Hogan Lovells joins Syed defense team

Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//July 6, 2016

Hogan Lovells joins Syed defense team

By Heather Cobun

//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

//July 6, 2016

Adnan Syed enters Baltimore City Circuit Court earlier this year. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Adnan Syed enters Baltimore City Circuit Court earlier this year. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

After prevailing on a motion for a new trial, the defense for “Serial” defendant Adnan Syed will be assisted by a pro bono team from Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Syed has been represented by Baltimore defense attorney C. Justin Brown for seven years.

“I’m delighted that Hogan Lovells has agreed to co-counsel with me on Adnan’s defense,” Brown said in a news release Wednesday. “The firm’s substantial litigation experience in Baltimore, coupled with its successful track record in innocence cases, makes them the ideal firm to help get Adnan out of prison.”

Hogan Lovells is an international firm which has received awards from the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project for pro bono representations.

“If the state elects to proceed with a retrial, we intend to tap into our extensive trial experience and many years of handling innocence cases to work to ensure that Adnan receives the best legal defense possible,” said Steve Barley, managing partner of Hogan Lovells’ Baltimore office, in the release.

Syed was convicted of the 1999 murder of his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 2000. His case was the focus of the Serial podcast’s first season in 2014, which examined the evidence at trial and possible defects in the case.

After the Court of Special Appeals allowed Syed to have a post-conviction hearing on the grounds of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, retired Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch heard arguments in February and issued an order last week granting a new trial.

Welch, in a 59-page memorandum opinion, ruled that Syed deserves another trial because his attorney failed to cross-examine a cell tower expert about the reliability of data that placed Syed’s cellphone near the site of Lin’s burial.


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