June 20, 2019
Yesterday the firm, co-counseling with other attorneys, won an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonough v. Smith. The firm’s client, Edward McDonough, was an elections official in Troy, New York, whom prosecutors charged with ballot tampering after fabricating incriminating evidence against him. The malfeasance of these officials was uncovered and McDonough was acquitted. He then sued the officials for violating his constitutional rights.
April 10, 2019
Firm principal Joel Rudin was quoted in a recent ProPublica article on the criminal justice reforms passed by the New York State Legislature in 2019. In a 2013 series, ProPublica had covered the cases of several wrongfully convicted individuals represented by the firm, including Jabbar Collins. This article highlighted that the firm had won a $13 million settlement for Collins from New York City and New York State for his wrongful conviction and incarceration.
You can read the article here.
January 29, 2019
Today, in an important decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reaffirmed that a city may be held liable for the unlawful policies and misconduct of its district attorney’s office. Bellamy v. City of New York, 914 F.3d 727 (2d Cir. 2019). A federal district court had granted summary judgment to the defendants, holding that the City of New York could not be held liable for the Queens District Attorney’s Office’s policies. The firm then came in on appeal, obtaining a decision holding that the City of New York was the final policymaking authority and thus could be sued under § 1983 for a wrongful conviction resulting from the policies or practices of the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Bellamy is also the first decision from a federal circuit court to recognize a civil cause of action for summation misconduct.
You can read the decision here. The firm remains co-counsel to Kareem Bellamy in the district court, where he continues to seek justice for the 14 years he spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit.