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Special Litigation Division

The Special Litigation Division (SLD) handles a wide variety of litigation that seeks to vindicate the constitutional and statutory rights of PDS clients and to challenge pervasive unfair criminal justice practices.  SLD attorneys practice across division lines, whether civil or criminal, juvenile or adult, pretrial or post-conviction.  They collaborate with their PDS colleagues and with members of the broader legal community with whom they can make common cause.  SLD attorneys practice before local and federal trial and appellate courts in the District of Columbia and as amicus in the United States Supreme Court.  Among their achievements has been the end of the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in court; the reform of civil forfeiture practice; the successful challenge to the treatment of clients under sex offender supervision; and the exonerations of four men who together spent a century in prison for convictions based in part on the invalid testimony of FBI hair analysts.