Michael E. Deutsch

After clerking for United States Court of Appeals Judge Otto Kerner, Mr. Deutsch went into private practice, joining People’s Law Office in 1970 where he has represented political activists and victims of police and government civil rights violations. His advocacy has taken him all around the world, including to hearings in the United Nations. He has tried many civil and criminal cases in federal and state courts, and has written and argued numerous appeals, including several in the United States Supreme Court.

He was chosen as the Public Interest Lawyer of the Year in 2003 and nominated as a finalist for this award in 2001. He was one of the lawyers for the Attica prisoners following the 1971 uprising and state massacre of prisoners, initially working on the defense of prisoners charged with criminal offenses, and subsequently helping to obtain a $12 million settlement for the prisoners’ class-action civil rights suit against New York State officials. Mr. Deutsch has represented Puerto Rican Independence activists over the past 40 years and was lead counsel in obtaining the clemency release in 1979 from President Jimmy Carter of the Puerto Rican nationalist prisoners, including Lolita Lebron and Rafael Cancel Miranda. In 2006, he and Erica Thompson successfully defended Muhammad Salah, a Palestinian indicted for allegedly running a terrorist-recruiting and financing cell in the United States. Mr. Deutsch is a past legal director of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. In addition to litigating full time, he has taught a seminar on prisons at his alma mater, and has published extensively in legal and popular journals.

Northwestern University School of Law JD 1969, Law Review and Order of the Coif

Court Admissions: Admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Second, Seventh and D.C. Circuits, and numerous Federal District Courts

Awards & Honors: Arthur Kinoy, People’s Lawyer Award, 2006; CAIR Human Rights Award; Arab-American Action Network Fighter for Justice; Puerto Rican Human Rights Award (partial list)

Professional Affiliations: National Lawyers Guild

Publications include: “The Trial of Muhammad Salah,” Journal of Palestine Studies; “Attica, Forty Years Later,” Prison Legal News.