Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 5

YOUR VOICE

Washington Lawyer welcomes your letters. Submissions should
be directed to Washington Lawyer, District of Columbia Bar,
901 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. Submissions are also
accepted by email at editorial@dcbar.org. Letters may be edited
for clarity and space.

landlords have tried to bar them from these activities, but after being
shown this law, the agents backed off.
Unlike many other feel-good laws, the act has teeth, subjecting a
violating owner or agent not only to injunctions, but also to substantial
civil penalties, damages, suspension or revocation of business licenses
or registrations (accompanied by the inability to raise rents during any
period of suspension), and attorney's fees. As one of the lawyers who
represented a tenant association that brought what I believe was the first
case under the act, I was a beneficiary of this last provision.
Another result of Graham's leadership was the Council's creation of the
Office of the Tenant Advocate. Any lawyer representing tenants pro bono,
low bono, or otherwise, or, indeed, any tenant, can seek assistance from
that office. Chief Tenant Advocate Johanna Shreve and her staff will gladly
provide help.
I am hopeful that other lawyers, upon reading the article on Biles, will
be similarly inspired to take up the tenant rights fight.
Jonathan Strong
Washington, D.C.

Patrice Gilbert Photography

MORE PRAISE FOR RETURN
OF 'LEGAL SPECTATOR'
Thanks for reprinting Jacob Stein's
columns from the past. Even though
I may have read them years ago, they
still bring a smile for their charm, wit,
and intelligence.

ON LAWS THAT BUILT UP TENANT RIGHTS
As a retired lawyer who has been active in the D.C. tenant rights arena,
I was intrigued by the article on retired Arnold & Porter lawyer Blake Biles
("Blake Biles: Fighting on the Side of Tenants," November/December 2019).
It was heartening to read of his successful battles on behalf of tenants,
especially as he had his firm's support.
In discussing Arnold & Porter's representation of the Museum Square
Tenants Association, the author writes, "Biles and his team explored
tenants' rights to use common spaces in the building [for organizing
purposes] . . . ." Presumably, they came across the Right of Tenants to
Organize Act (D.C. Code § 42-3505.06), which, in paragraph (d)(5), explicitly
bars a landlord or its agents from interfering with a tenant organization's
use of common spaces for organizing purposes at reasonable times.
Under the leadership of the late Jim Graham, in 2006 the Council of the
District of Columbia enacted the act, which I had drafted. My model was
24 C.F.R. Part 245, Subpart B, a regulation I helped draft while working at
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of
General Counsel during the Clinton administration.
The act also provides for other tenant organization rights, such as the
right to distribute literature in common areas and to place it at or under
tenants' doors. Several tenant organizers have told me that agents of

Ron Alper
Columbia, Maryland
I have been remiss in expressing what I'm sure the majority of your
readers also feel: our thanks for bringing back Jake Stein's column to
Washington Lawyer. As soon as it arrives, I turn to the inside back page
for his timeless insights, humor, and wisdom.
The November/December 2019 column, however, raises a question I had.
Jake included a quote from Marcus Aurelius that he notes as translated
from Latin. The Roman emperor, however, wrote his Meditations in Greek.
While no doubt there were Latin translations from the earliest days, I am
puzzled as to why Jake would not have cited the Greek version. Perhaps
Jake read Latin but not Greek?
In 2018 Meditations was in the news when it was reported that former
Secretary of Defense General James Mattis had a penchant for carrying
a copy with him into battle.
David Cosson
Washington Grove, Maryland
MARCH/APRIL 2020

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WASHINGTON LAWYER

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Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
Women of Impact feature
The Race to End Roe feature
Solar Power Access Feature
Taking the Stand
On Further Review
Global & Domestic Outlook
Member Spotlight – Joesphine Wang
Member Spotlight - Fatemah Albader
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Pro Bono Effect
Portraits of Suffrage's Overlooked Heroes
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Women of Impact feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 12
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 18
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - The Race to End Roe feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Solar Power Access Feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 32
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Member Spotlight – Joesphine Wang
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Member Spotlight - Fatemah Albader
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 44
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Portraits of Suffrage's Overlooked Heroes
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 52
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover4
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