Margaret J. Chriss, Chief
Peter Smith, Deputy Chief
The Special Proceedings Division handles all post-conviction litigation in both U.S. District Court and Superior Court. Most commonly, the Division responds to motions alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and newly discovered evidence, and we often present the testimony of defense counsel or other Assistants at hearings on these motions. The Division also responds to motions for post-conviction DNA testing under the Innocence Protection Act, motions for release filed by defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity, habeas petitions challenging the actions of the U.S. Parole Commission or the Bureau of Prisons, motions to seal arrest records, and post-sentence motions filed under the Sex Offender Registration Act. The Division provides Assistants with extensive writing experience and with numerous opportunities for evidentiary hearings, and also allows Assistants to gain valuable experience in examining and cross-examining expert witnesses, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and defendants.