Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S. Ct. 2466 (2015): In ruling for our pro bono client, the Supreme Court held that a pretrial detainee must show only that the force purposely or knowingly used against him was objectively unreasonable to prevail on an excessive force claim.
Jennings v. Stephens, 135 S. Ct. 793 (2015): In this capital case, the district court granted habeas relief to Sidley’s pro bono client, based on one of two allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. Thereafter, respondent appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which held that it lacked jurisdiction in the habeas context to consider the second basis for relief that our client raised below because he did not file a cross appeal. The Supreme Court reversed based on the rule that an appellee need not cross appeal where he is defending the judgment on alternative grounds. The case established that the requirements for filing a cross appeal in habeas proceedings are no stricter than those in direct appeals.
Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015): The Supreme Court found that our pro bono client’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when, after police completed a stop for a traffic infraction, they detained him to conduct a dog sniff, without probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that the vehicle contained contraband. The Court held that traffic stops have to be reasonably short, and unless there is reasonable suspicion of some other crime, officers can’t use the stop as a subterfuge for extraneous investigation.
Burrage v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 881 (2014): In ruling for our client, the Court held that, at least when the use of a drug the defendant distributed is not an independently sufficient cause of the victim’s death or serious bodily injury, a defendant cannot be liable for a penalty enhancement under the penalty enhancement provision of the Controlled Substances Act.
Lafler v. Cooper, 132 S. Ct. 1376 (2012): Sidley represented a Michigan defendant who rejected a favorable plea offer on the basis of admittedly erroneous advice from his attorney. The Court held that the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel extends to the consideration of plea offers, even if a defendant is convicted after a reliable trial.
Rodriguez v. Robbins, 804 F.3d 1060 (9th Cir. 2015): Sidley’s pro bono immigrant clients obtained another victory in this high-profile case that Sidley is handling with the ACLU and the Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Our clients challenged the U.S. government’s policy of imprisoning certain categories of lawful permanent residents and other immigrants for extended periods of time without a hearing. The Ninth Circuit, in a ringing denunciation of the policy, reaffirmed that the Attorney General does not have authority to detain immigrants indefinitely, and sustained in all significant respects the district court’s permanent injunction.
People v. Melongo, 6 N.E. 120 (Ill. 2014) and People v. Clark, 6 N.E.154 (Ill. 2014): The Illinois Supreme Court struck down Illinois’ Eavesdropping Statute as unconstitutional, affirming dismissal of criminal charges against two defendants charged with illegally recording their own conversations regarding matters of significant public concern. The Illinois statute was one of the most draconian eavesdropping or wiretapping laws in the United States.
Hooper v. Ryan, 729 F.3d 782 (7th Cir. 2013): The Seventh Circuit vacated the district court’s denial of our client’s habeas petition, and held that the Illinois Supreme Court had unreasonably applied Batson in finding no prima facie case of race discrimination where the prosecutor struck all five eligible African-Americans from the jury venire, thereby producing an all-white jury.
Cook v. Food and Drug Administration, 733 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2013): The D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in favor of our clients, defendants on death row, holding that the FDA’s decision to allow state correctional departments to import an unapproved new drug from an unregistered foreign source for use in lethal injection violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
Benjamin v. Dept. of Public Welfare, 701 F.3d 938 (3d Cir. 2012): Working with co- counsel from another firm, Sidley achieved an appellate victory that allows eight residents of Pennsylvania’s Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded (ICFs/MR) to intervene in a pending civil rights action challenging the State’s illegal segregation of individuals with disabilities.
Kaufman v. Shulman, 687 F.3d 71 (1st. Cir. 2012): The First Circuit adopted the position that Sidley’s client, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, had urged as amicus and overruled a United States Tax Court decision that had disqualified a tax deduction for the donation of a conservation easement on mortgaged property.
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