Peter Neufeld is one of the firm’s founding partners. He has over thirty years of trial experience, and enjoys a national reputation as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer. Mr. Neufeld has successfully tried cases and argued appeals in state and federal courts nationwide, and has obtained numerous substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of victims of police misconduct and wrongful convictions. His cases have led to important systemic reforms in the areas of criminal justice and police practices.
In addition to his civil rights practice at NSB, Mr. Neufeld, along with NSB partner Barry Scheck, co-founded and co-directs The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. 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 men and women to be cleared through post-conviction DNA testing, a total of 267 and counting. Today, the Innocence Project includes a broad network of clinics across the country.
Mr. Neufeld has received numerous awards and honors including, for example, the 2009 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law (with his partner Barry Scheck); The Norman S. Ostrow Award from The New York Counsel of Defense Lawyers in 2007; the University of Virginia School of Law, William J. Brennan, Jr. Award in 2006; named one of the 100 Best Lawyers over several years; Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist in 2002; The Charles W. Froessel Award, Distinguished Service to the Legal Community in 2001; the New York Civil Liberties Union, Florina Lasker Award in 2001; the New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Thurgood Marshall Award in 2001; the New York Civil Liberties Union, The Jerry Bishop Guardian of Liberty Award in 2001; The American Society of Criminology, President’s Award in 2001; Runner Up for National Law Journal Lawyer of the Year in 2000; the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Gideon Award in 2000; The Legal Aid Society, Outstanding Commitment to Human Rights award in 2000; The American Ethical Union, Elliott-Black Award in 2000; the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Significant Contributions of Criminal Justice award in 2000; the Southern Center for Human Rights, Equal Justice Award in 2000; and the New York University School of Law, and the Public Interest Foundation award in 1999.
Mr. Neufeld taught trial advocacy for several years at Fordham University Law School. He also has taught extensively on the intersection of science and law, including the proper use of expert witnesses. His articles on these subjects appear in both science and law publications. He has lectured on civil rights and criminal justice before legal and scientific organizations, state commissions and bar associations, and has taught continuing legal education programs for judges and lawyers across the country as well as abroad, on the subjects of forensic science, expert witnesses and cross examination. Mr. Neufeld, along with NSB partner Barry Scheck and Jim Dwyer of the New York Times, is also the author of “Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution, and Other Dispatches From the Wrongly Convicted,” published in 2000.
Mr. Neufeld serves on the Board of Trustees for Montefiore Medical Center, the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and the Abelard Foundation. He is also a member of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science, which is responsible for regulating all state and local crime laboratories.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Neufeld was a staff attorney for many years with The Legal Aid Society in the Bronx. He received his law degree in 1975 from New York University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1972.