231 E. Baltimore Street
Suite 1102
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: 410-244-5444
FAX: 410-934-3208

Our Story

Justin Brown and Chris Nieto first considered joining their law practices after they represented co-defendants in a complex federal indictment. Both of their clients walked out of the courtroom without jail time — while every other defendant was sent to prison. From that moment on, a vision was born. Today, Brown & Nieto provides aggressive, top-shelf legal representation for important legal matters at all levels.

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“Mr. Brown saved my life. I owe him everything.”

B.P. (former client),

“We owe C. Justin Brown such a debt of gratitude and there is nothing I can write… that will do justice to how my family and I feel about him and the job he did in representing my brother in a recent criminal defense case.”

J.N. (former client),

“Christopher Nieto is extremely good at what he does and offers an excellent professional relationship with his clients by making them feel at ease even in the most dire situations. He rose high above my expectations…”

B.P. (former client),

“I highly recommend Mr. Nieto . He put in the hard work it takes to win. He really see you as a person not just another client… He keeps you well informed and explains everything clearly and listens.

P.W. (former client),

Recent blog posts

Sitting With Adnan

February 13, 2016
I recently spent the better part of five days sitting next to Adnan Syed. I had known him for about seven years, but this was the most time we had ever spent together. He was shackled in a four-point restraint so he could barely move. It must have been very uncomfortable. If it had been me, my legs and back would have cramped. Adnan insisted he was fine, and in the course of five days he never complained. At one point I asked him if he wanted the restraints off. He said no. I took his word for it and understood that he did not want to make a fuss. A day later my partner asked the same question, got the same answer. My partner did not understand. I told him this is Adnan. His guards liked him. I could tell. You cannot help but like him – and the guards are no different than you or I. Respect is met with respect. Maybe this is something he learned over time, starting when he was stolen from his home in the middle of the night. Maybe this is something that he was born with. When the alibi witness took the stand, and he heard the truth in her voice, his eyes welled up. I did not need to ask him why. This was something he had waited 17 years to hear. A few times he looked back to find his family and friends, most importantly, his mother. He did so infrequently. This part was hard for him, I am sure. But the court has rules; you’re not supposed to look back. There were some difficult times during the hearing. Things were said that we both knew to be untrue. This was expected. These were moments that put extraordinary pressure on me. I had to stand up and speak for this man, to explain that is was all wrong. There were also some wonderful moments: when truth was revealed from an unexpected source; when deceit was exposed for what it was; when useless became useful. A couple times, as hope became palpable in the courtroom, I caught Adnan smiling. We chatted during the breaks. He asked about my wife and kids. They are people he has never met. I could not help but imagine what it will be like some day when he visits my home.

New Expungement Laws Coming to Maryland

September 27, 2017
Important changes are coming to Maryland’s expungement law. Starting October 1, 2017, more people than ever before will have the ability to have their criminal records expunged – in many cases, for free. In the criminal context, expungement refers to the removal of certain criminal records from public inspection – meaning that the general public will not have access to those records. Until recently, only charges that did not result in a conviction were eligible for expungement, leaving a permanent stain on the records of those people who had been found guilty of (or pleaded guilty to) a crime. Recent changes in the law expanded the privilege of expungement to those who had been convicted of certain nuisance crimes, such as loitering or panhandling. While this was a step in the right direction, it still left the majority of offenders without any means of clearing their records and thus moving on with their lives. However, new changes in Maryland law are making expungement even more accessible to people charged with or convicted of a crime. Starting October 1, 2017, more than 100 criminal misdemeanors will be eligible for expungement, including certain types of theft and even second-degree assault. This means that people convicted of one of these misdemeanors may be able to have that conviction expunged after the applicable waiting period (assuming they meet other criteria for expungement). In addition, under the new law, there will be no filing fee for expunging criminal records in cases that resulted in an acquittal, dismissal, probation before judgment (PBJ), nolle prosequi, stet, or not criminally responsible disposition. Only those wishing to expunge a conviction will have to pay a small filing fee. This is great news, because it will give more people the ability to clean their records. Expungement is critical for those who have made some mistakes and are now trying to move on with their lives. Criminal convictions often stand in the way of getting a job or furthering one’s education, making it difficult to get back on track after having been convicted of a crime. These changes in Maryland’s expungement law will make it easier for people to get a fresh start. –Lylian Romero

Firm Fights to Clear Name of Wrongly Convicted

September 15, 2017
Brown & Nieto this week filed a federal habeas petition on behalf of Christopher Jones, who was falsely convicted in 2015 by allegedly corrupt Baltimore City Police officer Daniel Hersl. Jones has maintained his innocence since he was first arrested in Baltimore City and charged with drugs and a gun. According to Jones, Officer Hersl planted the evidence against him, and other officers wrote up a false police report. Rather than risk a very long federal prison sentence, Jones did what most people would do under the circumstances: he cut his losses and took a plea deal. As a result, he spent more than three years in prison. Despite the plea, Jones maintained his innocence from the time when he was first arrested. He told multiple lawyers he was innocent, and he even proclaimed his innocence in a letter to the Federal Judge presiding over his case. As is often the case in situations like this, his lawyers were powerless to help because they had no way of proving the evidence had been planted and the officers were lying. All of that changed earlier this year when federal Grand Jury issued a massive indictment against several Baltimore City police officers, accusing them of widespread corruption, extortion, robbery and racketeering. One of the officers charged in the indictment: Daniel Hersl. With the knowledge that the federal government is prosecuting Hersl for corruption, Jones is attempting to get back into court to prove his innocence. His filing is a motion to vacate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Government has not yet responded to the filing. The full filing can be read HERE.

Syed’s Final Appellate Filing

May 18, 2017
Adnan Syed today filed his final written brief leading up to the oral arguments scheduled for June 8 before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Read the filing here: REPLY BRIEF The oral arguments are open to the public, although seating may be limited.

Syed Files Appellate Brief

March 29, 2017
Adnan Syed today filed his “Brief of Appellee/Cross-Appellant” with the Court of Special Appeals. To recap, on June 30, 2016, the Baltimore City Circuit Court vacated Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial. The Baltimore City Circuit Court found that Syed’s trial counsel had been constitutionally ineffective, in violation of the Sixth Amendment, at Syed’s original trial in 2000. The State is appealing the Circuit Court’s ruling to the Court of Special Appeals. The State filed its opening brief Feb. 27, 2017. This is Syed’s response. The brief was a collaborative effort between Brown & Nieto and Hogan Lovells. You can read the brief HERE