Mayer Brown successfully obtained a remand, and negotiated a reduced sentence, for a pro bono client whose trial counsel had failed to move to suppress evidence. Instead of a sentence of natural life without the possibility of parole, our client received 144 months.

In 2008, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals appointed the firm to represent the client on appeal of the district court’s denial of his motion alleging ineffective assistance of counsel after his trial counsel failed to file a motion to suppress the evidence against him in the underlying criminal case based on his misinterpretation of the law. Former associate Katherine Graf handled the appeal, which resulted in a remand.

Thereafter, associates Rick Nowak and Kathleen Przywara, under the supervision of Marc Kadish, the director of director of pro bono activities and litigation training, negotiated the reduced sentence with the US Attorney’s office in exchange for our client providing substantial assistance in the investigation and prosecution of an unsolved homicide in Peoria, Illinois.

Our client provided a written statement, which was used to obtain an indictment, and also testified during the subsequent first-degree murder trial. During the sentence reduction hearing on June 3, 2013, the district judge acknowledged our client’s substantial assistance and cooperation and agreed that the reduced sentence was warranted.