Brown Law Blog

Syed’s Final Appellate Filing

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….

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Syed Files Appellate Brief

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…

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Message to Non-Citizens with Prior Convictions

The election of Donald Trump will have sweeping consequences for everyone, but perhaps no group should be more concerned than non-citizens who have criminal records. Trump has already stated that he will target this group, and, as president, he now has the means to follow through on his promise. Many of these non-citizens are legal…

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Court Denies Syed’s Bail Motion

The Circuit Court for Baltimore City has denied Adnan Syed’s Motion for Release Pending Appeal. Judge Welch denied the Motion, in large part, because of the open status of the case in the appeals court. (The State is attempting to appeal Judge Welch’s Order vacating Syed’s conviction and granting a new trial; multiple applications for leave…

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New Filing: Syed’s Reply in Support of Release

Adnan Syed today filed a Reply in support of his Motion seeking pretrial release. Syed seeks pretrial release following the Circuit Court’s Order vacating his conviction and ordering a new trial. The State opposed Syed’s Motion in a filing last week, and this is Syed’s Reply to the arguments raised by the State. To read…

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Syed Files Motion for Bail

Adnan Syed today filed a Motion seeking to be released on bail while the State’s appeal is pending and while he awaits a new trial. The Motion was prepared by Brown & Nieto and Hogan Lovells, and was filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The full Motion is available here: Motion for Release Pending Appeal…

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Life Sentence Defeated in Federal Court

The Firm is happy to announce that today we defeated a life sentence in federal court. Eleven years ago, while represented by different counsel, D.E. was sentenced to life imprisonment for a non-violent drug offense. Because he had at least two prior drug convictions, he received a mandatory life sentence, without the possibility of parole….

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National & Local Lawyers File Amicus for Syed

Two prominent criminal defense organizations have moved for leave to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Adnan Syed, urging the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to deny the State’s appeal and push the case forward toward a new trial. The brief, drafted by Steven Klepper of Kramon & Graham in Baltimore, does not take a…

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Syed’s New Filings: Retry Case

Adnan Syed responded today to the State’s recent filings in which the State seeks (1) an appeal of Judge Welch’s order granting a new trial; and (2) a remand of the case back to the circuit court so the State can introduce the testimony of two impeachment witnesses. Syed’s filings urge the Court of Special Appeals to…

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Syed files Conditional Cross Appeal

Syed today filed his conditional application for leave to cross appeal. Essentially, we are asking the Court of Special Appeals that, if it hears the State’s appeal of Judge Welch’s Order, we also want to appeal. The state wants to appeal the cell tower issue, upon which the new trial was granted, and we would want to…

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Hogan Lovells to Join Syed Defense Team!

Brown & Nieto is happy to announce that Hogan Lovells will join the Adnan Syed defense team as pro bono co-counsel. Hogan Lovells is a fantastic international firm with great lawyers and deep resources. They are one of the best large firms in the country, and they have deep ties to Baltimore. They are also experienced in innocence…

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Reform on Hold?

In the past two years we have heard that Congress is on the brink of passing legislation that would reform our criminal justice system — by shifting away from the practice of warehousing drug offenders in prison, and moving in the direction of rehabilitation. This was one thing, it was reported, upon which Republicans and…

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Syed Files Post-Hearing Motion to Supplement Record

Petitioner Adnan Syed filed a post-hearing Motion today to supplement the post-conviction record with two letters that were sent to the Court. One letter was sent by the State; the other was sent by University of Maryland Law School professor Michael Millemann. Here is the filing, with letters attached, by link: FILING and embedded: https://cjbrownlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/FILING.pdf…

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Firm Wins Important Coram Nobis

Brown & Nieto won an important coram nobis proceeding this month that could take a decade off a client’s sentence in federal court. Leonard Shelley was facing a mandatory 15-year federal sentence as an “Armed Career Criminal.” This was in large part based on his prior convictions in state court – essentially a three-strikes sentencing…

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Sitting With Adnan

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…

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Adnan Syed Press Conference

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Justin Brown named “50 Most Influential Marylander”

C. Justin Brown was named as one of the the 50 most influential Marylanders for 2016. The winners were selected by the Maryland Daily Record editorial board. In the past year Mr. Brown has litigated some the state’s most important criminal matters, including an allegation of misconduct by the Maryland Transportation Authority K-9 unit; the Baltimore…

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Final (?) Scheduling Order for Syed

Here is the Court’s latest Scheduling Order with the new dates of Feb. 3, 4 & 5 for the Adnan Syed post-conviction hearing: Syed cheduling Order 01-15-16….

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Can Syed’s hearing be broadcast?

We have received many inquiries about whether Adnan Syed’s re-opened post-conviction hearing — currently scheduled for Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 — will be televised or broadcast in any form. Initially we were dismissive of the possibility. Now we’re not so sure. Maryland has a law that prohibits the broadcast of criminal proceedings. The statute,…

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Court Dates Set For Syed Hearing

The Baltimore City Circuit Court has issued a scheduling order setting the dates for Adnan Syed’s re-opened post-conviction proceedings. Here is the Order: Welch scheduling Order…

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