1 N. Charles St., Suite 1301
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-244-5444
FAX: 410-934-3208

Our Story

Brown Law was formed with a fundamental goal: to provide high-end legal counsel with integrity. We are driven by the understanding that many of our clients face life-altering challenges. We thrive when the stakes are highest. Because of our past success, we are confident that we can deliver for you.

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“Mr. Brown saved my life. I owe him everything.”

B.P. (former client),

“We owe C. Justin Brown such a debt of gratitude and there is nothing I can write… that will do justice to how my family and I feel about him and the job he did in representing my brother in a recent criminal defense case.”

J.N. (former client),

“This firm is extremely good at what it does and offers an excellent professional relationship with clients by making them feel at ease even in the most dire situations. The firm rose high above my expectations…”

B.P. (former client),

“I highly recommend this firm . They put in the hard work it takes to win. They really see you as a person not just another client… They keep you well informed and explains everything clearly and listen.

P.W. (former client),

Recent blog posts

Lloyd Hall is Free after 34 years

July 14, 2018
(Photo by Alan Chin)   A Montgomery County Circuit Judge ordered Lloyd Hall to be released from prison on Thursday – immediately – vacating a life-without-parole sentence and ending an injustice that had persisted for 34 years. Hall walked out of the courthouse in a new black suit around 1:15 p.m., and was greeted by a cheering crowd of family and supporters. Hall had been convicted in 1984 for burglary and related offenses. Because he had three prior convictions for burglary and housebreaking, he was sentenced to mandatory life in prison under Maryland’s “three strikes” law. The law considered Hall to be a violent re-offender – even though none of his predicate convictions encompassed any acts of violence. Rather, Hall had struggled with drug abuse and had committed a string of petty offenses to support his habit. At the age of 29, Hall was condemned to live out the remaining days of his life in prison. In a cruel twist that made his fate even more difficult to accept, Maryland soon thereafter changed the law that classified Hall as a violent offender. After Hall’s sentence was imposed, the Legislature changed the “three strikes” rule so that Hall’s predicates were no longer considered crimes of violence. But, for Hall it was too late. He had no way to get back into court. Many years later, Hall came to us seeking help. He was supported by the tireless advocacy of his sister, Carolyn Williams, who had pledged to him many years ago that he would not die in prison. After research and investigation, we filed a post-conviction petition raising a single issue: that Hall’s trial counsel, back in 1987, had been constitutionally ineffective for failing to file a motion seeking a modification of Hall’s sentence. If trial counsel had filed that routine motion, we argued, Hall would have been able to get back into court and obtain a new sentence in light of the changed law. Rather than confront the State with our petition in open court, we decided to negotiate with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, and persuade them that relief was merited. Hall had been a model prisoner, he had a supportive family, and he had developed a detailed plan for what he would do upon release. After extensive negotiation and vetting, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney – to his credit – agreed with us that Hall should be granted the relief we were seeking: his immediate release from prison. The final step was to convince the court to honor our bargain. On July 12, 2018, we appeared before Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin and presented our arguments. In an hour-long hearing in a packed courtroom, Judge Rubin heard from witnesses, including forensic social worker Rebecca Bowman-Rivas, considered the appropriate law, and issued his order. “I order you released, forthwith,” Judge Rubin said.

Adnan Syed Updates

December 14, 2017
September 17, 2019 The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Adnan Syed’s cert petition. The lead author of the brief is Lindsay Harrison of Jenner & Block. You can read the brief HERE. August 19, 2019 Syed today filed his petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. Read it HERE. July 1, 2019 We are preparing to file a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court has granted us a 30-day extension of time for the filing, so it is now due on August 19, 2019. As soon as it is filed it will be available here. Thank you for your continued support! April 9, 2019 Three amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs were filed Monday (4/8/19) in the Maryland Court of Appeals in support of Adnan Syed, who is asking the state’s highest Court to reconsider its opinion denying him a new trial. This is an extraordinary show of support from local, national and international organizations that respectfully ask the Court to take another look at this case. Each group expresses concern that the Court of Appeals decision will have unintended adverse consequences for the wrongly convicted. Because the rule governing motions for reconsideration does not address whether amicus briefs can be considered at this stage, each brief is accompanied by a motion asking the court for leave to file. The Court has not yet ruled on these motions. One of the briefs is filed on behalf of the international Innocence Network and the MacArthur Justice Center in Washington, D.C. It is authored by Elaine Goldenberg, Dahlia Mignouna and Jeremy Kreisberg of the law firm Munger Tolles & Olson. You can read that brief HERE. Another brief is filed on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. It is authored by Jessica Amunson, Lindsay Harrison and Caroline Cease of the the D.C. firm Jenner & Block. You can read that brief HERE. Last but not least, another brief is filed on behalf of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and the following individual Maryland attorneys: William C. Brennan, Jr., Prof. Emeritus Jerome E. Deise, Paul B. DeWolfe, Nancy S. Forster, Andrew Jay Graham, Andrew D. Levy, Timothy F. Maloney, Paul F. Kemp, Prof. Michael Millemann William H. ”Billy” Murphy, Jr., Larry A. Nathans, Stanley I. Reed, Stuart O. Simms, Joshua R. Treem, Arnold M. Weiner
and Douglas J. Wood. This brief is authored by Steve Klepper of Kramon & Graham and others. You can read that brief HERE.   April 8, 2019 This morning we filed our Motion for Reconsideration, asking the Maryland Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling denying Adnan Syed a new trial. These motions are always long shots, but we feel we have raised valid reasons for Maryland’s highest court to to take one more look at this case. You can read the Motion HERE. Let us know what you

Firm Wins Post-Conviction, Reverses Murder Conviction

September 4, 2019
Brown Law won another Maryland post-conviction proceeding last week, reversing a murder conviction and winning a new trial for Mohammad Biglari, a man who has maintained his innocence for the past 27 years. This marks the seventh time the Firm has defeated a life sentence. The Opinion can be uploaded HERE. The Baltimore City Circuit Court’s ruling granting post-conviction relief was based on ineffective assistance of trial counsel that occurred in 1994. Trial counsel at the time made an inexplicable mistake by not using a police report to impeach the lead investigating detective when he testified at trial. The police report documented a complaint indicating that another individual had assaulted and threatened to kill the victim. Yet, the Jury never heard this information – because trial counsel never brought it up – and Biglari was convicted on circumstantial evidence. Biglari, meanwhile, steadfastly asserted his innocence, and, after his first conviction was reversed on other grounds, he was tried a second and, eventually, a third time. At the third trial, new defense counsel attempted to suggest an alternative suspect in the case by introducing the exculpatory contents of the police report, but could not do so because the investigating detective had died. With no way to introduce the evidence to the Jury, trial counsel’s hands were tied, and Biglari was convicted a third time. The post-conviction court in its recent opinion ruled that the ineffectiveness of the first trial counsel, from 1994, could be transferred to the third trial because the deceased police detective’s testimony had been read to the Jury in the third trial. Thus, the third trial had been infected by the errors from the first trial, and Mr. Biglari had been denied his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. The Baltimore City Circuit Court vacated Biglari’s conviction and ordered a new trial. This highly complex issue that won the post-conviction is likely the first of its kind.

Judge Reverses Life Sentence in AA County

October 7, 2018
Brown Law last week won a high-stakes post-conviction proceeding in Anne Arundel County when a Circuit Court Judge found that prosecutors had withheld critical evidence from the defendant. As a result, our client’s life sentence was vacated and a new trial ordered. This marks the sixth time the Firm has reversed a life sentence. The Judge granted the post-conviction petition on three separate grounds: one Brady violation and two claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. The Brady violation was based on the failure of the State to turn over exculpatory evidence. The State had argued to the jury that the defendant had destroyed a computer to hide evidence of a crime. But in fact, the Court found, the police had been in possession of the computer the whole time. The prosecutors never turned over to the defense a report showing that the police had the computer, and that there was no inculpatory evidence on it. The opinion in State v. Martin can be read HERE.

This is why we fight.

December 31, 2017
I get asked the question all the time. Why do you represent criminal defendants? Sometimes I ask myself. But this is why. I have sat in prison visiting booths with inmates serving life sentences whom I believed were innocent. I have stood side by side with guilty defendants who were better human beings than the people judging them. I have seen men plead guilty to crimes they did not commit – and face very long sentences – only to protect the people they loved. I do this because I understand that people make mistakes. I do this because I understand that more often than not our system is not fair, and probably never will be. I do this because even someone accused of the most atrocious crime needs an attorney who will fight like hell. I think if more people had the chance to see it from my side they would understand. Sometimes I wish prosecutors could spend an hour with each of my clients. They might see that some of them are innocent. They might see that some of them are guilty, but deserve to walk free nonetheless. They might start to understand that prison without rehabilitation is nothing but a waste of money and time. And what I do is not a one-way street. My clients have given back. I’ve had clients who were cheated by the system encourage me that the system can work. I’ve had people in the most desperate of situations show me the path to victory. I’ve had clients go away and come back a better person. So happy new year to all my clients, past and present. Keep up the fight, and we’ll see you next year!