Famed New York lawyer Joseph Tacopina has represented clients in a number of significant cases, including both civil and criminal matters. One of his most notable civil cases involved a young girl of Indian descent in Brooklyn who wanted to enroll at the elite Mark Twain School on Coney Island. Although she outperformed other Caucasian students who were admitted, she was barred due to racial quotas imposed at the school.
Joe Tacopina agreed to represent the girl and her family on the heels of a Supreme Court decisions that declared that race may not be used to determine which public schools a child can attend. At the time of the ruling, the response from Mark Twain School seemed unclear even if the Supreme Court effectively called quotas unconstitutional. Only one other school in New York has used such a quota system.
As the family’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina stated that he would pursue legal action if the school continued to refuse the girl entry. Others have criticized the school’s quota system on grounds beyond the Supreme Court ruling, stating that requiring 60 percent of the population to be white fails to represent changing demographics in New York, where a majority of the students are either of African American or Latin descent.