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Significant Cases

MAJOR CASES AFFECTING THE NATION’S FUTURE

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.

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of the Univ. of Michigan (Brief to SCOTUS)

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.

Conn v. Board of Educ. of City of Detroit, 586 F.Supp.2d 852 (E.D.Mich.2008)
We represented two teachers and union activists in the Detroit Public Schools who were terminated by the Detroit School Board for participatng in a demonstration against school closings. We won an unfair labor practice charge before the Michigan Employment Relations Commission and then obtained a preliminary injunction from the United States District Court ordering the School Board to reinstate them immediately. The teachers lost no wages but eventually received a $300,000 settlement for the pain and suffering they had endured.

Miller v. Detroit Public Schools, MERC Case No. C13 B-028 (April 21, 2015)
We won a decision at the Michigan Employment Relations Commission ordering the Detroit Public Schools to reinstate teacher with full back pay and to remove from her file a discriminatory evaluation which was the excuse given by the District for her layoff.

Perez v. Ford Motor Company, 2005 WL 562637 (2005)
We represented a woman who had been victimized by a serial sexual harasser at a Ford Motor Company assembly plant outside Detroit. We won the case in the Court of Appeals and in the Supreme Court twice. The case was eventually resolved under terms subject to a confidentiality agreement.

 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS CASES

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.

 

EMPLOYMENT CASES

Bathurst v. Detroit Public Schools. Won jury verdict on whistleblower claim for teacher discharged for reporting health and safety violations.

Hickey v. Bradford-White. Obtained settlement (amount confidential) for employee discharged in violation of Family Medical Leave Act.

Roberts v. Automobile Club of Michigan. Obtained settlements (amounts confidential) on claims of wrongful termination and age discrimination for 13 sales representatives discharged by Auto Club.

Weber v. Wayne State University. Obtained settlement (amount confidential) on whistleblower claim for a discharged administrative employee.

Wright v. Marathon. Obtained settlement (amount confidential) on whistleblower claim for discharged refinery worker.

 

POLICE BRUTALITY CASES

Daverne Riley v. City of Detroit, et al. Won verdict of acquittal in criminal prosecution and then won $800,000 verdict for citizen shot by Detroit police officer.

Marlon Crumby v. City of Detroit, et. al.   Won dismissal of criminal charges and then obtained $200,000 settlement for citizen in case claiming police planted evidence on him.

Odgers v. City of Westland. Won verdict of acquittal and then obtained $200,000 settlement for woman wrongfully arrested by Westland police officers.

Floyd v. City of Detroit. Co-counsel in case claiming citizen wrongfully shot by Detroit police that resulted in $800,000 settlement.

Williams v. Detroit Public Schools. Won settlement (amount confidential) for students wrongfully arrested or assaulted during demonstration against school closings.

 

LABOR REPRESENTATION

We have represented the following labor organizations:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), International Union.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Councils 23, 25 and 77.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Locals 207, 214, 312, 345, 409, 542, 893, 1023, 1583, 1603, 1659, 1973, and 2056.

Registered Nurses and Registered Pharmacists of Hurley Medical Center (Flint, MI).

Senior Accountants, Analysts and Appraisers Association (SAAA)(Detroit, MI).

Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers, International Union.

Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers, Locals 259, 283, 299 and 379.

United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), International Union.

United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), Locals 1564, 2200, 2334, 2600, and 6000.