Each spring, eight to ten second and third year New York University Law School students participate in OAD’s Criminal Appellate Defender Clinic. The students represent OAD clients in pending cases. They attend a weekly seminar at OAD where two Supervising Attorneys teach a range of New York criminal law and procedure issues and train the students on all aspects of appellate representation via simulations of such critical proceedings as initial client interviews and oral arguments before a mock panel of appellate court judges. At the end of the semester, each student files a brief in the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. When the case is scheduled for oral argument, the student is given the opportunity to argue the case before the First Department.

Recent Clinic Successes

People v. Jain (2018)

The First Department vacated Mr. Jain’s conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third and fifth degrees after concluding that the trial court erroneously charged the jury on the room (“drug factory”) presumption. Specifically, the Court found that there was no evidence – other than mere presence – that Mr. Jain or his co-defendant were involved with the drugs that were found in the apartment and, indeed, that there was no indicia of preparation or packaging of drugs for sale in the apartment.  The Court, therefore, concluded that the jury should not have been instructed on the room presumption.

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