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John P. Relman
Managing Partner
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(202) 728-1888

Education

J.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

A.B., Harvard University, cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
Massachusetts (inactive)

Clerkships

Honorable Sam J. Ervin III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Honorable Joyce Hens Green, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Practice

Mr. Relman is the founder and director of Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC.  Mr. Relman has represented scores of plaintiffs and public interest organizations in individual and class action discrimination cases in federal court.  

Prior to the formation of the firm, Mr. Relman served as project director of the Fair Housing Project at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.  Under his leadership the project achieved national recognition, winning some of the largest housing, lending, and public accommodations discrimination jury verdicts and settlements obtained in the country.  Prior to joining the Lawyers' Committee, Mr. Relman worked as a staff attorney at the National Office of the Lawyers' Committee.

Professional Activities

Mr. Relman has written and lectured extensively in the areas of fair housing and fair lending law and practice and has provided numerous training classes and seminars for plaintiffs' lawyers, fair housing organizations, the real estate industry, and lending institutions.  He is the author of Housing Discrimination Practice Manual, published by the West Group.

Mr. Relman teaches public interest law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he serves as an adjunct professor.

Selected Published Cases

Mr. Relman's better-known cases include:

  • Timus v. William J. Davis, Inc. ($2.4 million jury verdict for housing discrimination against families with children);
  • Dyson v. Denny's Restaurants ($17.725 million class settlement for racial discrimination against customers);
  • Pugh v. Avis Rent-A-Car ($5.4 class settlement for racial discrimination in the rental of cars);
  • Gilliam v. Adam's Mark Hotels ($2.1 million class settlement for racial discrimination against guests); and
  • Kennedy v. City of Zanesville ($10.8 million race discrimination jury verdict).

Honors and Awards

Mr. Relman has received numerous awards and honors, including the Mildred & Richard Loving Civil Rights Award, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for Commitment and Support to Equal Opportunity in Housing, the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington for Outstanding Contributions to Fair Housing in Greater Washington, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council for Outstanding Contributions to Fair Housing in the Nation, and the Government of Montgomery County, Maryland for Valuable Contributions to Fair and Affordable Housing.  Mr. Relman was named one of the best lawyers in America in 2007 and one of the best civil rights lawyers in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian Magazine.