Daniel P. Sheehan
Daniel Sheehan is a Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School–trained Constitutional Litigation and Appellate Attorney. For close to five decades, Danny’s work as a Federal Civil Rights Attorney, Author, Public Speaker and College and Law School Professor has helped expose the structural sources of injustice in our country and around the world.
Daniel has protected the fundamental and inalienable rights of our world’s citizens and has elucidated a compelling and inspiring vision for the future direction of our human family. Dan’s dedication to this vision and his work have placed him at the center of many of the most important legal cases and social movements of our generation.
Lakota People’s Law Project
Since 2006, Daniel Sheehan has served as the lead attorney and general counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP). Much of LPLP’s work has been in South Dakota to stop violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and rescue Lakota children from an abusive state care system.
In 2016, LPLP began organizing around the Dakota Access Pipeline. Our Lakota staff were on the ground at Oceti Sakowin camp from its inception in April 2016 to the final days in February, 2017. Daniel represented Chase Iron Eyes who faced felony charges related to the #NoDAPL movement. Although Chase’s case did not go to trial, we are building an online archive to make public the strategy and details of our necessity and treaty defenses. To learn more about the work of Lakota People’s Law Project, visit lakotalaw.org
Daniel Sheehan’s Memoir Published by Counterpoint Press
The Peoples Advocate, the autobiography of American Constitutional Trial Attorney Daniel Sheehan. Sheehan traces his personal journey from his working-class roots through Harvard Law School and his initial career in private practice. His early disenchantment led to his return for further study at Harvard Divinity School, and rethinking the nature of his career. Eventually his role as President and Chief Trial Counselor for the famous Washington, DC-based Christic Institute would help define his role as America’s preeminent cause lawyer.
In The Peoples Advocate, Sheehan details “the inside story” of over a dozen historically significant American legal cases of the 20th Century, all of which he litigated. The remarkable cases covered in the book include both The Pentagon Papers Case in 1971 and The Watergate Burglary Case in 1973. In addition, Sheehan served as the Chief Attorney on The Karen Silkwood Case in 1976, which revealed the CIA’s Israeli Desk had been smuggling 98% bomb-grade plutonium to the State of Israel and to Iran. In 1984, he was the Chief Trial Counsel on The American Sanctuary Movement Case, establishing the right of American church workers to provide assistance to Central American political refugees fleeing Guatemalan and Salvadorian “death squads.” His involvement with the sanctuary movement ultimately led to Sheehan’s famous Iran/Contra Federal Civil Racketeering Case against the Reagan/Bush Administration, which he investigated, initiated, filed, and then litigated. The resulting “Iran/Contra Scandal” nearly brought down that Administration, leading Congress to consider the impeachment of over a dozen of the top-ranking officials of the Reagan/Bush Administration.
The Peoples Advocate is the “real story” of these and many other historic American cases, told from the unique point of view of a central lawyer.
Below are documents adapted from some of Danny’s talks and classes.