Permaculture Justice – The art of evolution by cocreating interbeing in perma-microcommunities

Valeria A. Gheorghiu is a restorative justice attorney, with a Master’s in Environmental Law and a Senior Staff Attorney at Albany Law School’s Community Economic Development Clinic of the Edward P. Sywer Justice Center.  Prior, she was an Associate Attorney at David Tykulsker & Associates where she conducted labor & employment and workers’ compensation litigation for five years with a side private practice (still active) as a Sustainable Economies Law Center Fellow in cooperative law.  She also worked with the Ramapough Lenape Munsee Nation from 2016 – 2019 after going to Standing Rock to serve as a legal observer for over two and a half years, as a pro-bono attorney defending water protector assembly and religious freedom on their sacred land, Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Site, in Mahwah, New Jersey as they organized and successfully stopped the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline.  Working closely with the tribal advisor, SD Smith and other National Lawyer Guild attorneys, she applied restorative justice as she helped with fundraising, building the legal team, and appeared on the various federal state and municipal appeals cases, including representing Chief Perry and a municipal summons case as lead counsel. 

Her previous cases running her own practice include advancing pagan rights and preventing religious land use legal abuse in the Matter of Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, Inc. v. McCoy et al. 975 N.Y.S.2d 251 (3d Dep’t 2013), aff’d, 24 N.Y.3d 1023 (2014) and representing Occupy New Paltz.  She also devised the climate necessity defense for the Wawayanda 6 defending civil disobedience of u-locking their necks to obstruct traffic against the development of the CPV Valley Energy Center and represented Occupy New Paltz. 

Additionally, when Valeria fell into foreign language document review due to temporary disability, she founded United Contract Attorneys drawing from her prior work as a global justice organizer and a workers’ rights attorney.  As Press Secretary, she exposed the neoliberal economics and social injustice of one sector of the disappearing middle class, most of whom were marginalized attorneys, as firms’ profits’ soared while wages for temporary contract attorneys plummeted to $25/hour, despite their being billed out at $404/hr. She went on strike with her fellow immigrant colleagues and by collective bargaining and mentorship they raised their wages by $15/hr across the eastern seaboard for foreign language document reviewers.

She has ten chickens, a dog and a cat, gardens and is also the host of the Visionary Communities podcast interviewing current land-based projects, available on Spotify.

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  • Mwende Hinojosa
    published this page in Legal Fellows 2022-04-27 14:57:39 -0700

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