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June 2015: Ninth Circuit Pro Bono Victory

June 2015

The firm obtained a pro bono civil rights victory in a Ninth Circuit appeal on behalf of a California state prison inmate, Maurice Olivier. Proceeding pro se in the district court, Mr. Olivier alleged prison officials inflicted cruel and unusual punishment upon him in violation of the Eight Amendment in a variety of ways over a period of several years, including by denying him all access to outdoor exercise for months at a time, illuminating his cell twentyfour hours a day, and failing to treat his severe medical problems, including insomnia and migraine headaches.

After the district court twice dismissed his complaint, Mr. Olivier appealed, and the firm was appointed to represent him pro bono. A team of Quinn Emanuel associates designed an appeal strategy, prepared briefing that pieced together the necessary allegations for Mr. Olivier’s claims from the many prison grievance documents referenced in his complaint, and argued the case to the Ninth Circuit. After oral argument, the Ninth Circuit adopted the firm’s argument in its entirety, unanimously agreeing on every contested claim for relief, resulting in a complete victory for the client.