In early 2000, a police force of 600 confronted Charleston longshoremen during a peaceful march protesting the use of non-union dockworkers.
Weeks after the tear gas cleared, a politically ambitious state attorney general filed felony riot and assault indictments against five longshoremen:
the men who became internationally known as the "Charleston 5."
While the International Longshoreman Association, the AFL-CIO, and many other labor organizations commenced the international "Free the Charleston 5"
campaign, Derfner & Altman took on the state attorney general. Derfner & Altman filed allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, the state attorney general backed down, and the
Charleston 5 case was a great success for the labor movement.