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Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need. Our program is all-encompassing, spanning the core issues facing our society.

New York Appellate Court Grants Pro Bono Client New Trial

Paul, Weiss secured a victory for a pro bono client convicted of burglary, attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon when the New York Appellate Division, First Department, ordered a new trial. In August 2015, our client, then represented by the Legal Aid Society, was convicted and sentenced to nine years in jail. Prior to trial, the district attorney’s office had repeatedly assured defense counsel that the alleged victim could not be located and therefore would not testify at trial. After voir dire, the assistant district attorney announced that the alleged victim had been located and would testify.  He testified the next day.

As joint appellate counsel with the Legal Aid Society, the firm argued, among other things, that defense counsel had framed her questioning of prospective jurors during voir dire relying on statements by the district attorney’s office that the alleged victim would not testify. It was therefore error, the firm contended, for the trial court to have refused defense counsel’s request to select a new jury. The First Department agreed and ordered a new trial.

Paul, Weiss litigation associate Nora Ahmed argued the appeal. The Paul, Weiss team also included associates Joy Lurinsky and Neil Gulyako. Litigation partner Walter Rieman supervised the matter.

February 20, 2018

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