Andrew Mohring, a federal defender for 28 years, is a trial lawyer with a capital T. But he has also helped new lawyers hone their skills and has served on practically every judicial branch committee or task force about criminal law that you can think of. He has chaired the Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers board (twice), the Volunteer Lawyers Network Advisory Board, and the Hennepin County Bar Foundation Board. He has also chaired the criminal rules subcommittee of the federal practice committee.
He’s also represented a lot of people, always finding something to champion about those who, as he puts it, “don’t have the best reputation.” About his clients, he says, “there but for the grace of God go I.”
Now practicing at Ciresi Conlin, one of his cases is a putative class action on behalf of prisoners afflicted with the hepatitis C virus, which he calls “a great case.” Untreated hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis or cancer and be fatal.
In 2013 a new drug that cures the virus was introduced. But the drug is “breathtakingly expensive,” Mohring said, and the state right now isn’t providing it. Treatment in the prisons may slow the spread of the disease and benefit the greater community. And, says Mohring, “I believe that states have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to care for the people that they incarcerate and this is a serious illness.”