The FirmRelman, 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.
Cases in the News
Settlement Eliminates Discriminatory Local Residence Requirements
Relman, Dane & Colfax is pleased to announce that its clients—Crystal Carter and Connecticut Fair Housing Center (CFHC)—have settled their housing discrimination case against the Winchester (Connecticut) Housing Authority (WHA). WHA has traditionally served 17 towns in northwestern Connecticut, a part of the state that is overwhelmingly White. This landmark settlement does away entirely with local residence requirements and preferences that discriminate on the basis of race and national origin. The Consent Decree, entered November 14, 2013, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, provides for comprehensive relief for Ms. Carter and for CFHC, and requires WHA to pay $350,000 in damages, attorney’s fees and costs. To read more and review the Complaint and Consent Order click here.
Court Approves $5 Million Settlement of Nation's First Reverse Redlining Case Against a For-Profit College
On July 25, 2013, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. granted final approval to a $5 million class action settlement in a lawsuit against a company that owns and operates a for-profit vocational college in the Richmond, Virginia area. The school was known as Richmond School of Health and Technology (“RSHT”) until recently changing its name to Chester Career College. Relman, Dane & Colfax filed the lawsuit in 2011 and believes it is the first reverse redlining case ever filed against a for-profit college in the country. The lawsuit alleged violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and asserted state common law claims. To read more about the case click here.
Class Certified in Firm’s Long-Running Race Discrimination Case against Secret Service
On February 25, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts certified a class of 120 current and former African-American Secret Service Agents, ruling that their claims of pattern or practice disparate treatment and disparate impact in promotions to supervisory levels may proceed as a class action. In its opinion, the Court not only rejected all of Defendant’s arguments against class certification, but also rejected Defendant’s challenge to Plaintiffs’ statistical evidence of discrimination, instead holding that Plaintiffs’ expert offered “relevant” and “reliable” evidence of discrimination that was corroborated by the sworn testimony of over 60 current and former African-American Agents. The Court’s rulings mark the latest victories in the Firm’s long-running Moore, et al. v. Napolitano litigation that began in 2000, and has included several sanctions against Defendants for discovery misconduct.
Baltimore Settles Landmark Fair Lending Case Against Wells Fargo
On July 12, 2012, the City of Baltimore resolved its landmark fair lending lawsuit against Wells Fargo, filed on the City's behalf by Relman, Dane & Colfax over four years ago. Resolution of the suit was announced concurrently with an announcement by the United States Department of Justice that it has reached a national fair lending settlement with Wells Fargo worth at least $175 million. To read more about the case, click here.