Shaygan v. United States

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of the petition for certiorari.

Brief filed: 08/10/2012


Shaygan v. United States

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 12-44

Prior Decision

Case below 652 F.3d 1297 (11th Cir. 2011), reh’g en banc denied, 676 F.3d 1237 (11th Cir. 2012).


Fee awards under the Hyde Amendment, which allow acquitted defendants to recover some of the financial damage they incur from having faced a criminal prosecution undertaken by the government which has been shown to be “vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith,” are a needed check against prosecutorial misconduct. The Hyde Amendment authorizes an award of attorney’s fees even where probable cause existed to support the filing of criminal charges; the Eleventh Circuit’s cramped interpretation of the statute will have a chilling effect on zealous advocacy, endangering defendants’ Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel.

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Paul R.Q. Wolfson, Shirley Cassin Woodward and Susan S. Friedman, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC, and Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.