Innocence Project Co-Founder Settles Malpractice Claim

The Innocence Project

Barry C. Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, and his firm, Cochran, Neufeld & Scheck, have agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a malpractice claim by a man wrongfully convicted of rape.

The settlement ended acrimonious litigation that began in June 2005.

Scheck's former client, Lee Long, 46, alleged that Scheck missed a deadline in a lawsuit against the state seeking damages for wrongful conviction. Long's malpractice claim sought $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages, plus treble damages and attorney fees.

Earlier this year, the state Court of Appeals ruled that Scheck filed the complaint on time, but dismissed it because Long, now a resident of Alabama, did not personally verify the complaint. Instead, Scheck verified it on Long's behalf.

Since the Court of Appeals ruling, the parties have engaged in talks under the supervision of Eastern District of New York Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold. Monday's settlement, announced in a press release, not only put an end to the malpractice suit, but to public allegations. Both sides agreed they would not speak about the case.

Scheck, of course, was part of O.J. Simpson's "dream team." The whole thing sounds like a shame, and I really respect Mr. Scheck's work with The Innocence Project. Details here from the New York Law Journal via