The United States Law Week

Bracewell Hires Lawyer Who Helped Free ‘West Memphis Three’

Jan. 8, 2019, 11:23 PM

Stephen Braga, a well-regarded litigator who helped win the release of the “West Memphis Three,” will head up Bracewell’s white collar defense practice in Washington, the firm announced.

Braga is a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and will start at Bracewell full-time in June after working for the firm on a part-time basis through the end of the academic year.

“I have worked with a number of the Bracewell partners over the years,” Braga said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with those old friends and my new Bracewell colleagues in growing a white collar practice in D.C. that builds on the firm’s leading white collar and trial practices in New York, Texas and Seattle.”

Braga has had a 35-year career working in white collar, appellate and civil litigation.

Well-known clients have included the three men who were convicted of murder in Arkansas as teenagers and spent 18 years in prison before being freed in 2011.

He represented the defendants during the final years of their case, helping them put together the Alford Plea that finally allowed them to go free after doubts about their had guilt built for years, according to reports.

He also defended PR executive Michael Scanlon in the D.C.-centered Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal in the 2000s, and defended ABC and journalist Chris Wallace from defamation claims.

Before starting work at Virginia in 2013, where he teaches white collar criminal defense, Braga was a partner at Ropes & Gray. He previously worked as a partner at Baker Botts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com

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