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Featured Work

  • In a historic victory for Ashton Whitaker and other transgender students, Relman, Dane & Colfax secured a landmark Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in 2017 recognizing that Title IX and the Fourteenth Amendment protect transgender students from discrimination at school.

  • In 2016, Relman, Dane & Colfax settled the largest affordable housing accessibility case in the nation’s history, securing an important victory for people with disabilities in Los Angeles and adding at least 4,000 affordable and highly accessible housing units in the city.

  • Relman, Dane & Colfax secured a major jury verdict in 2016 in a reverse redlining case against New York-based Emigrant Savings Bank and Emigrant Mortgage Company, holding Emigrant accountable for discriminatory mortgage lending practices.

  • In 2017, Relman, Dane & Colfax reached a historic settlement in its longest-running case, a class action on behalf of more than 100 Special Agents of the United States Secret Service subjected to a racially discriminatory promotion system.

Current Cases

  • The firm represents UMH Properties, a developer seeking to build a community of affordable manufactured homes in the Village of Coxsackie, New York, in this Fair Housing Act lawsuit challenging the Village's obstruction of the development.

  • Challenge to housing authority’s alleged failure to make project-based voucher program ­equally available to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • In this Fair Housing Act lawsuit, a married same-sex couple challenges a Missouri senior living community's refusal to let them reside there as unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex.

  • Ongoing lawsuit brought by Access Living, an independent living center, challenging the City of Chicago’s failure to provide accessible, affordable housing under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act. 

  • This Fair Housing Act lawsuit brought by fair housing organization and two individuals challenges the strict rental terms, rules, and conditions that a Texas property management company imposes on their tenants with children.

  • This class action lawsuit challenges Wisconsin Medicaid's categorical exclusion on gender-confirming treatments for transgender beneficiaries under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, and the Medicaid Act.

  • Ongoing case brought by Edward Kovari against Prisoner Transportation Services and two of its subsidiaries, alleging that he was subjected to extreme and inhumane conditions over 18 days while he was transported from Virginia to Texas in an overcrowded prison transport van. He alleges he was deprived of his constitutional rights, because defendants were acting under color of state law, and his rights under state common law. 

  • Ongoing lawsuit challenging the failure of HUD to enforce funding and other sanctions against the City of Houston, despite its knowledge that Houston was not in compliance with its civil rights obligations.

  • Ongoing lawsuit brought by the NAACP challenging the City of Myrtle Beach’s imposition of severe traffic restrictions during Black Bike Week, the only weekend of the year where tourists are predominantly African American. 

  • Ongoing litigation brought by fair housing organization against City of Peoria alleging discriminatory enforcement of a chronic nuisance ordinance on the basis of race and sex in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

  • Ongoing litigation brought by fair housing organization and six women challenging landlord's alleged pattern and practice of discriminatory and harassing behavior against female tenants.

  • This lawsuit brought by Equal Rights Center alleges that Uber has failed to make its ride-sharing service accessible to wheelchair users in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and D.C. Human Rights Act. 

  • Ongoing class action challenge brought by Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and five individuals against local rent-to-own company alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Truth in Lending Act, and state law for operation of a predatory and discriminatory rent-to-own housing program in Indianapolis area.

  • 05.18.2017

    This Fair Housing Act lawsuit against the City of LaGrange, Georgia challenges the City's utility service policies that have an unlawful disparate impact on African Americans and Latinos.

  • Ongoing lawsuit filed by Gilead Community Services and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center against the Town of Cromwell alleging that Town undertook an unlawful and concerted campaign to force the closure of a group home for men with mental health diagnoses.

  • Ongoing case challenging the alleged unlawful detainment of an on-duty Black Secret Service agent by U.S. Park Police officers.

  • Ongoing fifty-three plaintiff challenge to McIntosh County and State of Georgia’s denial of basic municipal services to one of the last Gullah-Geechee communities on Sapelo Island, Georgia.

  • Ongoing litigation defending UNC-Chapel Hill's consideration of race in its admissions process. Successfully moved to intervene on behalf of diverse high-school and college students.

  • Ongoing case brought by nonprofit organization The Fortune Society against apartment complex that refused to rent it units once they learned that formerly incarcerated individuals would reside in them, pursuant to the complex's policy prohibiting anyone with a criminal record from renting an apartment or living there. The Fortune Society alleges this "blanket ban" is discriminatory and has a unlawful disparate impact on the basis of race. 

  • This Fair Housing Act case on behalf of an African-American tenant who experienced severe racial harassment by a neighbor challenges a landlord's failure to respond to neighbor-on-neighbor harassment.

Notable Victories

  • Litigation brought on behalf of an organization and two individuals against HUD challenging its delay of the Small Area Fair Market Rent pilot program, allowing poor families in major markets around the country to immediately use rental subsidies to move to higher-opportunity areas.

  • This Fair Housing Act lawsuit, filed on behalf of the a fair housing center and landlord, alleged that three insurance companies discriminated on the basis of race, sex and familial status by denying liability insurance (or charging higher premiums) to landlords who accept tenants with federal rental subsidy vouchers.

  • The firm obtained the first federal court decision holding that a landlord can violate the Fair Housing Act by maintaining a policy of refusing to consider the reasonable accommodation requests of disabled tenants or prospective tenants who seek to alter their rent due dates to correspond with the receipt of their disability benefits, resulting in a settlement including a policy change and damages.

  • In this Fair Housing Act case, the firm obtained a $2.45 million settlement on behalf of an affordable housing developer challenging municipality’s unlawful actions to obstruct a proposed affordable housing development based on bias-motivated community opposition.

  • Court of appeals holds that plasma donation center is a public accommodation that must comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Design and construction litigation settled for $600,000 and retrofits to entirety of large apartment complex.

  • Groundbreaking lawsuit challenging Santander Bank's poor record of mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods in Providence, Rhode Island. 

  • This successful Fair Housing Act lawsuit against the D.C. Housing Authority for failure to provide sign language interpreters resulted in settlement requiring substantial changes to policies and practices to ensure sign language interpreters are provided.

  • Jury verdict of $1 million in favor of families evicted from housing complex in Pahokee Florida because landlord sought to remove all children from the complex.

  • In this successful appeal of a homeowners association refusal to permit reasonable modifications to dwelling, the Sixth Circuit established the analytical framework for evaluating reasonable modification claims under the Fair Housing Act.

  • First reverse redlining case filed against a for-profit school in the country, alleging that it used a variety of deceptive practices to encourage students to take out large federal student loans for an education that the school knew was inadequate, while targetting African Americans and residents of low-income neighborhoods for enrollment. The final settlement required the school to pay $5 million to to a class of over 4,000 members. 

  • Successful jury trial resulting in $687,000 verdict in a race discrimination case on behalf of an African-American bartender.

  • In this Fair Housing Act case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a real estate agent could be held liable for disability discrimination.

  • Landmark cases brought by local governments against Wells Fargo for the effects that its allegedly discriminatory lending practices had in minority neighborhoods. Obtained opinion upholding the right of a municipality to sue under the Fair Housing Act.

  • Fair housing case alleging discrimination based on race and familial status against Ohio landlord resulting in $850,000 consent order requiring that the landlord hire a professional management company to operate his apartment complexes.

  • Race discrimination case in which the court denied summary judgment and determined that franchisor may be held liable under a theory of apparent agency in Section 1981 public accommodations cases

  • Federal court holds fifth-largest private apartment developer in the country liable for a “continuing violation” of federal accessibility requirements. Settlement required retrofitting of 12,300 apartment units at 82 apartment complexes in 11 states, with a total settlement value of nearly $15 million.

  • Multiple challenges to attempts to prevent construction of affordable, multi-family housing within St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans. After three evidentiary hearings in less than one year, the Court found that the Parish acted with racially discriminatory intent and that its actions had a discriminatory effect on African Americans.  

  • After federal court granted summary judgment for the firm’s client, case settled, requiring County to spend nearly $52 million in County funds to develop at least 750 affordable housing units in high-opportunity neighborhoods.

  • Trial victory on behalf of five officers of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department who experienced retaliation after complaining of race discrimination.

  • Jury verdict of $10.8 in favor of sixty-seven plaintiffs challenging the City of Zanesville, Ohio and Muskingum County's refusal to provide water services to a predominately African-American community.

  • First Amendment and race discrimination case challenging county government’s dismissal of three doctors who were outspoken opponents of budget cuts that impacted a public hospital that serves a predominantly African-American population on the south side of Chicago.

  • Trial victory on behalf of African-American couple whose landlord removed and burned their belongings when they were out of town.

  • Jury verdict in favor of developer prevented by City of Saratoga Springs from building affordable housing community because of discriminatory opposition to project by neighbors, upheld on appeal by the Second Circuit. 

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