Debevoise Partner David A. O’Neil Argues Before U.S. Supreme Court in Shoop v. Twyford

27 April 2022

Debevoise partner David A. O’Neil argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Shoop v. Twyford on April 26 on issues of federal courts and jurisdiction.

Raymond Twyford was convicted of murder in Ohio and sentenced to death. In connection with his federal habeas petition, the district court ordered the state to transport him to the hospital affiliated with the prison to undergo neurological testing regarding defects resulting from childhood abuse, drug and alcohol use, and a childhood suicide attempt that left more than 20 bullet fragments in his head. The warden appealed the transport order, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari in January.

Mr. O’Neil, who is representing Mr. Twyford pro bono, argued that the collateral-order doctrine does not allow interlocutory appeals of prisoner transport orders and therefore the Court lacked jurisdiction to review the district court’s non-final order. Mr. O’Neil further argued that if the Court concluded it did have jurisdiction, it should affirm the Sixth Circuit’s holding that courts have authority under the All Writs Act in appropriate circumstances to order prisoners transferred for medical testing, and that such an order was necessary or appropriate here. Additional information about the case can be found here.

The Debevoise team representing Mr. Twyford is led by partner David A. O’Neil. It also includes partner former Judge John Gleeson, counsel Anna Moody, and associates Matthew Specht, Molly Maass, Jon Demars, Anagha Sundararajan, Ben Leb, Rachel Tennell, Scott Caravello, Elise Coletta, and Cara Ortiz.