New York University School of Law ('06)
Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow
Research Assistant for Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam
Emory University, B.A. ('03)
Graduated Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)
Inducted to Phi Beta Kappa (academic honor society at the top 10% of colleges; requires graduation in top 10% of class)
Won acquittals in approximately 20 felony jury trials. His only loss as lead counsel was overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct
Successfully argued numerous times to have statements, evidence, and identifications suppressed in state and federal court
Persuaded prosecutors to refuse or dismiss charges in homicide and violent felony cases
Been part of trial teams that achieved multiple multi-million dollar jury verdicts for clients in civil cases
Authored victorious appeals in cases ranging from having his client's conviction and death sentence overturned by the Louisiana Supreme Court, to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming an $8 million verdict for his client.
Effectively litigated for clients in police brutality and workplace discrimination cases
Cross-examined hundreds upon hundreds of witnesses, including police, snitches, and expert witnesses
Supreme Court of the United States
State of Louisiana
State of Georgia
Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Eastern District of Louisiana
Middle District of Louisiana
Western District of Louisiana
Middle District of Georgia
Southern District of Georgia
For the last sixteen years, Chris has been a fierce, dedicated, and successful advocate for clients at trial and on appeal. His experience includes securing acquittals for felony cases ranging from drug possession to murder, having the Louisiana Supreme Court overturn his clients' conviction and death sentence, being part of trial teams that have won millions of dollars for clients, and representing clients in high profile civil rights lawsuits against police across Louisiana.
Christopher Murell was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated summa cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in philosophy, and was also inducted into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Chris attended New York University School of Law, one of the top 6 law schools in the U.S. There, he was awarded the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellowship. He also served as research assistant to the renowned civil rights, social justice, and capital defense luminary Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam.
Before opening his own law firm in the fall of 2021, Chris worked for preeminent Louisiana trial attorney Lewis Unglesby. While there, Chris was part of the trial team with Mr. Unglesby that won multi-million dollar verdicts for their clients. Chris made opening and closing arguments, as well conducted direct and cross-examinations of opponents' witnesses at trial. He also had immense success in criminal and civil litigation. A federal court suppressed all evidence against his client in a gun case. Chris successfully navigated motions to dismiss his clients' federal civil rights cases. He authored and won successful pre-trial and mid-trial writs in the Louisiana Supreme Court, having adverse trial court and court of appeals decisions reversed. Recently, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an $8 million verdict in an asbestos case where Chris took the lead on briefing. The Louisiana Supreme Court refused to review or overturn that decision. Chris was called as an expert witness in criminal trial practice in a lawsuit challenging the underfunding of public defenders.
Before joining the Unglesby Law Firm in 2018, Chris was the Executive Director of the Capital Appeals Project and Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans. In addition to his duties as director of these offices, Chris acted as lead and associate counsel on capital direct appeals, including successfully arguing to have a death sentence reversed in front of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Chris also helped craft a class action lawsuit regarding the chronic underfunding of indigent defense in Louisiana, and testified in front of the Louisiana legislature about that topic.
Chris moved to Louisiana in 2008 to take a job at the revamped Orleans Public Defenders office (OPD), following Hurricane Katrina. Chris went on to try approximately two dozen cases in front of juries, achieving acquittals for nearly all these clients, and having his sole conviction while lead counsel quickly reversed due to the State hiding exculpatory evidence. He also tried more than seventy-five cases before judges and conducted hundreds of evidentiary hearings and witness examinations. Chris authored numerous successful pretrial writs in the Fourth Circuit and Louisiana Supreme Court. During his last three years at OPD, Chris co-founded the capital trial division of the office and focused solely on death penalty and juvenile life-without-parole cases. Chris has trained extensively in methods of cross-examination and voir dire, including the Colorado Method. He has been invited to train young lawyers from around Louisiana on trial methods.
Chris began his career with a two-year fellowship at the Georgia Capital Defender, where he was part of the trial team that secured a life verdict in the capital trial of Brian Nichols.
Chris’ work has been featured by NBC National News, Pro-Publica, The AP, The Guardian, The Marshall Project, Vice News, The Times Picayune, The Advocate, The Appeal, and in numerous other television and written stories.
Chris is admitted to practice in Louisiana, including all of its federal courts, and in Georgia.