News & Events

Kaiser Attorneys Jon Jeffress and William Zapf Earn Hard-Fought Victory in the Supreme Court of Virginia

After four years of litigation, Kaiser attorneys Jon Jeffress and William Zapf secured a groundbreaking win for Pro Bono client Galen Baughman in the Virginia Supreme Court. On September 15th, 2022, the Supreme Court issued its decision (link to read here) definitively ending the Commonwealth’s unjust prosecution of Mr. Baughman.

Mr. Baughman, a prominent criminal justice advocate, was the victim of the Commonwealth’s unlawful civil confinement scheme twice over. After serving seven years in prison for adolescent sexual conduct, Mr. Baughman was detained for an additional two years under Virginia’s civil confinement law, which allows prosecutors to detain prisoners for an indefinite amount of time for crimes the state fears they might commit in the future. Though acquitted by the jury the first time in 2012, Mr. Baughman fell victim to Virginia’s civil confinement practice a second time in 2017, mere hours before his release from jail on a technical probation violation.

At the request of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Kaiser attorneys Jon Jeffress, William Zapf, and other members of the firm, stepped in to represent Mr. Baughman in his effort to overturn the unlawful 2017 petition. After four years of tireless advocacy, the Kaiser team led Mr. Baughman to justice..

“The Commonwealth’s case against Galen was morally and legally indefensible,” said Jonathan Jeffress, a partner at Kaiser representing Galen Baughman. “It appealed only to the worst in people and their prejudices. I know I speak for everyone at Kaiser in saying we are proud to have brought Galen’s case to a successful and just conclusion. We hope this victory will help others subjected to unconstitutional schemes of civil confinement.”