Law Office of William J. Mertens
A litigation practice
Helping clients who are sued or need to sue

Significant cases

Business/regulatory/administrative litigation

Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. United States Department of Energy, 169 F.3d 16 (D.C. Cir. 1999) - enforcing electric utility’s Freedom of Information Act right to obtain relevant data from the Department of Energy

Cherokee Nation v. Babbitt, 117 F.3d 1489 (D.C. Cir. 1997) - enforcing congressionally conferred authority of Indian Tribe, the Cherokee Nation

Express One Int’l, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, 814 F. Supp. 93 (D.D.C. 1993) - setting aside Postal Service’s award of major air delivery contract because of conflict of interest

Fourth Branch Associates Mechanicville v. Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., 302 A.D.2d 780, 754 N.Y.S.2d 783 (3rd Dept. 2003)  - upholding electric utility’s right to cancel power plant redevelopment contract when work was not timely commenced

Megan-Racine Assocs., Inc., 73 FERC ¶ 61,308 (1995) - decertifying independent power producer as “qualifying facility” entitled to preferential rates under Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act; entitling client, an electric utility, to seek tens of millions of dollars in refunds

Constitutional/Criminal/civil rights litigation

Pitt v. District of Columbia, 491 F.3d 494 (D.C. Cir. 2007) - false arrest and malicious prosecution claims against D.C. Metropolitan Police

Maryland State Conf. of NAACP Branches v. Md. Dep’t of State Police, Civil No. CCB-98-1098 (U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Dist. of Md.) -  negotiated landmark consent decree to curb racial profiling in traffic stops and searches by police

Liles v. Saffle, 945 F.2d 333 (10th Cir. 1991) - enforcing constitutional right of prisoner under sentence of death to present relevant expert testimony at trial

Withrow v. Williams, 507 U.S. 680 (1993) -  friend of the court (amicus) brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the American Bar Association (ABA) in support of enforcement of Miranda rights in habeas corpus cases

Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983) - amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the ABA in support of enforcement of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures in criminal trials

Jones v. United States, 463 U.S. 354 (1983) - constitutional protections on standards for release from mental hospital following acquittal by reason of insanity on non-violent misdemeanor theft charge

Whalen v. United States, 445 U.S. 684 (1980) - constitutional protections against consecutive sentences on overlapping crimes

Williams v. Head  (U.S. Supreme Court 2002)  - Amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of European Union on human rights laws forbidding the execution of juveniles; case rendered moot because of clemency granted by State of Georgia

Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334 (2000) - amicus brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL); protecting bus travelers’ belongings against unreasonable searches

Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, 537 U.S. 393 (2003) - amicus brief for the NACDL; opposing broad and vague expansion of federal anti-racketeering laws

Ricci v. Village of Arlington Heights, 523 U.S. 613 (1998) (per curiam) - amicus brief for the NACDL asserting freedom from arrest for alleged violations of civil-type ordinances

United States v. Vee Choong Chin, 199 U.S. App. LEXIS 10859 (4th Cir. 1999) - amicus brief on behalf of the NACDL on standards for granting new trial because of weakness of evidence

William J. Mertens
3 Bethesda Metro Center
Suite 700
Bethesda, MD 20814

(240) 223-2466
Fax: (240) 465-0463

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