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KaiserDillon Teams with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee to Fight Unjust Virginia Prosecution

KaiserDillon has joined forces with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs to represent Galen M. Baughman, an indigent client subject to unconstitutional civil commitment proceedings in Virginia. Under Virginia’s “civil commitment” law, the Virginia Attorney General may seek to commit a person indefinitely in a mental hospital where the individual suffers from a mental condition that makes it likely he will engage in sexually violent acts. Mr. Baughman is a 34-year old man whose only prior offenses took place in his teenage years, and which involved no violence. Furthermore, this represents the Virginia Attorney General’s second attempt in five years to commit Mr. Baughman, after an Arlington jury ruled unanimously in Mr. Baughman’s favor in 2012. Finally, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office has also engaged in blatant “doctor-shopping” in the case, taking the highly unusual step of dismissing the psychologist duly appointed under the statute after she opined that Mr. Baughman does not meet the standard for civil commitment, and replacing her with one selected and paid for by the Attorney General’s Office.

Since coming into the case, KaiserDillon has raised numerous constitutional and statutory challenges to the Attorney General’s actions and will defend Mr. Baughman at trial. KaiserDillon attorneys Jonathan Jeffress and Emily Voshell are counsel in the case, which is pending in the Circuit Court for Arlington County.