Photo of Tara Branine

Tara Branine

  • Hosted by DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Sponsored by Crowell & Moring Foundation
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • Issue area Domestic Violence, Family Law
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Tara (she/her/hers) will work at the intersection of domestic violence and gun violence by representing clients in Washington D.C. in Civil Protection Order, Extreme Risk Protection Order, and family law matters.

In 2019, the Council of the District of Columbia enacted legislation that created a new form of protection order aimed at gun violence: the Extreme Risk Protection Order. Like most “red flag” laws, this measure permits law enforcement to seek a restraining order against an individual who would be a danger to themselves or others if they possess or purchase firearms. However, these orders have been extremely underutilized, and fewer than 30 have ever been filed. This is compounded by the fact that there is also a massive shortage of services available for survivors in both Civil Protection Order and family law cases in Washington D.C. in general.

Fellowship Plans

Tara’s project will focus on representing survivors who have suffered gun violence or were threatened by gun violence. Her representation will focus on Civil Protection Order and Extreme Risk Protection Order cases; however, she will also provide representation in a limited number of family law cases where a child custody order or divorce decree would provide continued stability and violence prevention. Additionally, Tara will provide know-your-rights presentations and work with the DC Volunteer Lawyer’s Project’s community partners to educate the community about the availability of Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

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Host: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

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Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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Blair Pankratz

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Sponsor: Anonymous

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Kemi Mustapha

Host: Bay Area Legal Aid

Sponsor: Norflet Progress Fund