Mohammed Sharaifi Death Penalty Briefs
Michael Lewis Death Penalty Briefs
Civil Rights Complaints
Exonerated Death Penalty Client
Quick v. State, 825 So.2d 246 (Ala.Crim.App. 2001) (Death Penalty Appellate Victory)On appeal, an indigent capital murder defendant who had been given the death penalty was given a new trial due to the State failing to give our client a free copy of the transcript from his first trial that ended in a mistrial. Wesley Quick was acquitted (found not guilty) at his new trial.
Barry Scheck and his organization, The Innocence Project
I worked with Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project to obtain the release of an inmate through DNA evidence.
Co-counsel for the Honorable Bernard Kincaid
Mayor for the City of Birmingham – 2000-2008.
U.S. Steel Ligation
Doug Jones successfully represented A.G. Langston when he, and others, were falsely accused of stealing from U.S. Steel. After Doug Jones became the United States Attorney for the Northern District, Richard Jaffe and I took over A.G. Langston's case and sued U. S. Steel and the other responsible parties for malicious prosecution. After extensive litigation and a jury was selected, the case settled.
Shoney's Sexual Harassment Litigation
I represented several teenage employees that were sexually harassed at a Shoney's restaurant. The restaurant's insurance company hired attorneys to represent the restaurant and the sexual harassers. In addition, the insurance company filed a separate lawsuit claiming that it did not have a duty to defend or pay if there was a verdict under the theory that sexual harassment was an intentional injury and was not covered under the insurance policy. One of the attorneys representing the restaurant and the sexual harassers made me so mad that I taught myself insurance law and vigorously fought the insurance company's attempt to avoid responsibility for having to pay for the sexual harassment.
After extensive litigation in both cases, the attorneys that were hired to represent the restaurant and the sexual harassers filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed and lost on all causes of action including outrage, which is very hard to win under. On the same day, the federal court held that the insurance company had to defend and possibly pay if there was a verdict for my clients in their sexual harassment lawsuit. See Sphere Drake Ins. P.L.C. v. Shoney's Inc., 923 F.Supp. 1481 (M.D.Ala. 1996). After both decisions came out and a jury was selected, the case settled.
Gadsden Firebombing Case
O.M. v. State, 595 So.2d 514 (Ala.Crim.App. 1991) (Appellate Victory Regarding Juvenile Transfer Hearings) A minor was charged with capital murder and the State sought to have him transferred from juvenile court to circuit court to be tried as an adult. In a Landmark case creating new law, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals held that juveniles have the right to exercise their constitutional rights during transfer hearings such as the right to confront and cross-examine their accusers and to invoke their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. After this case was sent back to the trial court, the state could not prove that the client had anything to do with the murder, and the charges were dismissed.
Federal Double Jeopardy Appellate Victory
United States v. McIntosh, 580 F.3d 1222 (11th Cir. 2009) Defendant pled guilty to drug and firearm charges, but before sentencing the Government discovered the indictment alleged a wrong offense date, obtained a second indictment, and moved to dismiss the first indictment. The United States District Court granted that motion. Defendant's motion to dismiss the second indictment as barred by Double Jeopardy was denied. Defendant conditionally pled guilty and appealed. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a second conviction for the same offense violated the Double Jeopardy Clause. The judgment of conviction was vacated and the case was remanded with instructions to dismiss the second indictment.
Inmate Denied Medical Care, Had Seizure, Fell off Top Bunk and Died
Lancaster v. Monroe County, AL, 116 F.3d 1419 (11th Cir. 1997) When a jail detainee died from complications from alcohol withdrawal due to the Sherriff and his jailers failing to obtain medical care for the detainee, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held the Sheriff and his jailers were not entitled to immunity. Most people do not realize that whenever a civil rights lawsuit is filed, police officers are allowed to plead qualified immunity and often have the case dismissed at the trial court level after extensive litigation has occurred. If the case is not dismissed at the trial level, the police officers are then allowed to appeal where the appellate court can dismiss the case on immunity. Hence, it takes years for a civil rights case to ever make it to a jury, and most civil rights cases do not ever make it to a jury. In the Lancaster case, after extensive litigation and less then one week before the trial date, the case was thrown out on qualified immunity grounds at the federal trial court level. I appealed and won this case. It settled thereafter.
State Double Jeopardy Victory on Appeal
Ex parte McCombs, 24 So.3d 1175 (Ala.Crim.App. 2009) Defendant had been charged with murder. He was ACQUITTED of the murder charge when the jury returned a verdict on the lesser-included offense of manslaughter. The defendant was then granted a new trial based on ineffective assistance of his original trial counsel. The State sought to re-prosecute the defendant with the original murder charge but the appellate court held that any retrial on the original charge of murder violated Double Jeopardy.
HealthSouth Criminal Case
United States of America v. Rebecca Kay Morgan, et. al. (Unpublished Opinion from Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals – Case Number 03-16408) (Appellate Victory On Behalf Of Some of The Healthsouth Defendants) I (along with the substantial assistance of other firms) successfully played a key role in writing the appellate brief in opposition to the Government's arguments for jail time and restitution for five HealthSouth managers.
Jail Suicide and Denial of Immunity
Hollingsworth v. Edgar, 2006 W.L. 2009104 (M.D.Ala.) (Motion Victory before Federal Trial Court) A jail detainee committed suicide by hanging himself. The United States District Court denied the jailers' motion to dismiss our civil rights lawsuit against the jailers for failing to take any precautions to prevent our client's suicide despite the fact that the jailers knew our client was suicidal. It settled thereafter.
Wrongful Death of Marlin Strange
Estate of Marlin Keith Strange v. IMH, Inc. An illegal alien worked for IMH, Inc. and killed my client Marlin Strange at work. I filed a lawsuit against the company for negligently hiring an illegal alien and for negligently failing to prevent the illegal alien from killing my client. After extensive discovery, the case settled.
Wrongful Deaths of Jessie Johnson and John McGahagin
In two separate lawsuits, handicapped passengers were being transported in their wheelchairs. The defendant's employees failed to properly secure my clients, causing the wheelchairs to flip over and injure my clients. It is common for elderly individuals to die within six months to a year if they receive significant injuries. Unfortunately, both of my clients died from their injuries; the accidents did not cause my clients' deaths, but the accidents did contribute to my clients' deaths, so I filed wrongful death lawsuits. After extensive discovery, both cases settled.
Ex parte Sanders, 612 So.2d 1199 (Ala. 1993) (Appellate Victory on Behalf of all Indigent Defendants) In this case, I submitted a "friend of the court" (amicus) brief concerning when a criminal defendant is deemed to be indigent in order to receive financial assistance from the State. The Alabama Supreme Court held that a defendant whose relatives or friends retain the services of counsel may still be considered indigent for purposes of receiving funds for expert witnesses, investigative services, or other legal needs when those funds are necessary to the defense because the assets of friends and relatives, not legally responsible for the defendant, are not considered assets for determining whether the defendant is indigent.