ACLU of Arizona Hires New Legal Director

Affiliate: ACLU of Arizona
February 6, 2007 12:00 am

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PHOENIX, AZ – The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today announced that it has hired Daniel Pochoda as its new Legal Director. Pochoda has extensive public interest litigation experience that includes race discrimination and voting rights cases beginning with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

“The ACLU is very fortunate to have someone of Dan’s talents and commitment to lead our legal program,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, ACLU of Arizona Executive Director. “He brings valuable experience and a strong devotion to basic rights for everyone.”

Pochoda comes to the ACLU after 10 years of private practice focusing on civil rights and racial discrimination matters. As Legal Director, he will be responsible for overseeing the ACLU of Arizona’s growing docket of cases focusing on a diverse range of civil liberties issues, including racial justice, voting rights, jail conditions, religious freedom, reproductive rights and immigrants’ rights. He also will coordinate the work of volunteer attorneys who donate their time to litigate on behalf of the ACLU.

A nationally recognized civil rights advocate, Pochoda is no stranger to the ACLU. He served as a cooperating attorney in the ACLU of Arizona’s historic racial profiling case challenging the discriminatory practice of race-based stops by Arizona Department of Public Safety employees, and handled the ACLU’s case successfully challenging discriminatory same-sex visitation policies in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

From 1990 through 1996, Pochoda served as Special Master for the U.S. District Court in three cases involving constitutional challenges to conditions of confinement in the Arizona prison system. He was also adjunct professor in 2001 at Arizona State University’s School of Justice and Social Inquiry.

Prior to relocating to Arizona in 2000, Pochoda served as an Associate Professor at the City University of New York School of Law from 1986 to 1995, and on the law faculties of Santa Clara and New York University. In addition, he taught constitutional law at CUNY’s Center for Urban Legal Studies from 1982 through 1985. He served as Special Counsel to the New York City Board of Correction and as a staff attorney for the New York City Legal Aid Society Prisoners’ Rights Project, arguing numerous cases at the trial and appellate levels, including before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I look forward to working with the organization that is in the forefront of the nationwide fight to safeguard the basic rights of all persons against governmental intrusion,” said Pochoda, who began work with the ACLU on February 5th.

Pochoda received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.

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