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Alan L. Yatvin

Partner

Biography

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Alan L. Yatvin, a partner and chair of the firm’s civil rights and special education/children’s disability rights practices, is a preeminent police misconduct, civil rights and children’s rights litigator. His practice focuses on civil rights litigation, representation of students with special needs, and criminal defense in state, federal and international courts.

With a successful career spanning more than 38 years, Mr. Yatvin has tried cases ranging from death penalty homicides to complex municipal liability police misconduct cases. He has also briefed and/or argued appellate matters before the United States Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

Mr. Yatvin has successfully litigated over fifteen police shooting cases, recovering substantial compensation for victims and their families, recovering substantial compensation for victims and their families, including multi-million dollar settlements. On three separate occasions, he has obtained federal jury verdicts against the City of Philadelphia on so-called Monell claims by showing a pattern and practice of law enforcement officer misconduct and the City’s failure to properly train or discipline its officers, placing him among the most successful attorneys in Philadelphia on these challenging claims.  He has also successfully litigated a class actions on behalf of persons with diabetes in police custody, as well as cases on behalf of victims of large scale corrupt police practices.

Mr. Yatvin has successfully litigated landmark cases on behalf of children with disabilities and their families in the federal courts, including in the Pennsylvania District Courts, the United States Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. In describing Mr. Yatvin in a ruling for his clients in a case under the Individual’s with Disabilities in Education Act, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit wrote: “[W]e note that the litigation here was conducted by highly qualified and experienced counsel…”  M.R. v. Ridley School District, Footnote 9.  

In addition to his U.S. clients, Mr. Yatvin practices at the international criminal courts, where he has represented accused persons before the ICTY and the International Criminal Court (ICC), both in The Hague, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.  He is also admitted to the list of counsel at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the list of Victims Counsel at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

After graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City in 1983, Mr. Yatvin served as an Assistant Philadelphia and Federal Defender before entering private practice. He was managing partner of Popper & Yatvin from its founding in 1988 through 2020. A frequent lecturer on police misconduct litigation and trial advocacy skills, he is the recipient of the 2012 Thurgood Marshall Criminal Justice Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association, where he has been a member since 1987. The Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) presented Mr. Yatvin with the 2010 Pro Bono Publico Award. He has been selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers List every year since the program’s inception in 2004.  He holds the preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicative of the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards

Mr. Yatvin was a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association from 2015-2017 and continues to represent persons with diabetes, most recently as co-counsel in a class action against the New York City Department of Education on behalf of students with diabetes. He is a resident of Philadelphia.

  • Education

    • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York J.D. 1983.

  • Bar Admissions

    • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • United States District Court – E.D.Pa.
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • United States Supreme Court
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit – 2000 (inactive) United Nations International Criminal
    • Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, (ICTY) – 2006
    • United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) – 2014
    • Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the list of foreign co-lawyers at the ECCC – May 2014
    • International Criminal Court (ICC) list of counsel – June 2017
    • Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) list of victims’ counsel – July 2019
    • Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) list of counsel – November 2020

  • Professional Activities

    • Chair, Membership Committee, Association of Defense Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. 2007-2011, 2013-2016, 2020, 2021 (Member).
    • Member, National Board of Directors, American Diabetes Association, Jan. 2015-Dec. 2017.
      • Chair, Legal Advocacy Subcommittee, Jan. 2011-Dec. 2013.
      • Member of Subcommittee 2004 -2018. Member, Finance Committee, 2016-2017.
    • Chair, Court Appointments Certification Committee for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Criminal), Philadelphia Bar Association. 1994 – 2016.
    • Member, Philadelphia Police Community Oversight Board,Mayoral appointment to board charged with monitoring and assessing Police Department implementation of U.S. Justice Department police reform recommendations. 2015 – 2016.
    • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia, PA. 1999- 2015.
    • Member, Homicide Appointment System Certification Committee for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. 2011 – 2012.
    • Executive Committee Member, Criminal Justice Section, Philadelphia Bar Association. 1992 – 1994.
    • Chair, Committee on Standards of Practice for Court Appointed Counsel, Criminal Justice Section, Philadelphia Bar Association. 1993.

  • Publications

    • Insulin Access and Affordability Working Group: Conclusions and Recommendations – Diabetes Care 2018 May; dci180019. Cefalu,W., Dawes, D., Gavlak, G., Goldman, D., Herman, W., Van Nuys, K., Powers, A., Taylor, S., Yatvin, A.
    • Informal Opinion: Representing ‘Those People’ Achieves Justice, The Champion (Magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers), May 2017.
    • In court and culture, ‘Miranda’ endures – The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/13/16.
    • Diabetes Care in the School Setting – Diabetes Care October 2015, vol. 38 no. 10, 1958-1963. Jackson C, Albanese-O’Neill A, Butler K, Chiang J, Kraus E, Hathaway K, Weissberg-Benchell J, Yatvin A, Deeb L, Siminerio L.
    • Care of young children with diabetes in the child care setting: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association – Diabetes Care October 2014, vol. 37 2834-2842. Siminerio L, Albanese-O’Neill A, Chiang J, Hathaway K, Jackson C, Weissberg-Benchell J, Wright J, Yatvin A, Deeb L.
    • Diabetes and Driving: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association – Diabetes Care January 2013, vol. 36 no. Supplement 1 S80-S85. Lorber D, Anderson J, Arent S, Cox D, Frier B, Greene M, Griffin, J, Gross G, Hathaway K, Hirsch I, Kohrman D, Marrero D, Songer T, Yatvin A.
    • Train N.J.’s police to spot diabetes – Guest Columnist, New Jersey Star Ledger, 11/24/12.
    • School health care goes beyond nurses – The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/8/12. Siminerio L & Yatvin A.
    • Brown v. Board of Education: Facts to know, tell on landmark case – The Legal Intelligencer, 5/17/04.
    • Monitoring, corroboration of confidential informants makes for sound police work – The Legal Intelligencer, 9/21/98.
    • Police Misconduct , (video), American University, Washington, D.C. (April 2001)

  • Presentations

    • Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP), Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (1985-2022)
    • Keeping Kids with Diabetes Safe at School The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, TypeOneNation Summit, Lafayette Hill, PA (2/23/19) (on behalf of ADA)
    • Police Diabetes Awareness Training, Lower Makefield Township Police Department, Yardley, PA (6/13/18)
    • Study Tour to Review Use of Force and De-escalation Training, Enhance Community-policing Practices, and Strengthen Interagency Coordination in the Sahel United States Department of State. Address law enforcement and civil society representatives from West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal) on police reform experiences and strategies. Philadelphia (10/24/17)
    • Police Misconduct and the Defense of Criminal Cases PBI, Philadelphia (November 2016)
    • Keeping Kids with Diabetes Safe at School The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, TypeOneNation Summit, King of Prussia, PA (9/17/16) (on behalf of ADA)
    • Keeping Kids with Diabetes Safe at School, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Living Well with Diabetes: Now and in the Future, Philadelphia (3/28/15) (on behalf of ADA)
    • Ethical Issues in International Criminal Law – Pre-trial Panel, Association of Defense Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY) (11/7/14)
    • Rights of Students with Diabetes, St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatric Endocrinology Group (April 2014)
    • Diabetes Awareness in Policing, Presentation to training sergeants, New York City Police Academy (1/31/14)
    • The Basics of Litigation Involving State and Local Government, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI), Philadelphia (June 2013)
    • Advocating for the Rights of Students with Diabetes 15th Annual Conference of The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), Albuquerque, New Mexico (March 2013)
    • Police Misconduct and the Defense of Criminal Cases PBI, Philadelphia (March 2013)
    • Defending Assault Against Police Cases, Defender Association of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (November 2012)
    • Rights and Needs of Students with Diabetes,Exceptional Children Conference, PBI, Lancaster, PA (October 2012)
    • Police Misconduct and the Defense of Criminal Cases, PBI, Philadelphia (11/16/10), Mechanicsburg (12/1/10)
    • Confidential Informants: Problems, Issues and Strategies, PBI, Philadelphia (September 2010)
    • Fighting for Fairness: Ending Discrimination Against Students and Workers with Diabetes, American Diabetes Association. Chair, Atlanta, Georgia (October 2009). Faculty, Chicago, Illinois (November 2007) and McLean, Virginia (October 2005)
    • Constitutional Litigation in the Current Political Climate, PBI, Mechanicsburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia (June 2008)
    • So You Want to Take Misdemeanor Court Appointments, PBI, Philadelphia (November 2007)
    • The Fundamentals of Sec. 1983 and Constitutional Tort Litigation, PBI, Philadelphia (March 2006)
    • What the Criminal Practitioner Should Know About Police Misconduct Litigation, PBI, Philadelphia (December 2004)
    • 20th Annual NAACP Convention CLE – Police Misconduct, Philadelphia (September 2004)
    • The Fundamentals of §1983 and Constitutional Tort Litigation, PBI, Philadelphia (September 2003)
    • Police Liability in Pennsylvania, Lorman Educational Services, Philadelphia (January 2003)
    • Police Misconduct & the Defense of Criminal Cases, PBI, Philadelphia (December 2002)
    • Police Misconduct Litigation, Suffolk University Law School and University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia (May 2002)
    • Police Misconduct, American University, Washington, D.C. (April 2001)
    • Litigation Under § 1983, PBI, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (October 1996)
    • Federal Civil Rights Actions: A Primer,Philadelphia Bar Education Center, Philadelphia (September 1996)

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