Debevoise Pro Bono Victory for Tysheem McGregor Featured in The American Lawyer

2 November 2021

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has secured a pro bono victory for its client Tysheem McGregor, a young man who had been swept up in a gang-related indictment in East Harlem and in 2017 was sentenced to 15 years in prison. On October 28, following the longest-running trial in Manhattan Supreme Court since the pandemic, Mr. McGregor was acquitted of all but one of his six charges related to a December 2015 shooting including attempted murder, and walked out of the courthouse a free man. The win has been featured in The American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily.

Debevoise had previously won a new trial for Mr. McGregor in a direct criminal appeal based on serious juror misconduct (a juror fell in love with one of the People’s key witnesses). Following that victory, the case was sent back to Manhattan Supreme Court in 2019 for a retrial on two conspiracy counts and various charges, and finally proceeded to trial last month.

Spanning nearly three weeks of testimony and almost 50 witnesses, the jury returned a verdict, after deliberating for only four hours, that acquitted Mr. McGregor of all but the least serious charge – conspiracy in the fourth degree – and he was released the same day. On summation, litigation partner Susan Gittes convincingly argued that the People failed to present real evidence against Mr. McGregor, and instead, only offered evidence about other young men from his neighborhood to try to convince the jury that Mr. McGregor was guilty by association.

Mr. McGregor’s case came to Debevoise in early 2018 through the non profit, Getting Out and Staying Out.

The Debevoise team was led by litigation partner Susan Gittes and associate Lauren Dolecki Kober who were trial counsel. The trial team was supervised by Helen Cantwell, an alum of the Manhattan DA’s office. The team also included partner Winston Paes and associates Eric Koenigsberg, Patrick Maroun, Roy Sengupta, Kate Witteman, Emmanuel Fashakin Jr. and Tara Raam.