Special Litigation Division

The Special Litigation Division (SLD) handles a wide variety of litigation that seeks to vindicate the constitutional and statutory rights of PDS clients and to challenge pervasive, unfair, and racist criminal system practices. SLD attorneys practice across division lines, whether civil or criminal, juvenile or adult, pretrial or post-conviction. They collaborate with their PDS colleagues and with members of the broader legal community with whom they can make common cause. SLD attorneys practice before local and federal trial and appellate courts in the District of Columbia and in federal courts throughout the country. Among SLD’s recent achievements is the release of more than 50 people from life sentences through the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act and compassionate release. SLD has also recently engaged in class action litigation on behalf of PDS’s clients, including seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to improve conditions at the D.C. Jail during the COVID-19 pandemic, end the illegal detention of individuals based on ICE requests, and create equitable treatment for people incarcerated in the BOP serving D.C. Superior Court sentences.