graduated first in his class at the Mississippi College School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Mississippi College Law Review. He later taught capital punishment law and other courses as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law. In addition to many professional recognitions of his skills as a litigator, author John Grisham acknowledged Craig for his assistance in the introductions to “The Chamber” and “The Appeal.” He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington.

Katie M. Schwartzmann, Co-Director

Katie M. Schwartzmann, Co-Director, served as Managing Director of the Louisiana office of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) from May 2011 to November 2013. She supervised a staff of six attorneys, four investigators and others focused on education reform, immigrant justice and prison reform.

She was the SPLC’s lead attorney on the case of Jones v. Gusman, which seeks to end the inhuman conditions suffered by prisoners at the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) in New Orleans. She was instrumental in negotiating a settlement of that lawsuit and an agreement by Orleans Parish Sheriff Martin N. Gusman to institute changes to ensure prisoner safety and adequate staffing the OPP. In November 2013, the lead litigation responsibility in Jones v. Gusman was moved to the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, and Schwartzmann continues to represent more than 2,000 prisoners during the implementation phase of the consent decree.

From August 2005 to May 2011, Schwartzmann was the Legal Director for the ACLU of Louisiana. She served as counsel on every ACLU of Louisiana case, including constitutional questions of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, discrimination, due process, unlawful search and seizure, police misconduct and cruel and unusual prison conditions. She began her legal career in 2003 as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.

Schwartzmann is a graduate of Tulane Law School in New Orleans where she graduated cum laude, received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in International Human Rights and was President of the Public Interest Law Foundation. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.


Eric A. Foley

Eric A. Foley is a staff attorney in the New Orleans office. Before joining RSMJC in January 2015, Foley was a staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) in New Orleans. During his three years at SLLS, Foley represented low-income clients in administrative hearings, trial court, and appellate court. His practice areas included evictions, disputes with the public housing authority, denials of Social Security benefits, and advocacy for the homeless. Before joining SLLS, Foley was a judicial clerk at the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 2009-2011.

Foley is a 2009 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was president of the student-run Guild Food Stamp Clinic and a student attorney in the Civil Practice and Criminal Defense clinics.  Foley graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in political science and history.


Emily M. Washington

Emily M. Washington joined the New Orleans office as a Staff Attorney in July 2014.

From 2012 to 2014, Washington was an attorney with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC), a non-profit law office in New Orleans, where she provided direct representation to indigent defendants facing the death penalty. She began at LCAC as an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow in 2011, and her work focused on reforming the use of forensic evidence in criminal proceedings in Louisiana.

Washington is a 2011 graduate of Yale Law School where her work was recognized with the LaRue Monson Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy. At Yale Law School, she represented clients in federal post-conviction cases while assisting the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization and the Capital Punishment Clinic.

Washington graduated from Brown University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and international relations.