Criminal Defense Attorneys honor Cooley professor

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– LEGAL NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN MEIU

Pictured, left to right: Stuart Friedman, CDAM award committee chair; Linda Borus, SADO chief investigator; Michael Mittlestat, SADO attorney; Marilena David-Martin, SADO attorney; Peter Van Hoek, SADO attorney; Alan Gershel, Cooley Law School professor.


Cooley Law School Professor Alan M. Gershel and Cooley student volunteers received the Justice for All Award at the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan’s (CDAM) annual awards on March 7. They were honored for their investigation into convictions arising from evidence presented by the discredited, now closed Detroit Crime Lab Unit.

Within a span of five years, Cooley students helped review 1,043 convictions that lead to five new trials, which resulted in one exoneration and two individuals released from prison.

“This award honors the extraordinary efforts made by the recipients to insure the integrity of the Michigan Judicial System,” said Stuart Friedman, CDAM board member and award committee chair. “When faced with the misconduct within the Crime Lab, these courageous individuals stepped up and took the necessary actions to review potentially flawed convictions and then acted to obtain justice when violations were identified.“

Along with Gershel and Cooley’s students the CDAM honored others involved with the review. Those also receiving honors included State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) attorneys Marilena David-Martin, Michael Mittlestat, Peter Van Hoek, Hon. Kim McGinnis, attorney Daniel Signs and SADO Chief Investigator Linda Borus.