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Pro Bono Client Wins Significant Victory in Fourth Amendment Case, Resulting in Reversal of Convictions

Paul, Weiss won a significant victory for a pro bono client when the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed his convictions.

In 2019, following a trial before the Circuit Court for Washington County, our client was convicted of drug and gun possession offenses, after police officers entered and searched his home over his repeated objections. At a suppression hearing, the trial court held that the officers’ search was justified under the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment, because our client’s uncle had said he was unwell and acting strangely.

On appeal, we argued that the community-caretaking exception could not justify the warrantless search of our client’s home over his objections. The Court of Special Appeals agreed with our arguments in full, holding that the community-caretaking exception did not apply and that there was no emergency justifying the search. The court thus reversed the judgment of convictions and the order of the trial court denying the motion to suppress.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation associate Zalman Rothschild, who argued the appeal. Associates Stacie Fahsel and Renata O’Donnell provided invaluable additional assistance. The team was supervised by litigation partner Geoffrey Chepiga.

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