The Civil Rights Movement won protections against discrimination in education, employment, housing, voting and services in the 1960s. Like the rights of labor, these rights have been under sustained attack in recent years.
We have led some of the major fights against those attacks. We proved that the University of Michigan racially discriminated against black workers and won the largest verdict for racial discrimination in the history of Washtenaw County. We also won large verdicts and settlements for persons discharged or otherwise victimized due to their age, gender, religion, political beliefs, or disability.
On two occasions, we defended affirmative action in the Supreme Court, and on several occasions we defended the right of the citizens of Detroit to elect their own school board and to limit the rule of an emergency manager who was destroying the Detroit Public Schools.
We represented three women in the Michigan Supreme Court on major sexual harassment cases against the Ford Motor Company, and we won the largest racial discrimination verdict ever obtained against the University of Michigan.
We won thousands of dollars for nearly a dozen single mothers and disabled persons who were tormented by a former Detroit Police Department officer in a low-income housing project that was supposed to provide its tenants with the safety and sanctity of home.
In total, we have recovered millions of dollars for individuals who have been victimized by race, sex, disability, religious, or age discrimination.
We have defended gay men harassed and persecuted by the police, and we helped win the constitutional challenge to Michigan’s sodomy and indecency statutes long before the United States Supreme Court finally struck down those unjust laws.
Discrimination cases are difficult and require dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys to win. We can tell you whether you have a case and, if you do, we can fight that case to victory.
Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)
We represented the black and Latino/a students who intervened to defend the affirmative action plan at the University of Michigan Law School. Working together with the University of Michigan, we won in the Sixth Circuit and in the United States Supreme Court.
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of the Univ. of Michigan (En Banc decision)
We represented many black and Latino/a students, applicants and residents who asked the courts to strike down a Michigan constitutional amendment that banned affirmative action. We won 8 to 7 before the entire Sixth Circuit. We also represented the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court which reversed the Sixth Circuit and reinstated the ban on affirmative action by a vote of 6 to 2.
Moore v. Detroit School Reform Bd., 293 F.3d 352 (6th Cir. 2002 )
We represented numerous community organizations and activists who sued under the Voting Rights Act to prevent the takeover of the Detroit Public Schools. The Sixth Circuit rejected our claim, but we had built such momentum in the case that the City of Detroit voters rejected the takeover by a two-to-one margin in 2006, and an elected school board was restored in Detroit. It was removed by new legislation two years later.
Detroit School Board v. Robert Bobb (unreported). Won judgment declaring that state takeover of academic affairs of the Detroit Public Schools was unlawful.
Mitchell, et al. v. Regents of Univ. of Michigan (unreported). Won largest racial discrimination verdict ever obtained against the University for discharging three black workers.
Thomas v. City of Detroit, 2010 WL 4608758). Won age discrimination judgment against City of Detroit disability policies, including employee’s full back pay, lost benefits and attorney fees.
Wright v. Lowe’s Home Centers, 2006 WL 3694607. Obtained settlement (amount confidential) for employee discharged due to her religious beliefs.
King v. Eastern Michigan University, 221 F. Supp. 2d 783 (2002). Obtained settlement (amount confidential) for women students who were sexually harassed during school-sponsored trip to South Africa.
Thomas v. Henderson, 44 F. Supp. 2d 915 (E.D. Mich. 1999). Obtained settlement (amount confidential) in sexual harassment case against United States Post Office.
Rice, et.al. v. Smith, et.al. (unreported). Obtained settlement (amount confidential) against landlords of low-income housing apartment building on behalf of a dozen women and disabled men who were harassed by a former Detroit police officer who was employed as a security guard for the apartment building.
Lewis v. Sears Roebuck, 845 F 2d 624 (6th Cir. 1988). Won verdict finding that Sears discharged a black sales person because of her race. Case was successfully defended on appeal, employee was reinstated with back pay, and attorney fees were awarded
Michigan Council No. 11, AFSCME v. Michigan Civil Service Commission, 408 Mich. 385 (1980). Won decision by Michigan Supreme Court holding that Civil Service Commission’s attempt to regulate political activities by state employees violated Michigan law.
Hall v. Austin, 495 F Supp 482 (E.D. Mich. 1980). Obtained judgment declaring Michigan’s attempt to ban Angela Davis and Gus Hall from ballot was unconstitutional.