Witold (“Vic”) Walczak is a graduate of Colgate University (’83) and Boston College Law School (’86). After five years of prisoners’ rights litigation with the Legal Aid Bureau in Maryland, Vic joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in 1991, and became the state-wide Legal Director in 2004.
He has handled many nationally high-profile cases involving free speech, religious liberty, police misconduct and students’ rights. His most recent nationally significant cases include Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case challenging the teaching in public schools of “intelligent design” (ID), which a federal judge in 2005 concluded was simply creationism repackaged; Lozano v. Hazleton, the first case challenging a municipality’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants, in which a federal appeals court in 2010 affirmed a lower court decision declaring the laws unconstitutional; and Miller v. Mitchell, the first legal challenge to a prosecutor’s attempt to charge minors with child pornography for sexting, in which a federal appeals in 2010 upheld a lower court’s decision to block the charges.
In the 1990’s, Vic led teams of lawyers in filing class action lawsuits challenging systemic misconduct in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and constitutionally deficient services provided by the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office to indigent criminal and juvenile defendants. Both cases resulted in widespread and effective reforms.
Vic is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. He was named Federal Lawyer of the Year in the Western District of Pennsylvania (2003) and is the Western Pennsylvania Representative to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association Board of Governors. He is a frequent commentator on civil liberties issues in the national press.