The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”—Ida B. Wells

Chelsea Jones Crawford joined Brown Goldstein & Levy in September 2015 and has a growing, diverse civil rights practice, including substantial work in wrongful conviction, police misconduct, and disability rights cases.

At Brown, Goldstein & Levy, Chelsea has worked on some of the largest wrongful conviction and police misconduct cases in the State of Maryland. In 2021, she obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of the family of Eric Sopp, an unarmed man in distress who was shot and killed by a Baltimore County police officer. It was one of the largest settlements in State and County history. In 2020, she helped obtain a nearly $8 million settlement for two men who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned after plainclothes Baltimore Police Department officers planted drugs in their car. In 2018, she was part of a team that obtained a $9 million settlement on behalf of man who was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for 21 years after Baltimore homicide detectives concealed exculpatory evidence.

A former journalist covering daily news, Chelsea brings a passion for storytelling to every case. Chelsea has experience practicing before administrative agencies, courts across Maryland and in the District of Columbia, and in federal courts nationwide.

Prior to joining Brown Goldstein & Levy, Chelsea clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for the Honorable Stephanie A. Gallagher on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

During law school, Chelsea served as the Executive Articles Editor of the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association, and member of the law school’s National Moot Court Team. Chelsea received the 2013 Elizabeth Maxwell Carroll Chesnut Prize, known as the “Dean’s Award,” for her scholarship, personal drive, and excellence in writing and was awarded Order of the Barristers.

Before law school, Chelsea spent several years working in broadcast news. She began her career at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, where she worked the news desk. She later joined National Public Radio’s flagship afternoon program, All Things Considered, as an Assistant Editor.

Chelsea is active in several bar associations and organizations in Maryland. She is Co-Chair of the Leadership Committee member for the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service’s Community Advocacy Network and a member of the Executive Board of the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland. Previously, she served on the Young Lawyers Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Executive Board of the Monumental City Bar Association, the oldest and largest specialty bar association in Baltimore City.

Representative Cases

  • Estate of Malcolm Bryant v. Baltimore Police Department – Obtained an $8 million settlement for the family of a man who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for nearly 18 years for a murder he did not commit as a result of misconduct by a detective and forensic analyst within the Baltimore Police Department. Mr. Bryant was exonerated in 2016 after a court-ordered DNA test proved his innocence (2022).

  • Obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of the family of Eric Sopp, an unarmed man who was shot and killed by a Baltimore County police officer.

  • Umar Burley and Brent Matthews v. Baltimore Police DepartmentObtained nearly $8 million for two men who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned after plainclothes Baltimore Police Department officers (some of whom were later members of the Gun Trace Task Force) planted drugs in their car (2020).

  • Part of a team that obtained a court order holding the District of Columbia responsible for providing services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to eligible DC residents who are incarcerated in federal facilities (2020).

  • James Owens v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.  Obtained a $9 million settlement on behalf of a man who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 21 years after Baltimore homicide detectives concealed exculpatory evidence (2018).

  • Won a jury verdict and settlement on behalf of a man who was assaulted and wrongfully arrested in response to asking a Baltimore police officer for his badge number (2016).

Awards

Best Lawyers Ones to Watch, Brown Goldstein & Levy LLP, 2022
rated by superlawyers, rising stars, Chelsea J. Crawford, superlawers.com
  • The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Civil Rights Law, Criminal Defense – General Practice, and Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2022
  • Maryland Rising Stars, 2018-2021