Cheryl L. Kates P.C.




Feedback from clients.


Michael Lohan

(Father of actress Lindsey Lohan)

"Mounted for all see, in every courtroom is a statement which reads, "In God we Trust."  What we don't see however, is how little the system abides to our lives up to this statement.  Instead, they base their "convictions" and balance their scales on the popular, the unpopular - theory and reality.  Unfortunately, since we live in a "kiss the babies" and jump through hoops type of society, some of us fall upon the former of these scales.  Ultimately we must put our trust in GOD and that his justice will prevail.  Whether it is for the crimes that we've committed or our own transgressions, we must accept the punishment for the wages of our sins.If it wasn't for my trust in God's justice, I wouldn't accept my fate.  because my guilt and sentence were certainly not for what I was charged with, but rather for my violation of his commands.It's a sad day for society when the system uses flase allegations, plea agreements, and unsubstantiated claims to charge, convict, and further hold people in prosin when they know they were convicted unjustly.  Thank God for attorneys like Cheryl Kates and Roy Calhoun, who speak the truth, defend the truth, and too put their trust in God.  As "the truth" is synonymous with God, so are integrity, diligence, Cheryl Kates and Roy Calhoun." 



"I've had the pleasure of knowing Cheryl Kates personally. Just listening to her telling me about her success stories concerning parole appeals that were won, left me feeling just as happy as those familes that were ecstatic knowing their loved ones were coming home. Right now Cheryl is in the process of helping a family friend of mine and I know he's delighted to have her in his corner.  This lady knows her stuff!"



Jalil Muntaquim

"Cheryl L. Kates Esq. and I met when she was in law school.  She was working on a study that involved the healthcare of inmates.  She did not know who I was, did not know anything about my case, to her I was just another prisoner at the time.  However during the course of the interview that I agreed to I could see that she was truly interested in prison reform issues and the health of prisoners.  Her genuine concern exuded from her personality." 


Dennis Anthony

"Words can't adequately describe the feeling of euphoria I have been experiencing since I was given a release date at my last board appearance. I was beginning to think that this time would never arrive, but thanks to my wife and Cheryl L. Kates Esq., piercing my wall of extreme skepticism and giving me hope again it has. I haven't had many people in my life who have touched me in the positive manner she has. Ms. Kates possesses a very unique quality that inspires and brings out the best in people. Cheryl Kates takes care of business!"



"We would like to extend a warm and pleasant thank you for all the long hours that you put in for fighting for my husband’s freedom.  You would think after winning three appeals they would get the message that we would not quit, and we would not go away... apparently they didn’t.  Although we did not win through our court intervention, you were constantly standing by our side through the raging storm to help fight this battle to the bitter end to assist in any way possible.  Only a true friend and a persistent attorney would do that…and that is you!!  Keep smiling, stay as strong and aggressive as we know you are and thanks for believing in us and knowing that justice is not blind and that rusty scale is not even!! Friends for life…cause that’s the sentence we were given..."


James Wingfield

"I am writing this testimony of the new lease on life I am now enjoying as a free man due to my good fortune of coming into contact with Ms. Cheryl L. Kates Esq. Attorney at Law.  It was through this chance encounter with Ms. Kates, that I was able to gain my freedom.  She worked very closely with me in developing my personalized parole plan.  Within two years of hiring her, we were able to secure my freedom after 29 years of incarceration."

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Cynthia Pugh

"We (Cynthia's family) especially thank Parole Attorney Cheryl L. Kates for her recent help regarding the Parole Process, and feel her help was instrumental in obtaining Cynthia’s release from prison."

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Huwe Burton

"I first met Ms. Kates in 2007 after my 3rd parole denial. I was hit with 12 months in 06, but the panel in 07 gave me 24 months because they said "they could". I was told Ms. Kates could help me with my fight. Skeptic and losing hope fast, I decided to reach out. Looking back it was the best decision I made in my 20+ years of incarceration. Professional, caring, stern, and humorous are just some of the qualities which describe Ms. Cheryl Kates.

She was painfully honest with me and my family when speaking about the gravity of my circumstances, but she not only vowed to fight but win! I honestly did not know how, but for some reason I believed her. Each individual case was personal, she was and is the voice of those of us who don't have one. There were days where I flirted with the idea of giving up, but she would sense it in my voice as we spoke and would reaffirm her promise that she would get me out.

As the denials came, we fought harder. The things we tried were unorthodox but they worked to my benefit. In July 09 it all paid off, I was finally released. I not only got a lawyer but a real friend. I firmly believe that had I not had Ms. Kates my 15-life would have easily turned into 25 or 30 years. Consider yourself in a good space if she is representing you!"

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John Killeen

"I write this testament from prison, however, my stay here is coming to an end. In exactly 50 days, I will be released from prison after serving 20 years. This was all made possible thanks to a dedicated and hard working attorney: Cheryl L. Kates Esq.

I, like many, convicted violent felons struggle with the repeated denials of parole. Some call it the "Deuce Club" because of the standard twenty-four month holds which are given out by the Parole Board between subsequent parole appearances. This is very frustrating for both the inmate and their families. I strived for many years to prove myself worthy of release.

I was given an 8-life sentence as a juvenile offender originally when I was fourteen years old after being sentenced for my role in a murder. I, like most people at that time, thought that once I completed my 8 year minimum sentence I would be released. This was not the case. I subsequently was held by the Division of Parole for 7 consecutive 24 month holds.

One day I spoke to a friend "Georgie" in the yard. Georgie told me about a lawyer from the Rochester area that was making tremendous strides in getting people out of prison. I had no money. My family was very skeptical of lawyers and the law. What guarantee did I have I would make it out if I used this attorney? Georgie said, "There are no guarantees, but this woman has helped 5 guys in this prison alone get out. I too was skeptical".

After pondering my chances at yet another Parole Board appeal process, I was compelled to ask my family for help. They were eager to help so we hired Cheryl.She was down to earth, on my level, and did not confuse me with legal terminology. She told it like it was and never emphasized her winning percentage. She set her fees which were reasonable and went to work on my case.

Appeals of parole denials are supposed to take 4 months. However the parole appeals unit in Albany has been backed up for decades. At 6 months I was getting restless. Cheryl explained to me that I needed to be patient. She walked me through all her endeavors and assured me by telling me about other successes along the way. She faxed Albany to check on the status of things frequently. Then I saw Georgie in the yard and he told me Cheryl helped him and he was going home! After 11 months I received notice that my decision was reversed and I would see a new Parole Board. Her appeal had paid off.

I was again brought back to the Parole Board in front of a new panel. But I was again denied parole. However, this time the panel finally, and with clarity, expressed to me exactly what they wanted me to accomplish by my next parole date. I had never been given guidance by them before. It was obvious to me they were no longer giving me the run around. They were crossing all their i's and t's. They expressed to me on many occasions and in correspondence the acknowledgement of Cheryl Kates as my attorney.

On 9-01-09, I appeared at my subsequent board taking Cheryl's parole plan in hand. Keeping the advice she gave me ever so present in my mind. This was my moment of truth. My life was on the line. I was prepared for every question they would ask, but they didn't ask, at least not like they did in the past. However one question in particular stood out above all. The Commissioner asked me, "Is Cheryl Kates your attorney?" "Yes" I told him. His response was mind boggling, "Her parole plan for which she submitted on your behalf is very effective. Quite effective!" It was at that moment I knew I had finally made the board.

When I called Cheryl to tell her she was so happy for me and my family. Even her own son was jumping for joy on my behalf. I could hear him in the background say, "Mommy! Mommy! You did it Mommy" So when she asked me if I would write this testament I was more than willing to do so.

I have to say that if you have a loved one in prison, and that person has been repeatedly denied parole or that person is in need of a parole plan to support his quest, I strongly recommend Ms. Cheryl L. Kates Esq. She is a true champion for the advocation of parole and an exceptional attorney who is well respected and acknowledged by the New York State Division of Parole. I am living proof of that!"

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Bobby Jermal Muhammad

"You are truly a GENUINE freedom fighter, solid as a rock,  you fought strong, long and hard determined to help me get my Freedom (Parole), when I thought it wasn't possible,  when I thought it wouldn't happen, when I thought of giving in you encouraged me to remain strong and told me that you would get me home.  These words can not express in depth my gratitude and fortunate luck of having you as my attorney.  Your work shows and prove itself, if your not the Best Parole appeals attorney New York State has, then you obviously second to none."


John A. Brewer

"My name is John A. Brewer.  At 19 years old I was arrested for committing the crimes of Murder 2nd and Burglary 1st.  As a result of my actions, I was sentenced to serve the concurrent terms of 15 years to life and 8 1/3 to 25 years.  Within the next few weeks I can look forward to finally saying:  my former State Prison D.I.N. number was once #88B0182.

I cannot say coming to prison at such a young age, with the disheartening thoughts that I would never be free again, was an easy reality to deal with.  Nor that I did not make my share of mistakes along the way, trying to navigate through the quagmire of the prison system with such a mind-set.
Upon completing my minimum 15 years, I came before my initial parole board in 2001.  Being denied release only caused that old belief to echo even louder in the back of my mind.  That I was destined to die in prison.  Notwithstanding, my doing everything in my power throughout the years to educate myself and gain a number of trade skills.  In the  hopes of being given just one chance to be a part of society again and being prepared to actively participate productively within it.

Unfortunately, regardless of the changes I had made in my person and outlook on life; it was all to no avail.  I would subsequently go to 5 parole boards and 1 De Novo hearing.  All ending in the same results:  "Denied.  Hold for 24 months".
When I was finally at my wits end and on the verge of truly resigning myself to the thought of never leaving prison.  Someone suggested I contact this lawyer who had an office in Honeoye, NY at the time.  She was reputed to have a genuine interest in advocating for those like me and was reasonable in the fees for her services.

At the time this sounded too good to be true.  I mean, who could take on the New York State Parole Board and repeatedly win?!  After a bit of skepticism on my part and a number of drawn out conversations with my family, my sister Betty retained the services of this lawyer on my behalf.  This wonderful person and lawyer is Cheryl L. Kates.

Now after 25 years in prison; 6 parole board appearances later, I can now see the light at the end of a once dark and obstructed tunnel.  And sigh with relief that I will again be a free man and no longer have to anguish over thoughts of dying in prison.

I owe this good fortune to the diligent efforts of Ms. Cheryl L. Kates on my behalf.  Without her assistance I truly to not believe I would be getting this second lease on life.  No matter how extensive my rehabilitation has been.  I owe Ms. Kates (and my sister Betty for retaining her) a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.  Though I will effortlessly work towards this repayment, by living a much better life in society, now that I have been given that second chance.
I highly recommend every incarcerated man and woman who's sincere about not languishing in prison well beyond their minimum sentence(s), and who desire to regain their freedom; utilize the services of Ms. Cheryl L. Kates immediately.  She has continuously proven to work miracles in favor of those of us who have been inaccurately labeled "the worst of the worst" and beyond redemption."