Barry Scheck is one of the firm’s founding partners. He has more than thirty years of trial experience in state and federal courts nationwide. Mr. Scheck enjoys a national reputation as a criminal defense and civil rights trial lawyer, and has successfully tried cases and argued appeals in state and federal courts around the country. Mr. Scheck’s criminal and civil trials have redefined and expanded the rights of victims of police misconduct and wrongful convictions throughout the United States.
In addition to his civil rights practice at NSB, Mr. Scheck is also a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In his thirty-one years in the Cardozo faculty, he has served as the Director of Clinical Education, Co-Director of the Trial Advocacy Programs, and the Jacob Burns Center for the Study of Law and Ethics.
Mr. Scheck, along with NSB partner Peter Neufeld co-directs The Innocence Project at Cardozo. The Project currently represents hundreds of inmates seeking post-conviction release through DNA testing. Since its founding, The Innocence Project has been responsible in whole or in part for exonerating most of the more than 250 hundred men to be cleared through post-conviction DNA testing. Today, Innocence Project includes a broad network of clinics across the country.
Over the years Mr. Scheck has received numerous honors and awards for his trial work and advocacy including—with his partner Peter Neufeld—the 2009 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law; the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers—Thurgood Marshall Award in 2001; the New York Civil Liberties Union Florina Lasker Award, “for courage in the defense of civil liberties” in 2001; the National Law Journal Runner-up for Lawyer of the Year in 2000, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers “Gideon Award” in 2000; the Southern Center for Human Rights Equal Justice Award in 2000; the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Distinguished Defense Attorney Award in 1999; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Robert C. Heeney Award for recognition of outstanding contributions in 1996; and the New York State Bar Association Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award for outstanding practitioner in 1995. Mr. Scheck was named one of the National Law Journal’s 100 most influential lawyers in America in 2006.
Mr. Scheck has taught trial practice, appellate advocacy, legal ethics and instructed on the forensic sciences to judges, lawyers and students nationwide. For example, Mr. Scheck has been an instructor at the National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NITA, and the NAACP annual training seminar for death penalty lawyers, and has been retained to train 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.
Mr. Scheck has been a Commissioner of the New York State Forensic Science Review Board since 1994, a Commissioner of the National Institute of Justice Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence from 1997-2000, an Advisor for AGID-Lab since 2001, and on the advisory board for Celera Genetic, Project to Identify Dead at World Trade Center. Mr. Scheck is an active member and the past president (2004-2005) of the National Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers. From 1995-1997 he served on the American Bar Association Special President’s Commission on High Profile Trials. He was recently appointed by Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice to sit on the Friedman Case Review Panel, an independent panel of legal and social science experts charged with reviewing the case of Jesse Friedman.
Mr. Scheck also has published extensively on a variety of legal issues ranging from trial practice to forensic science. Along with NSB partner Peter Neufeld and Jim Dwyer of the New York Times, he is the author of “Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution, and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted,” published in 2000.
Prior to becoming a law professor and entering private practice, Mr. Scheck was a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society in the Bronx. He is a Graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, and a graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies/Economics.