Chris Murell

Chris Murell has consistently been a champion for those silenced by injustice. A seasoned defense attorney whose career spans multiple facets of the legal system, Chris’s story is one of relentless advocacy and profound compassion and empathy for those that he defends. Born with a sense of purpose, Chris was aware from a young age that his life’s work would involve defending those most in need, advocating for the vulnerable, and giving a voice to the marginalized. Chris is recognized for his ability to secure victories in cases that appear indefensible, achieving acquittals, dismissals, or reductions that lead to favorable outcomes for his clients.

His journey began on the prosecution side, where he honed his skills in the legal battlefield, serving on a legal team to help secure a life sentence in the high-profile Brian Nichols case in Georgia. This experience offered him invaluable insight into the mechanics of prosecution, knowledge he would later use to defend the underserved.

News and Media

Following Hurricane Katrina, Chris’s path led him to Louisiana, where he took on the role of a public defender. In a system overwhelmed by the aftermath of a disaster, Chris represented those who couldn’t afford legal counsel, earning him a reputation for securing victories in court against seemingly insurmountable odds.

After his tenure as a public defender, Chris further honed his legal expertise by working with Lewis Unglesby, a nationally known trial lawyer with an exceptional track record in criminal and civil law. Chris played a pivotal role on a legal team that successfully secured wins in both criminal and civil cases.

Co-Founder of Impactful Organizations

Chris’s commitment to justice throughout his career led him to co-found the capital trial division at the Orleans Public Defenders office and The Capital Appeals Project, a nonprofit that guarantees representation for all indigent defendants in Louisiana.

Reaching the Louisiana Supreme Court and Supreme Court of the United States

Chris has argued numerous cases before the Louisiana Supreme Court. His track record includes not only securing acquittals in serious felony cases, from drug possession to murder but also persuading the Louisiana Supreme Court to overturn his clients’ convictions and death sentences.

Moreover, Chris’s legal acumen was evident in a legal brief that reached the Supreme Court of the United States for a wrongful death penalty conviction for David Brown.

Protecting Children Shackled in Solitary Confinement at the World’s Deadliest Adult Prison

In the harsh confines of Angola Prison, the world’s most notorious maximum-security adult prison, children were being housed in prior death row, shackled in solitary confinement, and treated inhumanely. They were not receiving the education and rehabilitative treatment they deserved and were subjected to unneeded trauma. Chris was instrumental in the liberation of children from this heinous jail. As part of a legal team, he successfully persuaded the judge to have these children removed from such harsh conditions in an adult prison and transferred to a juvenile facility.

Chris’s legal acumen is matched by his capacity to listen deeply, empathize, and gain a true understanding for his clients and the legal situation at hand. He not only skillfully guides his clients through the complexities of the broken legal maze. He empowers his clients, teaching them to stand against the towering injustices they face. His approach to law is not merely as a profession, but as a calling, utilizing wisdom, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of what is right.

To his peers, Chris Murell is the quiet observer, patiently waiting to make the next move. He operates as the intermediary between a broken legal system and those entangled in its complexity, crafting multiple avenues toward freedom for his clients. His efforts have not only led to the acquittal, dismissal, or reduction of serious criminal charges for his clients but have also resulted in significant seven-figure civil and personal injury settlements.

News and Media

Chris is frequently featured in the evening news broadcasts. Many of the cases that he defends have appeared in major media outlets such as NBC, ABC, CBS, and in the Times-Picayune, among others.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Chris Murell’s story is a testament to the power of a single voice to echo on behalf of the voiceless, a narrative of a man who, inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr., refuses to be silent about things that matter, changing lives and the system, one case at a time.

Education

Chris Murell is an accomplished attorney with a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, class of 2006, where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow and served as a Research Assistant for Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam. He completed his undergraduate studies at Emory University, earning a Bachelor of Arts with Summa Cum Laude honors in 2003, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society that recognizes the top 10% of the class.

Other Notable Achievements

Chris is renowned not just for a history of securing positive results for his clients, but also for achieving a significant number of acquittals in felony trials. Notably, the only case he lost as lead counsel was promptly reversed due to prosecutorial misconduct. He has a strong record of success in state and federal courts, consistently managing to get statements, evidence, and identifications suppressed. His appellate successes are unlike many attorneys in the state. Among his notable achievements is a case that reached the Louisiana Supreme Court, leading to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding an $8 million verdict for a client.  Chris is renowned for handling high-profile, high-stakes cases, encompassing everything from murder charges to cases of police brutality, abuse in detention facilities, and fatalities in custody. Moreover, he is highly experienced in cross-examining a vast array of witnesses, ranging from police officers and informants to expert witnesses.

Bar Admissions

Chris is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and is licensed in the states of Louisiana and Georgia. He is also admitted to the Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, all three federal district courts in Louisiana (Eastern, Middle, and Western), as well as all three federal district courts in Georgia (Northern, Middle, and Southern).

 

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