Appellate Practice

Practice Areas

Appellate Practice
&
Post-Conviction Relief

The firm has received recognition for its appellate practice, successfully representing clients in the Appellate Divisions, the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, U.S. Courts of Appeals around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Kuby and Ms. Spiess appealed the sexual abuse conviction of a daycare worker in People v. Khemwattie Bedessie, 2012 NY Slip Op 2342 (2012), wherein the Court of Appeals recognized, for the first time, a defendant’s right to present expert testimony on the phenomenon of false confessions. Read the Court’s landmark decision. The ruling caught the attention of theNational Center for Reason and Justice, the New York Times, and Reuters.

In People v. Matyjewicz, the firm represented one of the artists of the “Poster Boy” collective, who pled guilty to two counts of criminal mischief.  Although Poster Boy had completed the required community service pursuant to the negotiated plea, the court sentenced him to 11 months of imprisonment after he failed to appear in court. The firm filed an appeal in the Appellate Division, Second Department. The court vacated the felony conviction and the sentence, and ordered that Poster Boy be given the benefit of the plea agreement. The court’s decision is available here.

The firm filed a post-conviction motion for a homeless man convicted of felony murder of a New York City firefighter for lighting a candle in an abandoned building where he was residing. The firm obtained a reversal of the murder conviction based upon ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Kuby was lead counsel for Yu Kikumura, an alleged Japanese Red Army member caught with three pipe bombs on the New Jersey Turnpike. On appeal to the Third Circuit, Kuby challenged the legality of Kikumura’s sentence, persuading the court to reverse the 30 year sentence.

Mr. Kuby and Ms. Spiess got the attempted flag-burning conviction of Declan Devlin vacated by a New Jersey Superior Court judge on the ground of newly discovered evidence. Mr. Devlin, who was 16 when he was found guilty in the juvenile delinquency matter, had spent nearly a decade trying to exonerate himself when he retained the firm in 2010. Spiess secured the sworn confession of Michael Sullivan, who ultimately testified that it was he, and not Declan Devlin, who was responsible for the act. Read about the case in the Daily Record, Fox News, and the Madison Eagle. View the court’s Order.

In People v. Smith, 63 N.Y.2d 41 (1984), Kuby authored the argument in a brief to the Court of Appeals that declared the death penalty unconstitutional in the State of New York.

Kuby was counsel in State v. Thomas William Manning, an appeal establishing the right of an indigent defendant to obtain transcripts and expert services at State expense even when represented by counsel of choice.

See Ron Kuby in action! Watch a video of Ron Kuby’s oral argument before the New York State Court of Appeals in People v. Khemwattie Bedessie.