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 five 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...
Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach
Rights of Protesters
In Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, the MacArthur Justice Center stood up for the rights of protesters in an amicus brief, showing that the mere existence of probably cause does not justify an arrest in retaliation for speech. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, holding 8-1 that at least in some circumstances, probable cause does not excuse a retaliatory arrest.
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 AliSupreme Court and Appellate Counsel Washington D.C. Read more
Tony BalkissoonAppellate Staff Attorney Washington D.C. Read more
Daniel M. GreenfieldSolitary Confinement Litigation Chicago, Illinois Read more
Emily ClarkOperations Manager & Appellate Research Specialist Washington D.C. Read more
Earl LinAppellate Paralegal Washington D.C. Read more
Supreme Court in transition: Conservatives ascendant but Roberts, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh prove unpredictableUSA Today June 28, 2019
Split High Court Upholds Post-Plea Appeal RightsLaw360 April 10, 2019
Conservatives’ takeover of Supreme Court stalled by John Roberts-Brett Kavanaugh bromanceUSA Today April 10, 2019
Supreme Court Rules for Death Row Inmate With DementiaNew York Times February 27, 2019