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September 2015: Pro Bono Victory – Prosecutor Disbarred for Misconduct in Death Penalty Case

September 2015

The firm successfully represented Anthony Graves pro bono in his grievance to the State Bar of Texas to have the prosecutor who put him on death row disbarred for unethical conduct that came to light during post-conviction exoneration proceedings. Anthony Graves spent 18 years in prison in Texas, with 12 on death row, after being convicted of multiple murders in 1994 in a trial that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit eventually determined (through the work of other lawyers) was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct. Texas ultimately declared Anthony actually innocent. With co-counsel, Quinn Emanuel helped Anthony to initiate a proceeding before the State Bar of Texas to have his prosecutor disbarred for deliberately hiding evidence, suborning false testimony from key witnesses, and other wrongdoing. After the State Bar determined that there was “just cause” to believe the prosecutor violated ethical rules, Quinn Emanuel represented Anthony in the disbarment proceedings, including preparing him for his testimony, providing assistance and strategy to the State Bar attorneys prosecuting the action, and representing him during the evidentiary hearing in May 2015. The grievance panel agreed to the shocking breadth of the misconduct at Anthony’s trial and disbarred the prosecutor in a judgment in June 2015. Disbarment was the limit of the panel’s jurisdiction, so this was a complete victory and rare result.