Neel Lalchandani represents individuals, nonprofits, and companies in a diverse array of civil rights and commercial matters. Among other victories for his clients, Neel has helped secure several of the largest payments in Maryland history for victims of police misconduct, including over $15 million in state compensation on behalf of innocent men imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
Neel has significant experience with complex litigation in both state and federal court as well as in arbitrations. He has successfully resolved cases involving employment discrimination and retaliation, unpaid wages, wrongful convictions and police misconduct, reasonable accommodations and disability discrimination, fair housing, and the Randolph-Sheppard Act. Neel has also successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in commercial matters involving breach of contract, business torts, and trade secrets. He is well-versed in appellate litigation, having filed briefs in the Court of Appeals of Maryland and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and has also served as local counsel in several class action lawsuits.
Because of Neel’s depth of experience, he has been appointed as an adjunct faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center to teach a semester-long seminar on wrongful convictions. The course surveys the problem of wrongful convictions in the United States by exploring their primary causes, discussing the legal landscape of innocence litigation and considering the moral, ethical and philosophical implications of wrongful convictions for our justice system.
Neel takes pride in building strong relationships with his clients. He has represented blind vendors and state agencies in Randolph-Sheppard matters, founders and CEOs of companies, restaurant workers, exonerees and victims of police abuse, doctors and other medical professionals, and nonprofits that serve people with disabilities.
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.
Obtained more than $1.6 million in state compensation for man who was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated in Maryland for 19 years (2021).
Umar Burley and Brent Matthews v. Baltimore Police Department – Obtained 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 BGL team representing three men known as the “Harlem Park Three,” who each served 36 years in prison, from age 16 to 52, for a murder they did not commit, after homicide detectives coerced false testimony (2020).
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).
Secured full testing accommodations on behalf of client whose requests had previously been denied by testing entity (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).
Obtained $350,000 in federal compensation for victims of Gun Trace Task Force officers (2019).
Part of team that obtained a favorable settlement in representation of non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities in federal Fair Housing Act lawsuit (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).
Obtained favorable results in multiple commercial cases involving contract, trade secrets, and tort claims.
Secured numerous, pre-litigation and confidential settlements on behalf of employees alleging discrimination, retaliation, and unpaid wages.
- The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Appellate Practice, Civil Rights Law, Commercial Litigation, and Litigation – Labor and Employment (2024)
- The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Appellate Practice, Civil Rights Law, and Commercial Litigation (2023)
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 – Civil Plaintiff (2022 & 2023)
- The Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center‘s Alex Fee Maryland Pro Bono Service Award (2022)
- The Daily Record and the Maryland State Bar Association’s Leaders in Law Award (2022)
- Super Lawyers’ Maryland Rising Stars (2020-2023)
- 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
Neel Lalchandani appointed to the Board of Directors for the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Neel Lalchandani selected for The Best Lawyers in America’s “Ones to Watch” list in four categories.
Neel Lalchandani and BGL summer associates hear from exoneree Chris Turner at Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project event.
“Wrongfully convicted man awarded $550,000 under Walter Lomax Act,” The Daily Record, October 20, 2021
“Former Maryland death row inmate receives $400,000 for his wrongful imprisonment,” The Washington Post, October 6, 2021
“Under pressure, Hogan launches effort to pay five exonerated prisoners who spent 120 years behind bars,” The Washington Post, September 18, 2019
“Hogan: Judges should decide how much to pay 5 wrongly incarcerated men,” The Baltimore Sun, September 4, 2019
“Exonerees ask state board to act on requests for compensation,” The Daily Record, July 18, 2019
“Baltimore attorneys obtain order to unseal report on Starr Commission leaks,” The Daily Record, August 23, 2018
“Baltimore board approves $9M to man wrongfully convicted of ’87 murder,” The Daily Record, April 25, 2018
Panelist, Training on the Walter Lomax Act, hosted by Bar Association of Montgomery County, (March 3, 2022).
Presenter, Litigating Wrongful Conviction Cases in Maryland, Maryland State Bar Association 2021 Legal Summit (June 11, 2021).
Panelist, Private Public Interest Firms (2019 & 2020).
To Protect and Spy: The San Francisco Police Dep’t & The Civil Rights Ordinance, 26 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 701 (2015).
International Criminal Law and Iraq, Introduction to the Laws of Kurdistan and Iraq (2015).
The Nature, Sources and Implications of Judicial Power in Post-9/11 Detainee Litigation, Washington Undergraduate Law Rev., Vol. III, Iss. 2 (2010).
American Detention Policy Abroad: The Urgent Need for Reform, Penn Political Review, Vol. VI, Iss. 2 (2009).
The Case for a Commission, Penn Political Review, Vol. V, Issue I (2009).