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Reed Colfax
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(505) 983-1601


J.D., Yale Law School

A.B., Harvard University, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
New Mexico


Honorable Thelton E. Henderson, U.S. District Court Judge, Northern District of California


Mr. Colfax practices primarily in civil rights litigation.  He has extensive experience in representing individuals and organizations in housing, public accommodations, and employment discrimination cases.

Prior to joining Relman, Dane & Colfax, Mr. Colfax was the project director of the Fair Housing Project at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs from 2000 to 2004 and a Skadden Fellow with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., from 1997 to 1999.

While with the Washington Lawyers' Committee, Mr. Colfax coordinated and litigated numerous legal challenges to discrimination by restaurants and hotels against African-American motorcyclists attending Black Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Mr. Colfax was also lead counsel in 2922 Sherman Ave. v. District of Columbia (D.D.C.), a Fair Housing Act case against the District of Columbia for its condemnation of multi-family apartment buildings in predominately Latino neighborhoods of the city.

Professional Activities

Mr. Colfax maintains a varied trial court practice, including challenges to fair housing, public accommodations, and employment discrimination throughout the United States.  Mr. Colfax also maintains a fair housing appellate practice, having appeared and argued before the Second, Fourth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits and having drafted amicus briefs on a variety of fair housing issues on behalf of the National Fair Housing Alliance and other fair housing advocacy organizations in several other Circuits.

Mr. Colfax was lead counsel in Kennedy v. City of Zanesville, (S.D. Ohio) a sixty-seven plaintiff challenge to the City of Zanesville, Ohio and Muskingum County's refusal to provide water services to a predominately African-American community.  The case culminated in a $10.8 million verdict.

Mr. Colfax has litigated cases on behalf of developers prevented by municipal government's discriminatory opposition to Low Income Housing Tax Credit and other affordable housing developments.

Mr. Colfax has been a frequent lecturer on a variety of issues related to housing and public accommodations discrimination before numerous national, state, and local groups including the NAACP, National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Selected Published Cases

Mr. Colfax's better-known cases include:

  • 2922 Sherman Avenue Tenants' Ass'n v. District of Columbia, 444 F.3d 673 (D.C. Cir. 2006);
  • Williams v. Staples, Inc., 372 F.3d 662 (4th Cir. 2004);
  • The Anderson Group, LLC v. City of Saratoga Springs, 557 F. Supp. 2d 332 (N.D.N.Y. 2008);
  • Kennedy v. City of Zanesville, 505 F.Supp.2d 456 (S.D. Oh. 2007); and
  • EEOC v. University of Phoenix, 505 F. Supp. 2d 1045 (D.N.M. 2007).

Honors and Awards

Mr. Colfax has received the finalist, 2009 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, Public Justice Foundation.