Federal habeas litigation involves a complex web of constitutional and statutory hurdles. Yet the writ of habeas corpus remains a vital check on the state's power to incarcerate individuals in violation of their constitutional rights. CAL is committed to protecting our clients from unconstitutional state action and regularly seeks writs in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In order to facilitate habeas practice, CAL has created a Federal Litigation Unit within the office. Overseen by Managing Attorney David Klem, the unit assists CAL attorneys in effectively litigating these highly complex cases. The unit does so by maintaining a detailed practice manual, monitoring all federal habeas litigation in those courts, regularly conducting continuing legal education seminars on habeas practice, and helping CAL attorneys in all aspects of such litigation.