4 May 2009 – Attorneys from Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, successfully defended the City of New York in a decision issued by US District Court Judge Richard J. Holwell in Zargary v. City of New York.
In the case, plaintiff Elizabeth Zargary claimed her First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights were violated during her admission to the city’s Rose M. Singer Correctional Facility when her religious headscarf was lowered for a photograph. The court concluded that the correctional facility’s policy of removing headdresses to take identification photos does not violate the Free Exercise Clause and granted the city judgment.
Mayer Brown represented the city pro bono as part of the firm’s participation in the New York City Law Department’s Public Service Program – a private/public partnership with the city's prominent law firms, where firms either lend their attorneys to the Law Department for a finite period of time or agree to take on city cases in-house. The firm began its involvement with the public service project shortly after the terrorist attacks in 2001, in response to requests for assistance from the New York City Law Department.
The Mayer Brown team of litigators included partner Matthew Ingber, associate Michelle Annunziata and former associate Evan Cruetz.