Since the firm opened its doors in 1979, significant civil rights cases have been a driving passion. Our civil and constitutional rights have been eroding in the last thirty years and we are committed to representing people whose rights have been trampled, including persons brutalized or killed by police, abandoned and neglected or killed by jails that don’t care about their medical needs, and those victimized by racial hatred. The rights of the state (including local governments) have increased at the expense of individual liberties and we are especially interested in advocating for individuals who have been grievously wronged by governmental misconduct and abuse of power.
We represent plaintiffs in various civil rights matters including:
This dedication to civil rights began with John’s earliest cases, including suing RTD to put lifts on buses so that people in wheelchairs could begin to have equal access to the state. We represented the disability civil rights movement in Colorado from its inception and are still involved. We have handled many discrimination cases. One of our cases for an African-American man brutally discriminated against and harassed because of his race, Roy Smith, was the subject of a Barbara Walter’s 20/20 special, Roy Smith’s America. It was also the subject of a documentary film.
We have helped establish rights for victims of police misconduct and liability of co-employees for outrageous sexual misconduct. We have won Orders from the Colorado Supreme Court establishing rights of a whistleblower, Dr. Carl Johnson, to be free from termination as the Health Director for Jefferson County for exposing the dangers facing the public from radiation at Rocky Flats. In that same case, we established the legal standard for disqualifying biased judges in civil cases.
Along with hundreds of other lawyers from across the country, we have for years represented detainees, pro bono, imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay in proceedings against the United States Government. We published an article about our experiences in obtaining the release of an innocent young man from Mauritania, and our travel to Mauritania to meet with the Minister of Justice.