Three years after John Lennon was assassinated, Morrison & Foerster partner Dan Marmalefsky launched a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation to uncover the Nixon administration’s plan to deport the famous Beatle. Twenty-three years later, he’s still digging.

Three years after John Lennon was assassinated, Morrison & Foerster partner Dan Marmalefsky launched a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation to uncover the Nixon administration's plan to deport the famous Beatle. Twenty-three years later, he's still digging. 2

A white-collar defense attorney in Los Angeles, Marmalefsky leads a team of three lawyers, pro bono, that represents a University of California, Irvine history professor, who, since 1983, has sought the release of FBI documents related to its surveillance of Lennon in the early 1970s.

What started out as a compelling freedom-of-information challenge for a young Yale Law School graduate more than two decades ago has become a career-spanning endeavor.

The case has outlived four presidential administrations, dozens of court appearances and, apparently, a film about the famous rock star, “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” in current release. His client, Jonathan Wiener, has chronicled the 23-year battle in the book “Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files,” and was a consultant for the film, in which he appears.

Marmalefsky, now 50, said that he and two other attorneys have spent thousands of hours on the ongoing case, which he asserts goes to the heart of governmental intrusion.