Professor David Moran, '91, cofounded the Michigan Innocence Clinic in January 2009 to litigate claims of actual innocence by prisoners in cases where DNA evidence is not available. In its first eight years, the clinic's work resulted in the exoneration of 10 men and three women who have served a total of more than 150 years of wrongful incarceration. In addition to his work in the clinic, Professor Moran teaches courses in criminal law and criminal procedure. He has published many articles about various aspects of criminal procedure, especially search and seizure. He has argued six times before the U.S. Supreme Court, most recently in November 2012. Among his most notable cases is
Halbert v. Michigan, in which the Supreme Court struck down a Michigan law that denied appellate counsel to assist indigent criminal defendants who wished to challenge their sentences after pleading guilty. Professor Moran earned his BS in physics from the University of Michigan; a BA, MA, and CAS in mathematics from Cambridge University; an MS in theoretical physics from Cornell University; and a JD, magna cum laude, from Michigan Law. He clerked for the Hon. Ralph B. Guy Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, then served for eight years as an assistant defender at the State Appellate Defender Office in Detroit. Prior to joining Michigan Law in 2008, he was an associate professor and the associate dean for academic affairs at Wayne State University Law School. Professor Moran was named "Upperclass Professor of the Year" each of the eight years he taught at Wayne State. In 2010, he was named the Michigan Lawyer of the Year by
Michigan Lawyer's Weekly and received the Justice For All Award (with Michigan Law Lecturer and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack), the highest award bestowed by the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. In 2016, he was named a Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News for his efforts in exonerating a Michigan Innocence Clinic client.
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