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.