Appeal for the Family of Murder Victim Hae Min Lee

Case name: Young Lee, as Victim’s Representative, v. State of Maryland

Case type: Appellate Practice

Filed in: The Appellate Court of Maryland

Docket: [Case no. CSA-REG-1291-2022]

Case Summary

Sanford Heisler Sharp is representing Young Lee, the brother of murder victim Hae Min Lee, in appealing the Baltimore City circuit court decision that vacated the conviction of Adnan Syed. Mr. Syed was convicted in 1999 for killing Ms. Lee, and the subsequent case has drawn international attention as the subject of the 2014 blockbuster podcast “Serial” and an HBO documentary.

While not challenging the evidence relating to Mr. Syed’s underlying guilt or innocence, Sanford Heisler Sharp’s appeal on behalf of Mr. Lee contends that the vacatur hearing violated Maryland’s statutory and constitutional crime victims’ rights by not giving the Lee family adequate notice or a meaningful opportunity to participate in the proceedings. Maryland’s Declaration of Rights affords crime victims “dignity, respect, and sensitivity during all phases of the criminal justice process,” which the circuit court trampled in this instance.

On September 28, 2022, nine days after Mr. Syed’s conviction was vacated, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a notice of appeal with the Appellate Court of Maryland.

On October 5, 2022, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a motion to stay the circuit court proceedings.

On October 27, 2022, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a response to the Appellate Court’s Order to Show Cause why the appeal is not moot.

On November 4, 2022, the Appellate Court granted Sanford Heisler Sharp’s motion for a full appeal.

On December 9, 2022, Sanford Heisler Sharp submitted the Appellant Brief in Young Lee, as Victim’s Representative, v. State of Maryland.

On January 23, 2023, Sanford Heisler Sharp submitted Appellant Reply Brief.

On February 2, 2023, David Sanford, Chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp, Steve Kelly, Partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Criminal/Sexual Violence practice, and Ari B. Rubin, Litigation Fellow, presented oral arguments to the Maryland Appellate Court asking it to remand the case to the circuit court with instructions to conduct a new evidentiary hearing that fully complies with the law.

On March 28, 2023, The Appellate Court granted Sanford Heisler Sharp’s request and ordered a redo of the vacatur hearing.

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