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Matt Kaplan Prevails in Appeal Protecting Key Constitutional Rights

Matt Kaplan has obtained the reversal of his client's murder conviction. Kaplan had argued that constitutional errors committed by the trial court resulted in an unfair trial and may have led to his client's wrongful conviction. The case, decided earlier this week by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, is an important precedent which will protect the rights not only of criminal defendants, but of all Americans. Police obtained important evidence in the case from the review of every…

Lawsuits Filed Defending Workers’ Right to Be Paid

The Kaplan Law Firm regularly represents employees who have not been paid wages they were owed by their employers or who have not been paid at the legally required overtime rate for overtime work.  The Firm recently filed four lawsuits alleging that its clients were not properly paid and are owed tens of thousands of dollars in damages. One of these lawsuits is Torres v. Vap 1800 M Street LLC.  This lawsuit, which was filed in the Superior Court for…

Conviction Reversed for Violation of Defendant’s Rights

The Kaplan Law Firm's Matthew B. Kaplan  has obtained the reversal of the criminal conviction of one of his clients.  In an opinion issued last week the District of Columbia Court of Appeals—the highest "state" court in the District of Columbia—agreed with Kaplan's argument that  his client had been improperly convicted in a "stipulated trial" on charges of the unlawful possession of a weapon and of ammunition. In a stipulated trial the prosecution and the defense agree on the key…

Criminal Conviction Reversed on Appeal

Today the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an opinion reversing the felony threats conviction of a client of Matthew B. Kaplan, The Kaplan Law Firm's Principal Attorney.  The government had argued that our client had threatened another person by asking that person, during the course of an argument, "What if I shoot you?" and "What if I shoot your car?"  The Court of Appeals—D.C.'s highest "state" appellate court—agreed with our argument that these words are not self evidently…

Panelist at Unpaid Wages Discussion

On Friday I was a panelist on a discussion of a successful unpaid wages case I brought on behalf of individuals who had worked as electricians and assistant electricians on construction projects in the Washington, D.C. area. The event, the annual John Burke Pro Bono Breakfast, was hosted by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and took place at the National Press Club. I described my work on the case—in conjunction with the Lawyer's Committee—which led to a settlement which provides for a payment…

Successful Appeal Sets Important Precedent On Right to Impartial Juries

The Kaplan Law Firm's Matthew B. Kaplan obtained the reversal of his client's criminal conviction in a decision issued today by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that strengthens the protections afforded by the jury system to criminal defendants.   Our criminal justice system is not always fair, especially when it comes to cases involving defendants who are poor or minorities.  Today's appellate decision holds that, at least in District of Columbia courts, citizens cannot be automatically excluded from juries…

The Kaplan Law Firm Files Confrontation Clause Appeal

The Kaplan Law Firm recently filed an appeal with the D.C. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of our client's conviction for unlawful weapons possession. The case raises an interesting issue under the Constitution's Confrontation Clause about the right of a criminal defendant to confront his (or her) accuser in court. The clause of the Constitution's Sixth Amendment that is at the heart of this appeal, and which is known as the Confrontation Clause, guarantees that, in a criminal case, the…

Can People Who Think that the Justice System Is Racially Biased Be Excluded from Juries?

Last week I argued an important case, Mason v. United States (No. 15-CF-305), before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  I represented Mr. Mason, an African-American criminal defendant who had been convicted by a District of Columbia Superior Court jury. During jury selection the trial judge had excluded, over a defense objection, a prospective jury member who said under questioning that she thought that she could be fair and impartial in this particular case, but that, in general, she thought that…

Appeals: First Amendment, Discrimination and Criminal Cases

March is turning out to be a  busy month for appellate matters.  The Kaplan Law Firm will have oral arguments in three separate appellate cases, all of which raise important issues of law. On March 21 we have an oral argument before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond in Villa v. CavaMezze Grill, LLC, a Title VII civil rights case. In this case an employer fired an employee (my client) because she reported that another employee had told our client that she…

Arguing Before the D.C. Court of Appeals – Eyewitness Identification

On November 4 I appeared on behalf of my client at an oral argument before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which is D.C.’s equivalent of a state supreme court.  At issue was exclusion of expert testimony about the accuracy of witness identification. Disclaimer The central legal dispute in the case, United States v. Parada, No. 12-CF-1583, is whether my client’s criminal conviction arising from an armed robbery should be overturned because of the trial court’s exclusion of expert testimony…