Shapiro Arato Bach Wins Appeal In New York’s Highest Court

On October 22, 2019, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the decision of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial Department, which reversed the second-degree murder conviction of our client, Robert Neulander, and ordered a new trial. During Dr. Neulander’s trial, a juror repeatedly violated the trial court’s instructions not to discuss his case with third parties by engaging in numerous text-message exchanges with family and friends about the trial. The juror also accessed local media websites that were covering Dr. Neulander’s trial extensively. In addition, the juror deleted her text messages and her internet browsing history and lied to the court about her conduct. We argued that this juror misconduct deprived Dr. Neulander of a fair trial and that the harmless-error standard does not apply to violations of this fundamental right, and the Court agreed.

Alexandra A.E. Shapiro argued the appeal and co-authored the brief with Jacob S. Wolf, which is available here. The Court’s decision is available here.

A video recording of the appellate argument is available here.

Press coverage of the decision is available here.