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1 Table of Contents A Message From the Managing Partner 4 Overview 5 Civil and Public Rights 8 School Desegregation 8 Civil Rights for Native Americans 9 Affirmative Action 10 Special Education 10 Rights for the Disabled 11 American Liver Foundation 12 Disability Settlement 12 Conceal and Carry Law 12 Harassment Order 13 Collective Bargaining 13 Arbitration 13 Washington State Bar Association 15 Civil Rights for the Accused and Incarcerated 17 Death Penalty 17 Innocence Project 18 State Public Defender Program 19 Federal Public Defender Program 19 Prisoner s Rights 19 Use of Excessive Force 20 Criminal Appeals 20 1

2 Table of Contents Community Outreach 22 Guardian Ad Litem 22 Legal Aid Society of Polk County, Iowa 22 The Fremont Legal Clinic 22 Neighborhood Legal Clinic 22 Brian Coyle Community Center Legal Clinic 22 Legal Access Point 23 Mark Eastwood Legal Clinic for Teen Parents 23 Family Law and Marital Dissolutions: 24 Orders of Protection 24 Child Custody, Probate & Criminal Representation 24 Child Support Representation 24 Housing Law 26 Mold Case 26 Tenants Union 26 Housing Law Discrimination Project 26 Hennepin County Housing Court 27 Project for Pride in Living 27 Human Rights 28 Uganda Land Act 28 The Center for Justice and Accountability 28 Immigration 29 ABA Immigration Research Project 29 Political Asylum 30 2

3 Table of Contents Nonprofits 32 Ballet of the Dolls, Inc. 32 Fingersteps 32 Trinity First School Foundation 33 Teton Valley Ranch Camp 33 Mount St. Vincent Foundation 33 Sino-American Genomics Foundation 34 Environmental Education Foundation 34 GALA Hispanic Theatre 35 Greater Des Moines Partnership 35 Specialized Projects 36 MacPhail Center for Music 36 Enhancing Pro Bono to Nonprofits and Microenterprises 36 Violence Against Women 36 Operation Sail 37 Awards and Recognition 38 Attorneys With More Than 50 Hours of Pro Bono in Pro Bono Coordinators and Staff 44 Dorsey & Whitney LLP Global Offices 46 3

4 Message from the Managing Partner Providing quality legal services to those in need has been a longstanding tradition at Dorsey & Whitney. Pro bono is a large part of the firm s culture and 2003 was no exception. From our offices around the world, our lawyers and staff used their expertise to help the disadvantaged as well as to improve the communities in which we live and work. I am very proud that we have once again met our goal of providing more than three percent of our hours in legal services to those who may otherwise not have access to justice. Dorsey was an original signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge in We have met the Challenge each and every year since making that commitment. I am always impressed by this accomplishment, not only the commitment of our lawyers, but for the many paralegals, secretaries and other support staff who contribute their time and talents. As a firm, we encourage our lawyers to make pro bono a regular part of their practice. Rather than taking away from billable work, we find our lawyers and staff more energized and enthusiastic in the practice of law. They re proud of the work that we are doing in our communities, and have enhanced their skills with pro bono experience. Dorsey invites its attorneys to pursue their passions and interests through pro bono work. I invite you to read through the following report and see a sampling of our pro bono work in

5 Overview For the tenth consecutive year, the firm has met the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge. The firm has met the Challenge of contributing more than three percent of its billable hours to providing quality legal services to individuals and organizations in our communities who are unable to pay for legal representation. More than 480 of our attorneys, along with paralegals and other support staff spent in excess of 42,300 hours in helping people get access to justice. Dorsey was honored to receive the National Law Journal s 2003 Pro Bono Award to large firms for our long time commitment to pro bono service, and, in particular, the ABA Immigration Study. The Study was the work of a large team across nearly all offices and practice groups and is a harbinger of the type of large projects we will look to become involved with. You can review the article in the January 5, 2004 issue of the National Law Journal. The American Immigration Lawyers Association ( AILA ) will present its 2004 Pro Bono Award to Dorsey & Whitney at its June 12, 2004 award ceremony in Philadelphia. The award is given to an individual or entity for promoting the highest goals of professional responsibility through exemplary efforts in support of pro bono representation of indigent aliens. Dorsey & Whitney is receiving the award for two recent immigration pro bono projects: the report to the American Bar Association concerning the Board of Immigration Appeals and work on the successful class action lawsuit (Ngwanyia v. Ashcroft) brought on behalf of 150,000 asylees. The variety and scope of projects and cases within our pro bono program is so great that it is impossible to describe each of them in this report. This annual report is a snapshot of some of the projects that the firm has been involved in during If you would like to see more of the work Dorsey has been doing, take a look at our monthly newsletter, The Pro Bono Bulletin at: OUR CORE VALUES Excellence We are committed to excellence and integrity in serving our clients and in providing leadership to our profession. Unity We have offices in many locations, but we always work as one firm. Professionalism We are determined to attract, develop and retain exceptional people, and to treat our clients and each other with courtesy and respect. Community We are resolved to nurturing a diverse and cooperative workplace that values balance between personal and professional life and promotes community service and leadership. Investment We are dedicated to obtaining challenging and financially rewarding legal work, thereby investing in and ensuring our future. 5

6 Overview (Cont.) 6

7 Overview (Cont.) 7

8 Civil and Public Rights THOMASVILLE TEAM: Theresa Bevilacqua Brent Bostrom Kristina Carlson Gina Cessaretti Andrew Cosgrove Paul Dieseth - Team Leader Jessica Dvorak Dean Eyler Randall Frykberg Gabrielle Mead Charles Moore Paul Robbennolt Eric Ruzicka Sara Stenberg-Miller Scott Stevens Heather Toft School Desegregation Our lawyers concluded a trial in NAACP v. City of Thomasville School District. The firm represented the NAACP and nine African American parents designated as representatives of a class of all African American parents whose children are enrolled in Thomasville city schools. The defendant was the City of Thomasville School District. During the trial, we presented evidence of the District s failure to disestablish the dual system of education in the Thomasville city schools and its purposeful perpetuation of policies and practices that unlawfully segregate African American children. Our co-counsel was The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Court wanted to complete the trial in the allotted three weeks, and thus began each day at 8:30 a.m., took few breaks, and required us to appear for evening sessions. The parties presented a total of 38 witnesses and introduced over 360 exhibits into evidence. Plaintiffs alone called eighteen lay witnesses and nine experts, introduced 287 exhibits and offered into evidence excerpts from 16 depositions. Plaintiffs created an extensive record of a long history of unequal treatment of African Americans in the Thomasville schools. Our case focused on the segregatory assignment of children to elementary schools, the provision of unequal resources and facilities to African American students, the assignment of African American students to classes with lesser academic content and lower level curricula, the unequal application of discipline, and the unequal assignment of children to special education classes. Because it was a Court trial, the judge took the matter under advisement. After the transcript was prepared, the parties drafted and submitted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. We thoroughly reviewed the record and provided the Court with over 800 separate proposed findings of fact supporting a plaintiffs verdict that were based upon the testimony and exhibits introduced at trial. At the end of December, following the submission of the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, the parties filed final post-trial briefs making their final arguments in the case. 8

9 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) Civil Rights for Native Americans Dorsey serves as pro bono general counsel to the National Tribal Environmental Council, a not-for-profit national organization with a current membership of nearly 200 tribal governments. NTEC provides technical support and advocacy on many environmental issues that affect tribal governments. One of the principal projects we assisted the organization with this year was a safe drinking water program for extremely remote tribes. We helped create the legal structure that allowed for training and certification for water system operators for tribes in the remotest areas of Nevada, Utah, California and South Dakota. We also assisted the organization in working with the federal government to secure additional funding to expand the program to Alaska, North Dakota, New Mexico and Wisconsin. We assisted Council of Energy Resources Tribes ( CERT ) in the analysis of various legislative proposals for the reform of the management of tribal and individual Indian trust funds by the United States Department of the Interior and the settlement of claims by Tribes and individual Native Americans for the past mismanagement of the trust funds. We also assisted in the development of new legislation to address these issues. Dorsey represented several American Indians in a matter involving discrimination against indigenous people. One of our clients, a Pine Ridge Reservation resident, was taken to a local hospital emergency room after suffering a severe asthma attack. Our client s wife was improperly forced to leave the emergency room where her husband was being treated when a staffer called the police to have her removed. Later several other residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation were mistreated when they attempted to visit our client. The couple, and those who visited our client, sent a letter of protest to the hospital alleging actions by the hospital and staff were racially motivated, seeking a formal apology and asking for disciplinary action against those involved. The couple received letters of apology from the hospital administrator and the hospital s parent organization. CIVIL AND PUBLIC RIGHTS TEAM LIST: Stewart Aaron Sara Ackermann Gina Allery Philip Baker-Shenk Kevin Bedell Theresa Bevilacqua Joelle Blomquist Brent Bostrom Timothy Branson Kristina Carlson Gina Cesaretti Jay Cook Andrew Cosgrove Jennifer Dellmuth Paul Dieseth Nelson Dong Bradley Downes Michael Drysdale Skip Durocher Jessica Dvorak Eric Eberhard David Eldred Dean Eyler Randall Frykberg Roy Ginsburg Steven Hall Joseph Hammell Marisa Hesse Hannah Hojeberg Kristin Holland Thomas Jancik Mark Jarboe Jeffrey Jarvi Michael Jurgens Christopher Karns Robert Kukuljan 9

10 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) Michael Lindsay Jessica Linehan Roger Magnuson Paven Malhotra Gabrielle Mead Rebecca Molloy Charles Moore Aldo Noto Andrew Olejnik James Parravani Lauren Rasmus Paul Robbennolt Edward Roybal Eric Ruzicka Samira Sarbakhsh Joseph Shumofsky Scott Sinor Eric Sjoding Gwynne Skinner Lynnette Slater John Smith Sara Stenberg-Miller Scott Stevens Mary Streitz Mark Sullivan Christine Swanick Heather Toft John Treptow Maarten Vermaat Michael Wahoske Neil Weinberg Steven Wells William Wernz Colin Wicker Perry Wilson Robin Wolpert Affirmative Action New York and Minneapolis attorneys worked together to draft an amicus brief on behalf of the American Jewish Committee in a matter, which was heard by the United States Supreme Court. The decision of the Court was ultimately in favor of our client (we had supported the law school program which was upheld but the undergraduate program was assigned a specific quota, which our client did not support). Below is an excerpt from an circulated by the AJC regarding this issue. NEW YORK, June 23, 2003 The American Jewish Committee today applauded the United States Supreme Court s upholding affirmative action principles used for admissions to the University of Michigan. The gates of opportunity remain open for all students, Harold Tanner, president of the American Jewish Committee, said. There is a compelling need for diversity in higher education. Today s court decision ensures that student bodies at American universities remain integrated and diverse. AJC filed an amicus brief in support of the University of Michigan, which considers race among a variety of other factors in admissions to its law school and undergraduate college. The cases, Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, mark the first time in 25 years that the High Court has considered the constitutionality of affirmative action in the context of higher education. While the Court rejected the admissions program of the undergraduate school, which assigned a specific number of points based upon an applicant s race, it affirmed Justice Powell s rationale enunciated in Bakke that the consideration of race within an individualized assessment of candidates is constitutional. Special Education Seattle attorneys represented a parent in her appeal before the Ninth Circuit, regarding her attempt to secure appropriate special education services for her Downs Syndrome child under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The case stems from an appeal of two administrative hearings to determine whether Vashon Island School District s proposed placement and subsequent evaluation of the child were proper under the law. On behalf of the parent and child, we argued that the school district failed to rebut the presumption that children with disabilities be taught with their normally-developing peers to the greatest extent possible. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court. 10

11 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) Rights for the Disabled Our Anchorage attorneys petitioned the Court for an appointment of a conservator to manage our client s finances. She suffered from a rare neurological condition that affected her sight and balance. She also had Bipolar Disorder I and personality disorder (borderline traits). The Office of Public Advocacy (OPA), a state agency, was appointed her conservator. While ostensibly under OPA s protection for seven and a half years, our client cycled in and out of jail, psychiatric hospitals and drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. She was raped, beaten and involved in physically abusive relationships. On numerous occasions she was homeless and destitute and often resorted to prostitution to get money for food and shelter. All of this was known to OPA at the time it was happening. Our client sued OPA claiming that: 1) it had intentionally withheld money for her food, shelter and clothing; 2) the withholding of funds placed her life in jeopardy; and 3) OPA disregarded her mental illnesses and her homelessness and failed to take steps to protect her health and safety. OPA moved to dismiss the lawsuit claiming absolute quasi-judicial immunity. The Superior Court granted the motion. We then began representing our client and appealed the Superior Court s decision to the Alaska Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed and held that courtappointed conservators are not shielded by absolute quasi-judicial immunity from a ward s action alleging intentional and negligent withholding of funds. After the action was remanded to Superior Court, cross motions for summary judgment were filed. Our client alleged that OPA owed her a duty to either: 1) upgrade her conservatorship to a guardianship so that OPA had the power to make decisions and to take steps to break the cycle of jail/institutions/homelessness; or 2) take some affirmative steps to protect her health and safety, such as reporting her condition to Adult Protective Services, when she demonstrated an inability to take care of herself. OPA contended that its duties to her were limited to simply managing her money and that it did not owe her any other affirmative duties. The Superior Court granted OPA s motion and denied our client s motion. The case is now, once again, on appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court. 11

12 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) American Liver Foundation In New York, a person died of liver disease after a failed transplant. His will left his residuary estate to our client, the American Liver Foundation, and to Cancer Research, comprised primarily of two residential buildings in Brooklyn having a value of approximately $950,000. This gift has been contested in Surrogate s Court by the mother and sisters of the decedent. We have been actively involved in the will contest in behalf of ALF. A compromise has been worked out. There have been complications with the settlement arising out of property in Italy, as well as with sale of the Brooklyn property and we remain involved in these issues. Disability Settlement Dorsey assisted a young nordic skier who was in a serious car accident. At first, the injuries appeared minor and temporary, but when it became clear they were more serious, Dorsey offered to assist in dealing with the boy s insurer. Dorsey negotiated a substantial settlement with the insurer. Like many monetary settlements, the remedy was inadequate, but it did enable him to continue skiing and coach of some of America s best young skiing prospects. Conceal and Carry Law A team of Dorsey attorneys have been working in a cooperative, joint pro bono effort with two other Twin Cities law firms to represent five prominent Twin Cities community service organizations in challenging Minnesota s Conceal and Carry law (The Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act of 2003) passed by the Minnesota legislature last year in an effort to overturn the legislation because it violates the Minnesota and U. S. Constitutions. We filed a six-count complaint asserting that the Conceal and Carry law violates the Constitutional rights of these five community organizations and similarly situated persons because it impermissibly compels their speech, in violation of their free speech rights under the Minnesota and U. S. Constitutions; it takes away their property rights without due process by forcing them to allow tenants and their guest to bring guns on the property and any person with a permit to have guns in their parking lots; it violates the requirement of the Minnesota Constitution that a law deal with only one subject because it was appended at the last minute to an unrelated, technical Department of Natural Resources bill, and it violates the Minnesota Constitution by denying them a remedy in court when their property and contract rights have been violated. 12

13 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) Harassment Order Attorneys in our Minneapolis office represented a man concerning a domesticrelated harassment order. Our client broke up with his girlfriend. The girlfriend took the break up badly and obtained a harassment order that prohibited our client from contacting her. Later, the girlfriend moved the court to amend the order now prohibiting our client from participating in social activities such as attending clubs where they both belonged, and seeking to extend the order for another year. Our client had made no contact with her the motion was based on the fact that they were in proximity to one another. There was no basis for the first order, not to mention the amendment. We opposed the amendment, moved for our own harassment order, and tried to negotiate some resolution. Our attorneys represented our client in a two-day bench trial. After the plaintiff had presented her case, on the second day we moved for a directed verdict based on plaintiff s failure of proof. The court granted the motion, denying the amendment to the order. The original order expired shortly after trial. Collective Bargaining The Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery is a nonprofit corporation that provides free residential shelter for children and newborns through the age of six who are in immediate risk of being abused or neglected. We represented the Nursery in two grievances filed by the union on behalf of its members. In the first, the Union alleged the Nursery violated the collective bargaining agreement when setting up a new work schedule. We filed a position statement with the National Labor Review Board, whereupon the NLRB, our client and the Union entered into settlement negotiations. After drafting the settlement agreement, which the NLRB approved, the Union withdrew its charge rather than sign the agreement. In the second case the Union filed a grievance after the Company disciplined an employee (who happened to be a Union representative) for sleeping on the job. We helped the Nursery prepare its response to the Union, whereupon the Union withdrew the grievance. Arbitration One of our clients is a nonprofit vocational and leadership skills training center in Minneapolis. Our client entered into an agreement with an instructor to provide curricular assistance. The individual started but did not complete one of the subject areas and failed to even commence work on the second or third areas. Our client sought the return of the money it had paid the individual. When the individual refused to even enter into a dialogue, our client commenced arbitration 13

14 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) proceedings pursuant to their agreement. Rather than contest the merits of the case, the individual s response was to attempt to avoid being brought before any decision-making body. He moved out of his home, rented it to others, and moved into an apartment. After receiving one piece of mail, he ordered his renters to no longer accept packages addressed to him. When he realized we had learned where he was staying, he moved out and told neighbors he was moving to Jamaica. Meanwhile, the arbitration proceeding continued before the American Arbitration Association, which granted full judgment to our client. We then discovered the individual had moved to North Carolina and accepted a teaching position. We began the process to enforce the arbitration award. 14

15 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) Washington State Bar Association In Seattle, attorneys have served as Special Disciplinary Counsel for the Washington State Bar Association. Last year our attorneys handled a disciplinary matter involving a Seattle criminal defense attorney. The defendant was charged with various ethical violations for his conduct in 1996, while defending an accused child rapist. The bar alleged that he induced the State s primary witness, the alleged victim in the case, not to testify by offering him approximately $3,000 in cash and a one-way ticket to Oklahoma. The offer was made 12 days before trial was scheduled to begin. Rather than leave the state, however, the witness contacted the police and prosecutors and told them the details of the agreement. The defendant, believing the victim had left the state, demanded dismissal of the charges. Shortly thereafter, he was forced to withdraw from the case and an investigation by the Attorney General s office resulted in the ethics charges. Dorsey received the case in the fall of 2002, after it had languished for several years. After securing a hearing date in June 2003, Dorsey conducted substantial discovery, including document exchanges and about 14 depositions of the victim and other lay witnesses, attorneys involved in the underlying criminal case, and two expert witnesses. After a fiveday trial, the Hearing Officer issued a 17-page decision that closely tracked the Disciplinary Counsel s arguments and concluded that the Bar proved all of its counts. Finding inter alia that the accused acted intentionally to bribe the victim and to obstruct justice, the Hearing Officer recommended disbarment. In December 2003, the Disciplinary Board voted 10 to1 (with 1 abstention) to adopt the Hearing Officer s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommendations to the Board. The case is now pending before the Washington State Supreme Court, which will make the final decision on disbarment sometime in WASHINGTON STATE BAR ASSOCIATION TEAM: Nicholas Anderson Peter Ehrlichman Brian Grimm Sarah Heineman David Jacobson Thuy Nguyen Leeper Jason Rhodes Erin Warren One of our Seattle attorneys served on the Washington State Bar Committee charged with evaluating the ABA model rules and to consider changes to the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct. He was asked to Chair the subcommittee on Sarbanes-Oxley, and as a result, we have proposed a revision to the Rule of Professional Conduct dealing with disclosure of confidences (Rule 1.6) which will soon go to the Board of Governors and from there to the Washington Supreme Court for consideration and adoption. The Committee is wrapping up its work, and soon will report on a set of proposed revisions to the RPC s. 15

16 Civil and Public Rights (Cont.) A Seattle attorney served as Special Disciplinary Counsel in an attorney disciplinary matter based on various violations of the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct. In February, he prosecuted the two day hearing, which included foreign language testimony through an interpreter and video-taped preservation depositions. The Hearing Officer found in our favor on 5 of the 6 counts and recommended a six month suspension for the respondent attorney. Later in the summer, he handled the appeal before the full Disciplinary Board. The decision has not yet been released. The Respondent attorney has already indicated that he will appeal the decision to the Washington Supreme Court. Our attorney has also been designated the SDC for that appeal by the WSBA. 16

17 Civil Rights for the Accused and Incarcerated Death Penalty On August 13, 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in Guy v. Cockrell (now Guy v. Dretke), a Texas death penalty habeas appeal. The appellate court reversed the district court s grant of summary judgment, and remanded for an evidentiary hearing and further proceedings. On remand, the district court set an evidentiary hearing almost immediately, denying Guy s motion for an opportunity to take discovery and brief the issues for hearing. Team Dorsey, with help from local counsel and his investigative team, pulled together a trial plan in record time, interviewed more than fifty potential witnesses, and went to court on December 1, After a full day devoted almost exclusively to cross-examination of Frank SoRelle, who had been appointed to be Guy s capital trial investigator but instead became the surviving victim s sole heir, the trial court decided that Guy could have as much time to present evidence as was needed, and the parties agreed to reconvene in December. In the interim, however, Dorsey pursued an alternative avenue for relief. Under Texas law, a majority of state trial officials may petition for clemency a process that does not appear to have been implemented in a capital case before Guy s case. Dorsey, with assistance from a national anti-death penalty advocate, drafted a petition for clemency for Guy. Thanks to local counsel s hard work, a majority of Guy s state trial officials, including prosecutor, current trial judge and the current and former sheriffs agreed to sign the petition for clemency. The petition was submitted to the Texas Board of Parole and Pardons in November 2003, and in January 2004 the Board voted 15-0 to recommend clemency. It is now on the governor s desk, awaiting his decision. In the meantime, the federal case has been stayed pending a decision on the petition for clemency. DEATH PENALTY TEAM: Theresa Bevilacqua Nick Campanario Kelly Dunbar Andre Hanson Marisa Hesse Bryan Keane Patrick McLaughlin - Team Leader Charles Moore Katie Pfeifer Eric Sherman Todd Trumpold Dan Vondra Michael Wahoske Steven Wells - Team Leader 17

18 Civil Rights for the Accused and Incarcerated (Cont.) INNOCENCE PROJECT TEAM: Robert Bundy Nick Campanario Jessica Dvorak David Eldred Dean Eyler Thomas Jancik Shari Jerde Edward Magarian - Team Leader Paven Malhotra Heather Redmond Anna Shimanek Davis Tyner Michael Wahoske Christopher Young The Innocence Project In May 2003, Dorsey s wrongful conviction team filed a direct appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court seeking relief in the form of an evidentiary hearing or a new trial for our client, a 34 year old quadriplegic convicted of a 1986 murder. Aside from discussing our client s innocence, the team raised the following issues in the appeal: 1) new evidence in the form of affidavits from material state witnesses who now admit under oath they provided false and misleading testimony implicating our client in the murder; 2) serious prosecutorial misconduct in the form of secret deals made by the prosecutor to secure such testimony; 3) juror misconduct when a juror conducted his own investigation and disclosed the results of the investigation to the other jurors during deliberations; and 4) ineffective assistance from counsel because our client s counsel failed to inform the jury of two roommates who the police considered to be alternative suspects, and clear evidence that the tire track which the state alleged was left at the scene by our client s car, could not have come from his car. In June, McLeod County filed their response, shortly thereafter we filed our reply brief in support of our client s appeal seeking an evidentiary hearing on the issues raised in the post-conviction petition, or a new trial. In April, 2004, we won an important victory in the case, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed in part a district court ruling ordering the McLeod County court to conduct an evidentiary hearing. Our client maintains he had nothing to do with the crime. The physical evidence as well as a polygraph administered by the State of Minnesota s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension back up his claim. The Supreme Court held in part that the petition and affidavits [presented by Opsahl s legal team] challenge the truth or believability of five of the seven witnesses who testified that they heard Opsahl make incriminating statements. These recantations are particularly significant because there was no physical evidence linking Opsahl to the murder. Because Opsahl s petition calls into question such a significant part of the State s circumstantial case, we conclude that the postconviction court abused its discretion by concluding that the jury would have reached the same result without the recanted testimony. 18

19 Civil Rights for the Accused and Incarcerated (Cont.) State Public Defender Program Dorsey participates annually in a program with the Minnesota State Public Defender s Office where Dorsey associates handle criminal appeals to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. In 2003, two associates appealed the criminal conviction of our client for driving while intoxicated. The facts of the case presented a unique issue for the Court. The State enhanced the criminal charge against our client based on two prior civil license revocations. The genesis of the civil license revocations were DUI charges that were dismissed for lack of evidence by the trial court. Our attorneys argued in our briefs that the recent change in the Minnesota Statute allowing such enhancement could not be constitutionally applied to our client since he lacked notice that a civil penalty would have later criminal repercussions. The Court upheld the conviction. The challenge to criminal enhancement based on civil penalties attracted attention from many practitioners and Dorsey received calls from attorneys in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa seeking information and advice. Federal Public Defender Program In Alaska, as part of the Federal Public Defender Program, one of our attorneys drafted a motion to suppress evidence of a marijuana growing operation obtained during the search of our client s home, as well as a reply to the government s opposition. Another attorney then assisted with the four day evidentiary hearing that followed. Unfortunately, the evidence was not suppressed. We are still representing our client, as he has yet to be sentenced. CIVIL RIGHTS FOR THE ACCUSED AND INCARCERATED TEAM: Robert Bundy Nick Campanario Jessica Dvorak David Eldred Dean Eyler Laura Ferster Thomas Jancik Shari Jerde R. Stephen Hall Edward Magarian Paven Malhotra Eric Nelson Heather Redmond Anna Shimanek Scott Sinor Davis Tyner Michael Wahoske Christopher Young Prisoner s Rights Dorsey represents an inmate in a civil rights action commenced in 1999 pursuant to 42 U.S.C in federal court in Manhattan. Our client claims that while he was incarcerated at Rikers Island Correctional Facility, he was approached and threatened by three correctional officers who broke his wrist. Following motion practice, certain defendants were dismissed from the action, and we were able to obtain a default judgment against one of the defendant officers who failed to cooperate in discovery. The remaining defendant correctional officer claims that our client broke his wrist while playing basketball. Prison accident reports prepared immediately after the incident state that our client told officials he injured his arm while playing basketball. Our client claims that he was coerced into providing this false information. This case likely will proceed to trial. Discovery is complete, and both parties have recently filed motions in limine. We are attempting to exclude evidence of his prior criminal convictions and prison 19

20 Civil Rights for the Accused and Incarcerated (Cont.) infraction history at trial. Additionally, we are requesting an adverse inference jury instruction with respect to fundamental evidence that the defendant failed to disclose during discovery, claiming only that this evidence had been misplaced. After a five day Federal Court trial in Denver tried by two of Dorsey s Denver associates, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our incarcerated client and against a prison guard and the prison s manager of security. Our client, resident of the Colorado Department of Corrections, sued the defendants alleging violations of his First Amendment rights. We asserted that the defendants retaliated against him for filing lawsuits and grievances against prison officials by, among other things, transferring him from a medium security prison to a higher security prison, conducting harassing cell searches, confiscating his legal materials, and threatening him. Our attorneys convinced the jury to award damages against two of the defendants and, notably, to deliver a finding that the defendants acted with callous and reckless disregard for our client s rights, the level of culpability necessary for an award of punitive damages. Use of Excessive Force Another client, who is currently serving a life sentence, sued a number of New York City Police Department officers, claiming that excessive force had been used against him during his 1992 arrest. At the time we undertook to represent our client, discovery had been closed and the case was deemed trial-ready. Nonetheless, we argued successfully to the court that additional documents should be provided to us by defendants and that certain defendants should be deposed. In addition to these discovery related activities, we also engaged in additional investigation of the underlying facts. Ultimately, defendants offered a settlement amount that was acceptable to our client and the case was resolved. Criminal Appeals Two Minneapolis associates appealed a jury verdict convicting our client of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine - a felony. The appeal was based on arguments regarding pre-trial errors made by the trial court judge who found that our client had waived constitutional search and seizure arguments by failing to affirmatively articulate such issues at the pre-trial omnibus hearing, even though the issue was noticed in a standard form by the defense to the prosecutor well in advance of the omnibus hearing. As a result of the trial court s ruling, certain evidence was admitted by the judge and heard by the jury which should have been, in our opinion, excluded. The appeal was briefed and argued in front of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. On January 14, 2004, a decision was issued by the 20

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