Lee Long, who brought the litigation, had been convicted of raping a woman in Jackson Heights, New York in 1994. The Queens Legal Aid Society and the Office of District Attorney Richard A. Brown, however, conducted an investigation and discovered evidence that exonerated Long, securing his release in June of 2002.
Long then hired the Chochron, Scheck, and Neufeld law firm to sue New York State for his wrongful imprisonment. The lawsuit was filed in 2002. In 2003, the New York State Court of Claims dismissed Long’s lawsuit because if it being improperly filed and untimely. The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Second Department affirmed.
The state court of appeals, however, held the wrongful imprisonment lawsuit was timely, but the court determined it to be improperly filed. It found that Scheck, not Long, swore to the veracity of the lawsuit, contrary to New York State law.
Long filed a malpractice suit in June 2005 in federal court against Barry C. Scheck, Peter J. Neufeld, Nick Joel Brustin and the Chochron, Scheck, and Neufeld law firm. The suit claimed that the wrongful imprisonment lawsuit had been filed after the two-year period elapsed since Long’s release.
Scheck and Neufeld, the founders of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law settled the malpractice suit for $900,000. Long also settled a civil rights suit against New York City for $50,000.
Joel Berger represented Long during his malpractice suit.
Source: New York Times
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