2831 St. Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 ּ  

(504) 358-0457 ּ chris@murell.law        


Lawyers from Murell Law, the Claiborne Firm, and Fair Fight Initiative have filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Saudi Lee, who was killed by former Savannah Police Officer Ernest Ferguson on June 24, 2022. Saudi was walking in his own neighborhood when he was unreasonably stopped by Ferguson, who had a long history of disciplinary issues, including use of force issues. Saudi was legally carrying a permitted weapon in an open carry state, and as he showed Ferguson and another officer his permit, Ferguson shot him multiple times. We are honored to fight for accountability on behalf of Saudi, his family, and his entire community. You can read the complaint here.

After a hard-fought battle, we won compensation for our client Sullivan Walter. Mr. Walter was incarcerated for 36 years for a crime he did not commit, even though the State had scientific proof of his innocence. Judge Kimya Holmes awarded Mr. Walter the maximum allowed under the statute— which is painfully low in Louisiana— but no amount of money will ever properly repay the debt of what was done to him.

Unsurprisingly, the State is appealing the ruling, but we know the record speaks for itself and we will continue fighting on behalf of Mr. Walter and all of our clients who were wrongfully convicted.

Congrats to Mr. Walter on this win, and thank you for trusting us with your case.

Murell Law, Fair Fight Initiative, and the entire team fighting to keep kids out of Angola have been awarded the Lucy McGough Juvenile Justice Award by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Along with our partners, we were honored for our “hard work on behalf of, and in dedication to, young people in Louisiana’s Juvenile system.” We were at the forefront of this litigation, bringing together an incredible team of lawyers, investigators, and advocates… and we won! Efforts like this are impossible without donations to our partner, Fair Fight Initiative, which funds this type of work across Louisiana and the Deep South. If you’re looking for year-end giving, please consider donating at fairfightinitiative.org.

Many thanks to the kids, parents, and communities who have trusted us to tell your stories.

Murell Law attorneys Chris Murell and Meghan Matt, in coordination with Fair Fight Initiative, joined Rights Behind Bars and Baker Botts L.L.P. in filing a Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction on behalf of Jane Doe, a trans woman seeking medically necessary care and safe living conditions from the Georgia Department of Corrections. Ms. Doe has been incarcerated in Georgia since 1992 and has endured significant abuse, including forcefully having her head shaved, abrupt stops to her hormone therapy, and sexual assault. She has repeatedly attempted suicide and has been in solitary confinement since 2019. Ms. Doe has been denied gender-affirming surgery even though three psychiatrists and a psychologist from GDC have determined she requires it. You can read the coverage of the case in The Appeal here

On December 5th, a panel of judges at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Smith v. Edwards, the case challenging the incarceration of children at Angola. As you may remember, the plaintiffs recently won our preliminary injunction, clearly demonstrating over a multi-day hearing that the kids at Angola were subject to unconstitutional and abhorrent conditions. The State removed the children but nevertheless persisted in their appeal, pleading that they wish to keep the facility open. Oral arguments will be held at 4pm at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the En Banc Courtoom. You can also stream online here (though this link will only work during the hearing). After the conclusion of the argument, you can listen to it here.

Murell Law has been on this case since the beginning, and we will continue to fight relentlessly on behalf of the children of this state.

Murell Law has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Raymond Flanks, who was exonerated after 38 years, 10 months, and 25 days of wrongful incarceration because prosecutors and law enforcement hid exculpatory evidence and used unlawful, manipulative identification procedures against him. Again working with the preeminent New York City-based Shanies Law Firm, we are suing the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Police Department, former detective John Dillmann, and the Orleans District Attorney's Office for their roles in this egregious injustice. Defendant Dillmann has been implicated in three prior wrongful convictions. You can read our lawsuit here.

Data from National Registry of Exonerations shows that Orleans Parish has the highest known wrongful conviction rate in the country and that over 70% of these cases involve withheld evidence, like in Mr. Flanks's case. 96% of the withheld evidence cases were wrongful convictions of Black defendants. If you or a loved one have been wrongly convicted, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Plaintiffs only have one year from the date of their exoneration to file a federal lawsuit. 

Murell Law is thrilled to welcome attorney Meghan Matt to the team. Chris and Meghan began working together in 2020 and have collaborated on and off ever since. Meghan comes with a dynamic and diverse background of experience, achieving favorable results for clients in criminal defense and civil rights cases. She prides herself on diligent communication with clients and fits right in with the zealous representation model of our firm. Read more about Meghan here.

In a significant victory that could have ramifications across the State, Murell Law prevailed in a motion to allow a jury to acquit their client in a murder by a 10-2 vote while still requiring a unanimous jury for conviction. Before the Supreme Court's decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, a jury only had to vote 10-2 to convict or acquit. This rule was a vestige of Louisiana's racist history. Now, all convictions must be unanimous. Last month, Chris convinced a judge in St. Tammany Parish that while a conviction must be unanimous, an acquittal can still be by a 10-2 vote. The State is appealing this ruling. If we win, this will have major implications for individuals all over Louisiana. 

This fall, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Sullivan Walter - a wrongfully convicted man who had 36 years of his life stolen by the State of Louisiana. Working with the preeminent New York City-based Shanies Law Firm, we are suing the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans District Attorney's Office for their blatant, egregious misconduct in Mr. Walter's case. You can learn more about the miscarriage of justice endured by Mr. Walter here

If you or a loved one have been wrongly convicted, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Plaintiffs only have one year from the date of their exoneration to file a federal lawsuit. 

Christopher Murell and David Utter recently authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The brief argue that the Court should hear the case and overturn David Brown's death sentence due to Louisiana prosecutors persistenly hiding favorable evidence to defendants and the Louisiana Supreme Court failing to act. 

Read here.

The Fair Fight Initiative offers to provide free, pro bono representation to anyone charged with any crime under Louisiana's oppressive, draconian abortion restrictions post-Dobbs. Experienced criminal defense attorneys Christopher Murell, Ronald Haley, and David Utter will provide this representation. 

Click here to learn more about the Fair Fight Initiative and support its work. 

The Murell Law Firm files a Motion for New Trial due to District Attorney Jason Williams and the New Orleans Police suppressing clear evidence of innocence at trial. 

Read here.

Partnering with other civil rights attorneys and organizations, Christopher Murell sues the Governor and the Office of Justice Justice to stop their transfer of juveniles to infamous former-slave plantation, now prison, Angola. These children are to be house in the former death row. 

You can support this fight, as well as the treatment of juveniles across the State, by giving to the Fair Fight Initiative.

In May 2022, Christopher Murell wrote a friend-of-the-court brief for Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to the U.S. Supreme Court urging their review of an unconstitutional capital conviction and sentence. 

Read here.

2831 St. Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

(504) 358-0457