CW legal team files Ninth Circuit appeal on behalf of client Dr. Mark Ridley-Thomas

January 2024

A team led by CW partners Alyssa Bell and Michael Schafler filed its appeal of Dr. Mark Ridley-Thomas's 2023 convictions and sentence with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, calling on the court to reverse Dr. Ridley-Thomas's convictions or grant a new trial. The brief challenges an unlawful expansion of federal jurisdiction over local government, including the U.S. Attorney's novel prosecution of bribery and honest services. This misapplication of federal fraud statutes, according to Dr. Ridley-Thomas's team, stands to inhibit routine government operations. "The government used an unprecedented bribery theory that chills legitimate policymaking," Bell said in a statement. "What should have begun and ended as an internal investigation at USC resulted in a prosecution untethered to federal precedent."

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