Solitary confinement has become a hot topic for debate nationwide, especially after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy spotlighted it as exacting “a terrible price” from inmates, physically and mentally, in a June 2015 opinion.

But when Weil, Gotshal & Manges took on a ­challenge to California’s solitary-confinement system in 2012, the issue “really wasn’t on the radar. It hadn’t hit the hearts and minds of the public,” said Anne Cappella, a Redwood Shores, California, partner at Weil.

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