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The Firm

Relman, Dane & Colfax is a civil rights law firm based in Washington, D.C., with additional offices in Ohio and New Mexico.  We litigate civil rights cases in the areas of housing, lending, employment, public accommodations, education, and police accountability.  Our national practice includes individual and class action lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs who have suffered discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, disability, age, familial status, source of income, and sexual orientation.

The firm also provides legal counsel to progressive companies that demonstrate a commitment to best practices in the way they conduct business.  Such counsel includes representation of financial institutions in reporting to their regulators on fair lending and fair servicing issues.   We conduct investigations and provide counseling regarding consumer protection, privacy, lending, employment, whistleblower, and federal regulatory matters.  Our practice also includes analysis and strategy regarding public policy issues and proposed legislation affecting civil rights.

In the News

Federal Court Complaint Alleges Uber Services in District of Columbia are Inaccessible to Wheelchair Users
Relman, Dane & Colfax and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee filed suit in federal court in the District of Columbia on June 28, 2017, on behalf of the Equal Rights Center (“ERC”), alleging that Uber Technologies, Inc. and two of its affiliates (collectively, “Uber”) have adopted and maintained policies that either exclude wheelchair users entirely from Uber services, or relegate them to inferior services with excessive wait times and much higher fares. As a result, wheelchair users are deprived of the substantial benefits that Uber provides to all of its other customers, thereby making it harder for them to travel to work, school, medical appointments and community events. to read more and review the complaint click here.

Federal Court Class Action Challenges Predatory “Rent-to-Own” Housing Scheme Targeted At Minority Communities in Indianapolis
On May 30, 2017, Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC filed a class action housing discrimination lawsuit on behalf of four individuals and the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana against Rainbow Realty Group, Inc., Empire Holding Corporation, and James R. Hotka. The complaint alleges that the Defendants use the promise of homeownership to lure people into toxic “rent-to-own” contracts for rundown houses, reviving predatory land contract practices that denied fair homeownership opportunities to residents of minority neighborhoods during much of the twentieth century. The lawsuit asserts claims under the federal Fair Housing, Equal Credit Opportunity, and Truth in Lending Acts, as well as state law. To read more and review the complaint click here.

Relman, Dane & Colfax Wins Landmark Seventh Circuit Decision For Wisconsin Transgender Student
In a groundbreaking decision, a three-judge Seventh Circuit panel unanimously affirmed a preliminary injunction that required the Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin to permit Ash Whitaker, a 17-year-old transgender boy, to use the boys' restrooms at his high school. The Seventh Circuit found that the school district's refusal to let Ash use the appropriate bathroom violates both Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The historic order is the first federal appellate decision to find that federal law requires public schools to permit a transgender student to use the bathroom corresponding to the student's gender identity without reference to the Obama Administration's guidance on the subject, which the Trump Administration withdrew earlier this year. To read more and review the appellate opinion click here.

Federal Court Complaint Challenges Georgia City's Discriminatory Utility Policies
On May 18, 2017, Relman, Dane & Colfax, along with the National Immigration Law Center and the Southern Center for Human Rights, filed a lawsuit against the City of LaGrange, Georgia, on behalf of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, Troup County NAACP, Project South, and seven individual plaintiffs challenging LaGrange's utility service policies that have an unlawful disparate impact on African Americans and Latinos. To read more and review the complaint click here.

Federal Court Complaint Challenges Connecticut Town's Discriminatory Treatment of Group Home for People with Disabilities
On April 17, 2017, Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center filed a housing discrimination lawsuit, on behalf of the Center and Gilead Community Services, against the Town of Cromwell, Connecticut. The complaint alleges that Cromwell and three of its high-ranking officials violated three federal civil rights laws--the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act--through an illegal and concerted campaign to force Gilead to close a residence for individuals with mental health diagnoses. To read more and review the complaint click here.

Relman, Dane & Colfax Settles Race Discrimination Class Action Against the Secret Service for $24 Million and Reform of Promotions System
On January 17, 2017, Relman, Dane & Colfax reached a historic settlement in its oldest case – a class action on behalf of more than 100 Special Agents of the United States Secret Service. Filed in 2000, the case alleged that African American Secret Service Agents had been subjected to a racially discriminatory promotion system that denied them a fair opportunity for promotion. For 16 years and through three administrations, Relman, Dane & Colfax, along with Hogan Lovells, fought in both trial and appellate courts to win relief for members of the class. In addition to substantial monetary relief, the settlement requires the Secret Service to make significant changes to its promotion system to ensure greater transparency and accountability in decision making. To read more and review the Settlement click here.