To support the institutional reform of New York City’s Courts, the firm filed a lawsuit challenging widespread delays in misdemeanor cases in Bronx Criminal Court. Since the May 2016 filing of the lawsuit, Trowbridge v. DiFiore, the number of misdemeanor cases pending for more than a year in the Bronx dropped from 2,378 to 513. The number of misdemeanor cases pending for more than two years dropped from 538 to 64.
The settlement agreement allows the plaintiffs to monitor the court system for four years and to re-open the case if not enough progress is made. It also creates a new mechanism for people charged with misdemeanors to request a speedy trial, at which point the court system will be required to track the progress of their case.
The Firm was co-counsel with The Bronx Defenders, and Morrison & Foerster, LLP.
“Years of persistent delays in misdemeanor cases have made the promise of justice an illusion for tens of thousands of people charged with low-level offenses every year in the Bronx.”
Robin Steinberg, executive director of the legal advocacy group The Bronx Defenders
“This settlement is only the beginning. We will be watching the Bronx court system very carefully to make sure that they live up to their promises, achieve parity with the other boroughs, and make speedy trials a reality for everyone in the Bronx.”
Ilann M. Maazel, ECBAWM partner, in a press statement
2016 - 2018 Civil rights litigation
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Hagerman v. Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
The firm recovered more than $40 million as part of historic $2.7 billion settlement with the government of Libya for the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. This litigation created the terrorist exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA).