Carl Kaplan

  • Lecturer in Law

Carl Kaplan has worked since 1997 as appellate counsel and senior appellate counsel at the Center for Appellate Litigation, a nonprofit defender organization that handles appeals for indigent defendants convicted of serious felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx.

After law school, Kaplan spent three years as a litigation associate at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. He has written well over 120 appeals and orally argued numerous times before the Appellate Division, First Department. He has appealed to and argued before the New York Court of Appeals, and has handled post-conviction motions and post-Rockefeller Drug Law sentence-reduction motions before trial courts in Manhattan and The Bronx.

One of the highlights of his work includes having represented Darryl Best, a married man with five children who was convicted of first-degree drug possession and sentenced to 25 years to life for accepting a Federal Express package containing cocaine that was addressed to someone else. Best received executive clemency from Gov. George Pataki on Christmas Day, 2005.

In addition to his appellate work, Kaplan has taught law at Columbia Law School. He wrote a popular, regular legal column, “Cyberlaw Journal,” for The New York Times website from 1997 to 2002. He also gave lectures and presentations on Internet-related legal topics at several law schools and bar committees. In 2002, he was a Markle Fellow at The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Wolfson College, Oxford University.

Prior to entering law school, Kaplan worked as a writer or editor at a number of publications, including the late and lamented New York Newsday, where he was a business reporter.

Kaplan earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1994, where he was The New York Times Fellow in Law, a Human Rights Fellow, a staff editor at the Columbia-VLA Journal of Law & the Arts, and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and his B.A. in English from Amherst College.