Graham v. Lambert, et al

Abraham Rubert-Schewel

Abraham Rubert-Schewel joined Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in 2020, after moving from New York back to his home state of North Carolina. 

In New York, Abe co-founded a civil rights firm, Lord & Schewel PLLC, clerked for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York and served as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan.

Abe’s civil rights practice includes cases involving wrongful conviction, excessive force, and systemic challenges to unconstitutional state, city and police conduct. Abe also represents clients in employment, voting, and North Carolina public records litigation. Some of Abe’s current and past civil rights cases include Douglas v. City of New York, a suit on behalf of two young Black men who were wrongfully held for a combined 5.5 years on Rikers Island before they were exonerated by GPS data and awarded two million dollars in a settlement; NAACP v. City of Charlotte, a suit brought after police trapped and tear gassed 350 people protesting the murder of George Floyd; and Washington v. City of Raleigh, a suit brought on behalf of 15 clients falsely arrested and incarcerated on fabricated heroin trafficking charges. 

Case Link View Now
Opinion Filed March 22, 2024
Attorney for the Case Joe Tunstall
Amicus Brief Writers Abraham Rubert-Schewel
Court NC Supreme Court
Docket No. 113A22

A law enforcement officer struck and killed a pedestrian while responding to a call. The officer was both speeding and (according to body cam footage) distracted by his in-car computer at the time of the collision. Other officers were set to arrive before the officer in question, who was responding on a non-emergency basis without his sirens or blue lights activated.

Defendants moved for summary judgment on the issue of gross negligence. Although the trial court denied this motion, the Court of Appeals reversed. Plaintiff appealed based on a dissent, and a subsequent PDR filed by Defendants was granted on an issue related to the sufficiency of the pleadings regarding waiver of immunity.

NCAJ filed an amicus brief on the gross negligence issue. Citing statistics about the dangers of both speeding and distracted driving, NCAJ argued that the combination of these two factors is particularly dangerous. The brief contends that the gross negligence issue should be decided by a jury where the officer “is not in an emergency situation, is not using his lights or sirens, is speeding, deviates from his lane of travel multiple times, and is repeatedly distracted by an electronic device, including at the time of impact.”