Hogan Lovells and Justin Brown client Adnan Syed granted new trial in Serial case

Baltimore 30 March 2018 – International law firm Hogan Lovells and Baltimore defense attorney Justin Brown announced today that the Maryland Court of Special Appeals has granted a new trial for their client, Adnan Syed.

Today’s decision upholds the June 2016 opinion by the Baltimore Circuit Court that Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of his former girlfriend should be vacated on the basis that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate or pursue a potential alibi defense. Syed has always maintained his innocence of the crime. His case gained international recognition in the 2014 podcast series “Serial” where independent journalist investigators examined his case and shed doubt on the evidence that led to Syed’s original conviction.

Hogan Lovells Pro Bono Partner T. Clark Weymouth said: “Today is yet another step in the long process towards vindicating Adnan Syed. The impact of significant errors made by his trial counsel has put Mr. Syed behind bars for more than fifteen years awaiting an opportunity to fully and capably issue a defense in a courtroom. With two esteemed courts having thoughtfully reviewed the evidence to come to the same conclusion that a new trial is needed, we hope the Attorney General will not pursue yet another appeal and give Mr. Syed a chance at justice.”

“We are thrilled with the Court of Special Appeals’ decision,” said Justin Brown, who has represented Syed for a decade. “This was a great team effort, and we look forward to continuing our fight to get Adnan out of prison as soon as possible.”

The defense of Mr. Syed is the latest addition to Hogan Lovells’ long list of pro bono representations of those who have been wrongly incarcerated. The firm’s past work has led to the release of Derek Tice, whose murder conviction was based on a coerced confession; Thomas Haynesworth, who served nearly 27 years in prison after being misidentified as a serial rapist; and Johnathan Montgomery, whose accuser fabricated a story of sexual assault. The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project recognized the firm with awards in 2014 and 2010, respectively, for its work on behalf of Montgomery and Tice. Hogan Lovells is also currently representing Anthony Gibson, whose murder conviction was a result of ineffective assistance of counsel and a violation of his due process rights, and Curtis Flowers, an innocent man on Mississippi’s death row who has been tried six times for the same crimes.

About Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells is a leading global legal practice providing business-oriented legal advice and high-quality service across its exceptional breadth of practices to clients around the world.

“Hogan Lovells” or the “firm” is an international legal practice that includes Hogan Lovells US LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP. For more information, see www.hoganlovells.com.

Brown Law 

For more information, see www.cjbrownlaw.com.

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