MJC’s Supreme Court & Appellate Program fights for civil rights and criminal justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals, and state supreme courts across the country. The attorneys in the Program have achieved major victories on a wide array of issues, including police misconduct, criminal procedure and sentencing, prison and jail conditions, solitary confinement, wrongful death and wrongful convictions, and habeas corpus. We frequently partner with state and federal public defenders, private attorneys, and large law firms, offering our extensive experience in litigating high-stakes criminal justice issues before the Supreme Court and other appellate courts.
The Program is staffed by an accomplished group of attorneys, who have prior experience in the nation’s leading Supreme Court practices and civil rights organizations, and hold clinical faculty appointments at Harvard and Northwestern law schools. Collectively, our attorneys have argued multiple appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, litigated in all of the federal circuits, and argued in many state supreme courts.
We are also full-time civil rights and criminal justice lawyers, with experience litigating at the trial level. We bring to the work an extensive knowledge of civil rights and criminal law and a deep concern for the rights of our clients. Our experience has shown that collaboration and mastery of the record wins cases, so we are committed in every case to close collaboration with the lawyers with whom we partner.
Garza v. Idaho (U.S. Supreme Court)
Access to Courts
This case concerns one of the clearest instances in which a criminal defendant was abandoned by his defense attorney and deprived of his right to appellate review. After pleading guilty, Gilberto Garza, Jr., instructed his attorney to file an appeal, but his attorney refused to do so. As a result, Mr. Garza’s attorney deprived him...
McCoy v. Alamu
Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Prince McCoy is an asthmatic prisoner in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On December 28, 2016, while McCoy was languishing in solitary confinement, a correctional officer viciously attacked him with a can of pepper spray, a substance so dangerous that it is banned for use in war. Why did Officer Alamu...
Williams v. Louisiana (U.S. Supreme Court)
Corey Williams was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder as an intellectually disabled 16-year old child, and spent 20 years in Louisiana prison for a crime that he did not commit. We represented Mr. Williams in a petition for certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court and obtained his immediate release from prison through a settlement with the State of Louisiana.
David M. ShapiroDirector, Supreme Court and Appellate Program Chicago, Illinois Read more
Amir AliDirector, Washington, D.C. Office Washington, D.C. Read more
Daniel M. GreenfieldSupreme Court & Appellate Counsel Chicago, Illinois Read more
Devi M. RaoSupreme Court & Appellate Counsel Washington, D.C. Read more
Easha AnandSupreme Court & Appellate Counsel Washington, D.C. Read more
Megha RamArthur Liman Fellow Washington, D.C. Read more
Brad ZukermanUCOP Public Service Legal Fellow Washington, D.C. Read more
Elyssa SpitzerPro Bono Fellow Washington, D.C. Read more
Damilola ArowolajuSecondee Read more
Perry CaoSecondee Washington, D.C. Read more
Emily ClarkOperations Manager & Appellate Research Specialist Washington, D.C. Read more
Earl LinAppellate Paralegal Washington, D.C. Read more
Jordan FariaAppellate Paralegal Washington, D.C. Read more
The Program’s Advisory Board is made up of leaders in Supreme Court & appellate practice, who support and frequently partner with MJC attorneys in appeals. Collectively, board members have clerked for three Supreme Court justices, six federal appellate judges, and three district court judges. Board members practice in several of the nation’s top law firms, and have substantial and diverse experience litigating high-stakes appeals. Learn more about our Advisory Board members here.
In the News
Landmark Rulings Show ‘Untapped Potential’ of State Courts To Advance Civil RightsThe Appeal March 17, 2021
Lower courts take notice: The Supreme Court is rethinking qualified immunityUSA Today March 2, 2021
A Prison Guard Who Pepper-Sprayed an Inmate Without Provocation Got Qualified Immunity. SCOTUS Disagreed.Reason February 23, 2021
Justices Asked to Settle Split on Police Civil Rights SuitsBloomberg Law February 5, 2021