NOTEWORTHY CASES | adam stein

2001 |
Hunt v. Cromartie

Adam Stein was co-counsel at trial and successfully argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in Hunt v. Cromartie, which was argued and decided with Smallwood v. Cromartie. The continuation of ongoing litigation concerning the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 12th Congressional District was deemed not to be an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Stein’s former law partner Melvin Watt has been elected to represent the 12th Congressional District in each election since its creation in 1992.

 
1996 |
Shaw v. Hunt

Adam Stein was co-counsel at trial and in the U.S. Supreme Court in a Shaw v. Hunt, which involved voters who intervened in two cases to defend North Carolina’s congressional redistricting plans after the 1990 Census. The plans included two districts that enabled black voters to elect candidates of their choice to Congress for the first time in the 20th Century. In Shaw, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 12th Congressional District was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, reversing the U.S. District Court which had approved the districting plan.

Litigation continued and in Hunt v. Cromartie II, 532 U.S. 234 (2001), which Stein argued in the U.S. Supreme Court, the 12th Congressional District was deemed not to be an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Stein’s former law partner Melvin Watt has been elected to represent the 12th Congressional District in each election since its creation in 1992.

 
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.

 
1972 |
Cotton v. Scotland Neck City Board of Education

Adam Stein was lead counsel at trial, on appeal, and briefed and argued the case in the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the North Carolina legislature’s creation of a predominantly white Scotland Neck school system in the midst of a majority black county school district, which was in the process of dismantling its dual school system, was an unconstitutional impediment to the disestablishment of the dual school system.

 
1971 |
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education

Adam Stein was co-counsel at trial, on appeal, and in the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Court held that extensive busing was an acceptable means for desegregating Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. The ruling paved the way for busing in school districts across the nation where it was deemed necessary to bring about an end to segregated educational systems.