New Video Provides Insight into Rikers Island Settlement

In The News
September 29, 2015
William I. Sussman
Christopher P. Conniff

A new Ropes & Gray video explores the work that led to the historic settlement of a federal class-action lawsuit alleging an unconstitutional pattern and practice of excessive force against inmates at Rikers Island and other New York City jails. The groundbreaking agreement, which has been granted preliminary approval by the court, will, if finally approved, require comprehensive reforms by the New York City Department of Correction.

The video includes interviews with partners and co-counsel that highlight Ropes & Gray’s involvement in the case, which dates back to early 2012. A team of firm lawyers and professionals spent more than 30,000 pro bono hours on the matter, which involved almost 60 depositions, more than two million pages of hard copy and electronic discovery, and lengthy settlement negotiations.

New York partners William Sussman and Christopher Conniff led the firm’s involvement in the case. Mr. Sussman, who co-chairs Ropes & Gray’s pro bono committee and has been a longtime champion of pro bono work, will be honored with the Lawyers Who Lead by Example Pro Bono Award from the New York Law Journal on October 14.

To read more about Ropes & Gray’s involvement in prison reform and other pro bono initiatives, click here.