Morris A. Anyah | Former Prosecutor and War crimes Attorney; Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Attorney Morris A. Anyah

Morris A. Anyah is a trial lawyer with an international reputation for excellence. He brings a wealth of experience (over 20 years) and skill to the cases that he handles. He is a former Cook County prosecutor and war crimes attorney at The Hague who now handles some of the most complex criminal and civil cases before the courts. He founded his law firm with the objective of providing the highest quality of legal representation to persons charged with, or convicted of, serious crimes and those who have sustained serious personal injury due to the negligence, recklessness, or willfulness of others. He has served as lead trial or appellate counsel in several high-profile cases before national and international courts. He recently obtained an acquittal for a defendant charged with six counts of first degree murder, after a jury trial before the Circuit Court of Cook County. He represented former Liberian president Charles Taylor at his war crimes trial in The Hague between 2007 and 2012 and he has argued some of the most important genocide cases on appeal before international tribunals, including that against the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda. A former prosecutor in Chicago and at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Attorney Anyah has also represented victims of post-election violence in Kenya before the International Criminal Court. In addition to his criminal law practice in Chicago, Attorney Anyah has represented indigent defendants charged with capital felonies in the Atlanta metropolitan area. His experience also extends to plaintiffs’ civil rights and personal injury litigation, and he has filed suits and won significant monetary compensation for injured victims in cases involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, and automobile accidents. Attorney Anyah’s winning strategy has made him the pre-eminent, “go to” lawyer when people in and around Chicago search for a criminal defense or appellate attorney, a civil rights attorney, or a personal injury lawyer. He is admitted to the bars of several U.S., jurisdictions, including, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Georgia, and to the List of Counsel at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. His commitment and dedication to his clients and their cases are unwavering, and his experience as a trial litigator leaves him uniquely-placed to successfully handle the most complex of cases.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES & EXPERIENCE OF ATTORNEY MORRIS ANYAH:

  • People of the State of Illinois vs. Timberlake, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago, U.S.A.

1st degree murder jury trial (six counts);

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all six counts;

  • Lead Appeals Counsel to Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, at The Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Hague, 2012 – 2013 (1.4 years)

Had overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the appeals case of the former Liberian president. Recruited, managed, and supervised a team of over 10 lawyers, plus investigators and several interns working on the case from 5 countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand) on 3 continents;

Supervised the preparation and filing of an appellant’s brief of 1056 pages (including annexes), a respondent’s brief of 663 pages (including annexes), and a reply brief of 494 pages (including annexes);

Dealt extensively with major international and African news TV, radio, and print media;

  • Legal Representative for Victims in the case of The Prosecutor v. Muthaura et al., at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, 2011 – 2012 (1.3 years)

Appointed by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC as lead counsel for 233 Kenyan victims in the Muthaura, Kenyatta, and Ali case of alleged crimes against humanity in Kenya. Was one of two lawyers appointed by the Court out of over 75 lawyer-applicants for the position of victims’ counsel in two Kenyan cases;

Cross-examined all witnesses during the Confirmation of the Charges Hearing, including the then Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister (now President) of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta;

Had overall responsibility for all aspects of the victims’ participation in the case (including, recruiting and supervising a diverse team of legal and non-legal professionals working from different geographic regions of the world, undertaking field visits to Kenya and client interviews, liaising with civil society groups, NGOs, the media in Kenya, and other stakeholders, in addition to making oral and written submissions before the Court);

  • Co-Counsel to Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, at The Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Hague, 2007 – 2012 (5 years)

Cross-examined 25 prosecution witnesses, including Hollywood actress Mia Farrow. Led the direct-examinations of 7 defense witnesses;

Presented the Defense’s motion for judgment of acquittal oral argument, as well as its final rebuttal closing argument;

The trial lasted 4+ years and there were 115 viva voce witnesses, 1521 admitted exhibits, a record of 49,622 pages of transcripts of proceedings and 1,279 filings and decisions, totaling 38,069 pages, and a final trial judgment in excess of 2500 pages in length – the longest of any international criminal case in history;

  • Owner, Anyah & Associates, LLC., Georgia, U.S.A. (practice areas: Criminal Defense, Plaintiff’s Personal Injury & Immigration Litigation), 2002 – 2007 (5 years)

Lead defense counsel in over 100 felony and 50 misdemeanor cases, including capital cases, jury and bench trials, and revocation of probation hearings. Served on two indigent defense county programs in metro Atlanta;

Civil litigation on behalf of injured plaintiffs in personal injury, medical malpractice, and premises liability causes of action;

Was counsel for respondents facing removal/ deportation before the Immigration Court, and for petitioners claiming asylum or seeking immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and on appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals;

  • Legal Officer, Office of the Prosecutor at United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 1999 – 2001 (2.3 years)

Argued for the prosecution before the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the genocide case against the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda, in June 2000, a time when both tribunals had a common prosecutor;

Argued for the prosecution in two other genocide cases before the ICTR Appeals Chamber: The Prosecutor vs. Jean-Paul Akayesu and The Prosecutor vs. Clément Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana;

Worked on the investigation and prosecution of Major General Stanislav Galić for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina;

  • Assistant State’s Attorney at Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago, 1996 – 1999 (3 years)

Served in the Criminal Appeals Division, Juvenile Justice Bureau, and Criminal Prosecutions Bureau;

Prosecuted criminal jury and bench trials, as well as felony preliminary hearings, revocation of probation and traffic cases, and civil proceedings involving child abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights before the Juvenile Court in Chicago;

Briefed nine and argued four cases before the Illinois Appellate Court, First Judicial District, Chicago;

EDUCATION:

JD, Law, University of Dayton School of Law
MA, Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
BA, Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago

 MEMBERSHIPS:

  • Admitted to the Bar, State of Illinois;
  • Admitted to the Bar, District of Columbia;
  • Admitted to the Bar, State of Georgia;
  • Admitted to the Trial Bar, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • Admitted to the Bar, United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois;
  • Admitted to the Bar, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit;
  • Admitted to the Bar, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia;
  • Admitted to the Bar, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit;
  • Admitted to the List of Counsel at the International Criminal Court at The Hague;
  • Admitted to the List of Counsel at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) at The Hague;
  • Admitted to the List of Counsel at the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague;
  • Admitted to the List of Legal Representatives for Victims at the STL;
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association;
  • Member, Advisory Board, African Journal of Legal Studies;
  • Member, Advisory Board, International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition

SELECTED AWARDS:

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, 2015 – 2018;
  • 10 Best for Client Satisfaction, American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, 2016;
  • Alumnus of the Year Award, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Criminology, Law and Justice, 2015;
  • CALI Award for excellent achievement – Judeo-Christian Ethics, University of Dayton School of Law, 1996;
  • CALI Award for excellent achievement – Jurisprudence, University of Dayton School of Law, 1995;
  • Phi Kappa Phi, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1993

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS:

  • Panel Discussant, “Making Space for ‘Ethics’ in the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes,” American Bar Association Fall Meeting, Section of International Law, London, United Kingdom (18 October 2013);
  • Presentation on “Balancing Rights of the Accused with Rights of Victims before the International Criminal Court,” at the conference: “The First Ten Years of the International Criminal Court: Achievements and Challenges,” Edge Hill University, Lancashire, United Kingdom (26 April 2013);
  • Lecture on “Victims’ Participation in the Kenyan Cases before the International Criminal Court,” as part of the Supranational Criminal Law Lectures Series, T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands (18 January 2012);
  • Presentation to the Paris Bar on “Lawyers’ Immunity before International Criminal Jurisdiction,” Paris, France (1 June 2011);
  • Guest Speaker, Honors Day Program, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, U.S.A. (1997);
  • Presentation on “Resisting Community-Oriented Policing: An Exploratory Assessment of Police Officers’ Concerns,” at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A. (1993);

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

  • Anyah, M., “Balancing Rights of the Accused with Rights of Victims before the International Criminal Court,” (Chapter 4) in The International Criminal Court in Search of its Purpose and Identity, Ed., Mariniello, Triestino, Routledge Publishing (2015);
  • “In Memoriam: Francis J. Conte,” 36 University of Dayton Law Review 3: 295 – 297 (Spring 2011);
  • Anyah, M., “An Outsider’s Perspective on Community Policing,” Criminal Justice Americas, vol. 6, no. 4, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1993;
  • Rosenbaum, D. P., Wilkinson, D. L., Michener, A., Faggiani, D., Stemen, D., Anyah, M. A., Slovak, J., Urbik, J. Aurora/Joliet Neighborhood-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Project: Impact on the Police and the Community. Chicago, IL: Center for Research in Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1993;
  • Book review: Ahire, Terdoo Philip, Imperial Policing: The Emergence and Role of the Police in Colonial Nigeria 1860-1960. Philadelphia, PA.: Open University Press, 1991, in Criminal Justice International, vol. 8, no. 4, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1992
Morris A. Anyah - Top 100 Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers)

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