Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Helps Settle Riverside County Juvenile Justice System Litigation

Firm’s Pro Bono Team Secures Ground-breaking Protection for Youth

July 25, 2019

Sheppard Mullin is pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in a year-long class action lawsuit brought against Riverside County concerning its unconstitutional juvenile probation program.  The suit was filed in July 2018 by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the ACLU Foundations of Southern California, Northern California, and San Diego and Imperial Counties; the National Center for Youth Law; and Sheppard Mullin. 

The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the County’s Youth Accountability Team (YAT), a juvenile probation program that subjected youth accused of only minor adolescent misbehaviors to onerous and intrusive probation terms--such as unannounced home searches and restrictions on who students could speak to--all without adequate due process protections.

The ground-breaking settlement provides that the County will no longer enroll youth in the program for minor non-criminal behavior.  It also provides robust protections for youth who are enrolled in the program, including the appointment of a defense lawyer upon referral to YAT or another diversion program.

“We are very pleased with this settlement,” said Sheppard Mullin associate Andrea Feathers.  “The youth of Riverside County now have more protection and support and we hope this becomes a model for other counties nationally.”

The Sheppard Mullin team, led by associate Andrea Feathers and partner Moe Keshavarzi, included associates Timothy Kim, David Berger, Cristina Salvato, Alexander Robinson and Samuel Duimovich. 

Click here to read the ACLU’s press release.