Barry Scheck’s more than thirty-five years of trial successes have earned him a national reputation. Barry’s criminal and civil trials have redefined and expanded the rights of victims of police misconduct and wrongful convictions throughout the United States.
For example, Barry represented George Rodriguez, who spent 17 years wrongly imprisoned for rape, in his civil rights trial against the City of Houston. Barry proved that when a Houston Police Department Crime Lab serologist fabricated evidence against Rodriguez, causing his wrongful conviction, he was not acting on his own. Rather, the fabrication of evidence was part of a persistent, widespread pattern of forensic misconduct at the Crime Lab, caused by systemic and deliberate failure to supervise crime lab personnel under pressure to obtain convictions at the expense of reliable science. As a result, Barry obtained a rare civil rights verdict holding the City of Houston itself responsible for Rodriguez’s wrongful conviction.
In addition to his civil rights practice at NSB, Barry, along with NSB partner Peter Neufeld, cofounded and co-directs The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Innocence Project has been responsible in whole or in part for exonerating most of the over 300 men and women to be cleared through post-conviction DNA testing.
Barry is also a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; in his over thirty years on the Cardozo faculty, he has served as the Director of Clinical Education, Co-Director of the Trial Advocacy Programs, and Co-Director of the Jacob Burns Center for the Study of Law and Ethics. He is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Barry has also taught trial practice, appellate advocacy, legal ethics and forensic sciences to judges, lawyers and students nationwide, including instructing at the National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NITA, and the NAACP annual training seminar for death penalty lawyers, and training lawyers in trial practice at major law firms including Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Prior to becoming a law professor and entering private practice, Barry was a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society in the Bronx.
- Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, JD, 1974
- Yale University, B.A. in American Studies/Economics, 1971
- New York State Bar Association gold medal in 2013
- National Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012
- 2009 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law
- The Norman S. Ostrow Award from The New York Counsel of Defense Lawyers in 2007
- National Law Journal’s 100 Most Influential Lawyers, 2006
- The University of Virginia School of Law, William J. Brennan, Jr. Award in 2006
- Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist in 2002
- Named one of the 100 Best Lawyers in America over several years
- Numerous Honorary Degrees
- Commissioner of the New York State Forensic Science Review Board, 1994-Present
- Commissioner of the National Institute of Justice Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence, 1997-2000
- Advisor for AGID-Lab, 2001-Present
- Advisory board for Celera Genetic, Project to Identify Dead at World Trade Center
- Member and the past president (2004-2005) of the National Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- American Bar Association Special President’s Commission on High Profile Trials, 1995-1997
- Commissioner, National Institute of Justice Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence (1996-2000)
- Jim Dwyer, Peter Neufeld, Barry Scheck, Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution, and Other Dispatches From the Wrongly Convicted (2000)
- Peter Neufeld, Barry Scheck, and Taryn Simon. The Innocents. New York: Umbrage Editions in association with The Innocence Project, (2003)