Shook Team Plays Key Role as Pennsylvania Judge Vacates Murder Convictions

The Delaware County Court of Common Pleas vacated the murder convictions of three young men wrongly convicted in a 1997 murder in the Philadelphia area. Shook Partners John Lyons and David Haase represent one of the men, Derrick Chappell, and have been involved in various aspects of this case for the past eight years. Lyons and Haase were part of a legal team, working with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project that petitioned the Delaware County Court to throw out the convictions based on DNA testing.

“This is a great day,” said Shook Partner John Lyons, a product liability litigator, from his New York office. “We are gratified the Court reviewed the evidence and agreed that these convictions should be vacated.”

“Justice has been delayed for more than two decades but we are immensely grateful that our team's hard work has ensured that it will not be denied,” said Haase, a product liability litigator, from his Philadelphia office. “We cannot wait for Derrick to be reunited with his family and friends beyond the walls of a prison.”

Lyons and Haase handled the case pro bono along with Partner Erin Leffler. CNN The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Delaware County Daily Times and other media outlets have covered the legal journey of these men.

The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v Derrick Chappell, CR-23-CP-0003607-1999, (Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, March 28, 2024).