NOTEWORTHY CASES

1988 |
West v. Atkins

Adam Stein briefed and argued West v. Atkins in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Stein’s client, reversing the en banc Fourth Circuit and holding that a doctor under contract with the State to provide part time medical services to prisoners acts “under color of state law” and thus may be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating a prisoner’s constitutional rights. The Court prevented the State from denying prisoners access to federal courts when the State contracts out its authority and its constitutional obligation to provided medical care. The Supreme Court also repudiated the doctrine fashioned by the Court of Appeals that professionals do not act under color of state law when acting within their professional capacities.

 
1988 |
State v. Hunt

Adam Stein played a pivotal role in securing reversals of Darryl Hunt’s original convictions for crimes he did not commit: State v. Hunt, 91 N.C. App. 574, 372 S.E.2d 744 (1988) (the Arthur Wilson case) and State v. Hunt, 324 N.C. 343, 378 S.E.2d 754 (1989) (the Deborah Sykes case). Following these initial appeals, Stein continued representing Hunt during his retrial along with James E. Ferguson, II and Mark Rabil. After DNA results proved Hunt’s innocence in 1994, it still took 10 years of legal appeals to exonerate him. Hunt’s ordeal has been chronicled extensively in the media and through award-winning documentaries. Hunt was ultimately granted a pardon by the State of North Carolina and received a significant monetary payment from the City of Winston-Salem.