Duane Morris and Northern California Innocence Project Celebrate Reversal of a Wrongful Conviction

Duane Morris and Northern California Innocence Project Karla Baday Trial Team

The San Francisco office hosted a reception to celebrate  Karla Baday’s release from prison after serving 17 years for a crime that she did not commit. Working alongside the Northern California Innocence Project, Duane Morris attorneys, Andrew Gordon, Christine Ross and William Berman represented the client pro bono in overturning her wrongful conviction. In  2002 Ms. Baday was convicted of multiple counts of child sexual abuse and received a sentence of 45 years to life. These offenses allegedly took place on a single day in less than a 2 hour period against 3 children of her former partner. At trial, one child testified the abuse never happened and other testimony was inconsistent. Our client, who spoke little English, was profoundly hampered in her defense by the appointment of an attorney who failed to cross-examine the prosecution’s witness, call available defense witnesses, challenge the unqualified prosecution expert witness, and consult or present any experts in support of the client.

The Duane Morris team entered the case successfully prevailing in a writ of habeas corpus proceeding. They argued that the client’s conviction was based on false medical evidence and that she had been prejudiced at trial by ineffective assistance of counsel. The team also found newly discovered evidence that further demonstrated our client’s innocence. Upon reversal of the client’s child molestation conviction by the trial court, she was released from prison where she was serving a 45-year-life sentence.

A the celebration,  Karla Baday said, “I want to thank Duane Morris and Northern California Innocence Project for believing in me and helping me get my freedom back.

Karla Baday speaking at Duane Morris about her ordeal.

Working with you was such an awesome experience. You made me feel that my life matters and that someone cares enough to take the time to find the truth. I don’t even have enough words to express how I feel. I will always have you so close to my heart. Now I can live my life again and enjoy every moment with my family. Thank you so much once again. God bless everybody.”



@Innocence @CA_innocence @DMProbono @Probonogal @Vbimmigration

Pro Bono makes the Profession: A Profile of Arfat Selvam, Managing Partner of the Duane Morris Singapore Office

Arfat Selvam, Managing Partner in the Duane Morris  &   Selvam, LLP  Singapore office was recently profiled by the Law Gazette of the Law Society of Singapore.  In 2017  Ms. Selvam was Pro Bono Ambassador for the Society.  In this profile, Ms. Selvam answers questions on her pro bono work:  How  did she get started in pro bono? And why does she think it is important? She also provides advice for young lawyers, law firms  and her hopes for the pro bono landscape in Singapore. To read the profile, click here.

Mrs Selvam has over forty years’ experience in corporate finance having been at the forefront of the development of the financial services market in Singapore. Her wide array of experience includes mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructures, takeovers, funds raising in the capital markets, privatisations, financial services, cross border investments, financial services and international joint ventures.

Mrs. Selvam was president of The Law Society of Singapore in 2003 and a former Director of the Stock Exchange of Singapore Limited. She was also a member of the Senate of the Academy of Law, the Board of Legal Education, and was formerly on the Board of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Arfat is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Directors.  She is a director of JurongHealth Fund Limited and Law Society Pro Bono Services. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation Ltd.

To read our 2018 Pro Bono Annual Report and learn more about the Duane Morris pro bono program, click here.


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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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