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Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need across a broad range of constitutional, civil rights and other public interest matters.

Pro Bono Client Wins Criminal Appeal

The Appellate Term for the First Department unanimously affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a criminal charge against a Paul, Weiss pro bono client. Our client was arrested for possessing a metal, extendable baton, and was charged under a section of New York Penal Law making it a per se criminal offense to possess certain weapons, including a "billy" club, a type of policeman's club. The charge was initially dismissed by the criminal court, which held that an extendable baton was not a "billy." The government appealed, and Paul, Weiss was retained as co-counsel for the Bronx Defenders to litigate the appeal. In a unanimous decision, the Appellate Term affirmed the dismissal of the charge. The appeals court held that the per se weapons prohibition must be read narrowly, that the term "billy" referred only to a heavy wooden stick, and that a metal, extendable baton did not fall within the definition.

The Paul, Weiss team consisted of litigation partner Audra Soloway and associates Paul Paterson (who argued the appeal) and Dan Sinnreich.

June 19, 2015

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