SOURCE: Cooley Godward Kronish LLP

December 10, 2007 12:30 ET

Cooley Godward Kronish Pro Bono Client David Lemus Acquitted

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 10, 2007) - Cooley Godward Kronish LLP pro bono client David Lemus was acquitted last Thursday in a high-profile retrial of a 1992 case in which he was convicted of murder. Cooley's pro bono defense team in the three-week re-trial in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan was led by New York-based litigation partner Jonathan Bach.

On Thanksgiving night 1990, one Palladium employee was killed and another wounded after shots were fired outside the nightclub early in the morning. Lemus and another man, Olmedo Hidalgo, were originally convicted of the crime. But in 1994, in the course of a separate federal investigation concerning the activities of a notoriously violent Bronx street gang, one gang member confessed to the crime and implicated a fellow gang member. In 2005, after additional exculpatory evidence became available, the original convictions were overturned and Lemus was released from prison after 14 years. Hidalgo was not re-tried, but prosecutors continued to pursue Lemus for his alleged involvement in the shooting, resulting in the recent re-trial.

"Despite many twists and turns in the road, we never gave up hope that we could set the record straight," said Bach. "His acquittal is the culmination of thousands of hours of work by a team that was buoyed by a steadfast belief that our client was wrongfully convicted. We are thrilled this day has finally arrived."

In addition to Bach, Lemus's defense team included Cooley associates Kate Cassidy and Jeff Lang. Co-counsel in the case was Dickstein Shapiro.

Cooley's pro bono practice is an integral part of the Firm. Attorneys firm wide spend thousands of hours annually litigating impact cases, staffing community clinics, assisting micro-entrepreneurs, advising not-for-profit corporations, and handling asylum, guardianship and domestic violence matters on a pro bono basis.

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