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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 Team Achieves Important
Victory in Long-Running Habeas Case

A Second Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed the district court's decision that had dismissed, as procedurally barred, our client's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petition asserted that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support our client's conviction for depraved indifference murder. The Second Circuit panel held that because there was a fundamental shift in New York's interpretation of its depraved indifference murder statute between the time of our client's trial in 2001 and the time his conviction became final in 2005, the legal basis for a sufficiency challenge was not reasonably available to counsel at the time of trial, establishing "cause" for the failure to object. 

This marks the first time any court, state or federal, has expressed a willingness to hear our client's challenge to his conviction on the merits. Having dispensed with the issue of procedural default, the panel certified two questions arising under New York state law to the New York Court of Appeals in order to determine the merits of the claim. 

Paul, Weiss has represented this client since 2006. The team handling the Second Circuit appeal included litigation partner Jacqueline Rubin, who argued before the Second Circuit.

August 31, 2012

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