Our Civil Rights practice is hyper focused and our cases garner serious support — having been joined, in separate cases, by amicus curiae The New York Times Company and The Innocence Project.

Gabriel P. Harvis and Baree N. Fett, the EEP Civil Rights Division

Co-chaired by experienced federal litigators and former government defense attorneys Gabriel P. Harvis and Baree N. Fett, the EEP Civil Rights Division wins tough, heavily-defended cases involving government abuse and wrongdoing.

Protecting your Civil Rights

We represent people who have experienced the trauma of being wrongfully convicted, assaulted or accused, or the tragedy of losing a loved one to police violence. Every judgment we win for our clients sends a message to those sworn to protect us: fulfill your oath or there will be consequences.

  • Wrongful Conviction

  • Police Misconduct

  • First Amendment

  • Prisoners’ Rights

  • Rikers Assaults

  • Children’s Rights

  • Policy Challenges

There’s no getting back time spent in prison, but a dedicated civil rights lawyer can help you pursue justice.

We have established a national reputation through our committed litigation on behalf of the wrongfully convicted. And we take it a step further, functioning as trusted advisors while our clients seek to rebuild their lives.

Derrick Hamilton

EEP favorably resolved Mr. Hamilton's federal claims after he spent 21 years wrongfully imprisoned

Derrick Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton spent 21 years wrongfully imprisoned for murder. Then, in 2015, the Brooklyn DA’s Conviction Review Unit determined that he had been wrongfully convicted and denied due process — the sole eyewitness claims NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella suborned perjury. Working from the prison’s law library, Mr. Hamilton brought about changes in the law that benefit the wrongfully convicted across New York State. Read more about the case at The National Registry of Exonerations

Johnny Hincapie

At age 18, Johnny was coerced into falsely confessing and spent 25 years wrongfully imprisoned before being exonerated

Johnny Hincapie

Before his exoneration, Johnny Hincapie spent over 25 years wrongfully incarcerated on felony murder charges related to the infamous 1990 murder of “Utah Tourist” Brian Watkins. Like the Central Park Five, Mr. Hincapie, who had never been arrested, was coerced into falsely confessing to bystander-like participation by detectives convinced of his guilt and looking to close the case. But clear evidence and eyewitness testimony proves that Mr. Hincapie is entirely innocent of involvement in the crime.

Joseph Jackson

Maintained his innocence for over 23 years until the Nassau County DA investigated and exonerated him

Joseph Jackson

In February 2018 the Nassau County DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit moved to dismiss Joseph Jackson’s murder conviction because key Brady material was withheld from his defense team. Mr. Jackson, who spent over 23 years in prison before being exonerated, has always maintained his innocence.

Nassau County Detective Robert Dempsey coerced Mr. Jackson into making a false confession following a brutal and inhumane forty-hour interrogation.

Nelson Cruz

Imprisoned for over 20 years, Mr. Cruz has always maintained his innocence

Nelson Cruz

Like Derrick Hamilton, Nelson Cruz was a victim of disgraced former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella. At age 16, Mr. Cruz was convicted of the 1998 killing of a man in East New York, Brooklyn, even though he was not present when the crime was committed and the actual perpetrator had been apprehended.

Mr. Cruz has been in prison for over 20 years. We are currently working to overturn the conviction.                                                                                                         .

Norman Allen

Wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years

Norman Allen

In 1993, Norman Allen was arrested and charged with a murder, even though the sole perpetrator confessed to police and told them Norman was innocent. Astonishingly, Norman was convicted in Queens County and spent 27 years in jail.


Our team is preparing a challenge to Norman’s conviction.

“Part of why I joined EEP was the firm’s strong civil rights practice group. I am honored to work on important cases that advance the cause of social justice.”
– Keyonte Sutherland, Attorney

Public statement:
Death of Ahmaud Arbery

MLK said that “tomorrow is today”, and that we must confront the “fierce urgency of now”. Never have these words been truer.

This is a time for vigorous and positive action. It is a time to come together and continue the work of changing our society and our legal system to promote equity and racial justice.

We need to meet hatred with love, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the most vulnerable in our communities.

The world feels more abstract than ever and while we are physically separate we must remain emotionally close.

We see in Ahmaud’s tragic death the truth that for some even a jog outside can be fraught with danger.

Together we can meet this moment with kindness and use love to drive our hate. At EEP Law we remain committed to fighting for just on behalf of our clients.

Public statement:
Death of George Floyd

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
– Desmond Tutu

Silence in the face of egregious injustice must be fought with the power of unified voices seeking change.

George Floyd should be alive today. We must give compassion, sympathy and a voice to his family that has been left behind to grieve this unimaginable loss.

There is no place for complacency in response to the alarming level of violence. We are responsible for the change that we want to see in the world.

At EEP Law, we continue to fight for justice every day and are committed to being a part of the solution.