Neel Lalchandani is a litigator who has achieved numerous victories for his clients in civil rights, employment, and commercial matters. He is dedicated to achieving the best solutions and outcomes on their behalf, having litigated and negotiated cases resulting in multi-million dollar payments and changes to government policy.

Neel represents numerous exonerees and victims of police misconduct in lawsuits alleging violations of their constitutional and civil rights. His efforts have resulted in some of the largest payments in Maryland history for the wrongfully convicted, including over $10 million in state compensation on behalf of innocent men imprisoned for murders they did not commit.

Neel has also obtained workplace and testing accommodations for individuals with disabilities and successfully represented group homes in fair housing challenges to discriminatory and unlawful zoning policies. Neel takes pride in representing individuals, nonprofits, and companies in a diverse array of matters, in cases ranging from employment and contract disputes to federal criminal investigations.

Prior to joining the firm, Neel clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and for the Honorable David O. Carter on the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

During law school, Neel represented clients as a student attorney in the Stanford Community Law Clinic, was Co-President of the American Constitution Society, and participated in the Iraq Legal Education Initiative. Neel also interned with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and with Human Rights First as a Ford Foundation Public Interest Fellow.

Prior to law school, Neel taught and mentored high school students at Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men in Chicago; completed the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs in San Francisco; and studied human rights as a Humanity in Action Fellow in Lyon, France.

Representative Cases
  • Petitions on behalf of Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart – Obtained $5.8 million in state compensation from the Board of Public Works (consisting of the highest per-year amount in Maryland history) on behalf of two men who were each wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in Maryland prisons for 36 years (2020).

  • Petitions on behalf of Clarence Shipley and Jerome Johnson – Obtained $4.4 million in state compensation from the Board of Public Works on behalf of two men who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in Maryland for 27 and 30 years, respectively (2019).

  • Umar Burley v. Baltimore Police Department – Represent two men who were wrongfully imprisoned for a combined 11 years because plainclothes officers of the Baltimore Police Department (some of whom later joined the Gun Trace Task Force) planted heroin in the men’s car (2019).

  • Rivera v. Mo’s Fisherman Exchange, Inc. – Part of team that obtained a $1 million settlement on behalf of restaurant workers against the Mo’s Seafood chain for wage and hour violations (2018).

  • In re Emergency Request to Unseal Special Master’s Report – Successfully represented American Oversight, a watchdog group focused on the executive branch, to obtain the expedited unsealing of a confidential 1999 report on alleged improper leaks from the Office of Independent Counsel (Ken Starr’s investigation of President Clinton), where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh worked as a prosecutor (2018).

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

Awards
  • Super Lawyers’ Maryland Rising Stars (2020)
  • Stanford Law School: Judge Thelton E. Henderson Prize for Outstanding Performance in Community Law Clinic
  • Stanford Law School: Gerald Gunther Prize for Outstanding Performance in Constitutional Law I
  • Stanford Law School: Public Interest Fellow; Pro Bono Distinction
Presentations
  • Panelist: “Private Public Interest Law,” Stanford Law School

Publications
  • “To Protect and Spy: The San Francisco Police Department & The Civil Rights Ordinance,” 26 Stanford Law & Policy Review 701 (2015).