MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Nicole Muller is an Associate Attorney with Birdsall Obear and Associates, LLC in Milwaukee. She has taken on the task of representing peaceful protestors who have received non-criminal citations in the city and she’s doing it pro bono.
“A lot of them are black, or other races other than white or caucasian,” she says. “They’re young, they don’t have the means and resources to hire private counsel, and they don’t have the financial resources to pay a fine.”
The firm is representing those who have received citations for breaking curfew, disorderly conduct, or ordinance violations.
“We’re representing people through trial on their municipal ordinance violations, so things that are not criminal offenses,” Nicole says. “We also are representing people who had received referrals to the District Attorney’s office and those clients have criminal referrals.”
She says clients understand if they are criminally charged, the firm won’t be able to represent them pro bono through the criminal stages but may be able to help them find a different attorney who can represent them pro bono. They also may qualify for the public defender’s office.
Nicole says she is also representing protestors who have given their information to law enforcement but have not yet received a citation.
Nicole is representing 12 to 15 protestors currently and she says the firm does not have a cap for how many it will take. Spectrum News 1 asked her how she confirms that her clients were protesting peacefully.
“We have a consultation with our potential clients and if they just got a breaking curfew violation, that’s all they’re being cited with,” she says. “If they punched and officer, or ran someone over with a car, they would not just have a curfew violation ticket and if we see those types of things, we stop and ask ‘what’s the scope of this?”
She says the firm is acting as not only pro bono representation, but a resource for people protesting.
“The firm is here as a resource for people who might have questions about ‘hey, I’m going protesting today, what are my rights?” Nicole says.
To contact the firm’s Milwaukee office, click here.