Palo Alto – March 13, 2017 – The Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) recognized Cooley with its Pro Bono Award at the organization’s 2017 Justice for All Awards Dinner. The NCIP is a nonprofit clinical program of Santa Clara University School of Law, whose mission is to promote a fair, effective and compassionate criminal justice system and protect the rights of innocent people. The program challenges wrongful convictions by exonerating the innocent, educating future lawyers and reforming criminal justice policy.
Cooley was one of the first law firms to provide NCIP with pro bono legal assistance. The firm contributes hundreds of pro bono hours to innocence work annually and often drafts amicus briefs on behalf of NCIP and the Innocence Network. These briefs have positively affected NCIP’s cases and advanced innocence issues throughout the country.
For example, Cooley filed amicus briefs on behalf of NCIP and the Innocence Network in Lee v. Lampert at the Ninth Circuit and McQuiggin v. Perkins at the US Supreme Court, to ensure that evidence of innocence can be used as an exception to the one-year statute of limitations on habeas petitions. These petitions have paved the way for exonerations of innocent people.
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