News & Resources

New York Law Journal Reports on Pro Bono Client's Overturned Conviction Citing Sixth Amendment

December 3, 2014

The New York Law Journal reported that the Constitutional rights of Olshan client Lawrence Watson were vindicated when he was awarded the rare reversal of his criminal conviction, based on an appeal handled pro bono by Olshan Litigation Associate Renée Zaytsev, in conjunction with the Office of the Appellate Defender. At trial, Mr. Watson was convicted of criminally possessing a firearm and sentenced to 20 years to life. On appeal, Zaytsev argued on behalf of Watson that the trial court had deprived him of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel by discharging his appointed counsel, whom Watson wanted to remain, over an alleged conflict of interest. Four of five appellate judges agreed with Zaytsev’s argument that there was no conflict and voted to vacate the conviction and remand for a new trial. The full decision can be read here.

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