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Featured Work

  • In 2016, the firm secured a major jury verdict in a reverse redlining case against New York-based Emigrant Savings Bank and Emigrant Mortgage Company, holding Emigrant accountable for discriminatory mortgage lending practices targeting African-American and Hispanic homeowners in Brooklyn.

  • In a historic victory for Ashton Whitaker, a transgender student in Wisconsin, the firm 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. The firm obtained an $800,000 settlement in January 2018.

  • 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.

  • In 2016, the firm 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. The firm separately settled with the City's Community Redevelopment Agency in 2017.

  • In this Fair Housing Act case challenging an Ohio landlord's discrimination against tenants based on race and familial status, Relman, Dane & Colfax obtained a consent order in 2014 requiring that the landlord hire a professional management company to operate his apartment complexes and an $850,000 settlement.

  • In 2013, in the first reverse redlining case filed against a for-profit school in the country for engaging in deceptive practices to encourage low-income African-American students to take out large federal student loans for an education that the school knew was inadequate, the firm obtained a $5 million settlement for a class of over 4,000 members. 

  • In 2008, Relman, Dane & Colfax obtained a $10.8 million jury verdict for 67 plaintiffs challenging the refusal to provide water services to a predominately African-American community by the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio.

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.

  • This lawsuit, brought under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and state law, challenges the Dallas Housing Authority’s cancellation of project-based housing subsidies that would have permitted adults with disabilities to live in integrated homes in the community.

  • 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.

  • In this lawsuit, Access Living, an independent living center, challenges the City of Chicago’s failure to provide accessible, affordable housing to people with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act.

  • This Fair Housing Act lawsuit, brought by a 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.

  • This case, brought by Edward Kovari against Prisoner Transportation Services and two of its subsidiaries, alleges that Mr. Kovari was subjected to extreme and inhumane conditions over 18 days while he was transported from Virginia to Texas in an overcrowded prison transport van, in violation of his constitutional rights.

  • This Administrative Procedures Act (APA) lawsuit, brought on behalf of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (Texas Housers), challenges the failure of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address the City of Houston's chronic noncompliance with its civil rights obligations under Title VI and the Fair Housing Act.

  • This lawsuit, brought by the NAACP, challenges 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, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and federal civil rights laws.

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

  • This Fair Housing Act lawsuit brought by a fair housing organization and six women challenges a landlord's alleged pattern and practice of sexual harassment of female tenants and prospective 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. 

  • The firm represents the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and five individuals in this class action lawsuit against an Indianapolis realty company for operating a predatory and discriminatory rent-to-own scheme in the Indianapolis area. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Truth in Lending Act, and state law.

  • This Fair Housing Act lawsuit against the City of LaGrange, Georgia challenges the City's utility service policies—including denying utility services to individuals with unpaid court debt and requiring a Social Security number to obtain utilities—for having an unlawful disparate impact on African Americans and Latinos.

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

  • This case challenges the alleged unlawful detainment of an on-duty Black Secret Service agent by U.S. Park Police officers in violation of the agent's rights under the Fourth Amendment and Section 1985.

  • This case against McIntosh County and the State of Georgia alleges that the denial of basic municipal services to one of the last Gullah-Geechee communities on Sapelo Island, Georgia violates plaintiffs' constitutional rights.

  • The firm represents plaintiff-intervenors, a group of high school and college students, seeking to defend UNC-Chapel Hill's consideration of race in its admissions process.

  • This Fair Housing Act case challenges a Brooklyn apartment complex's refusal to rent units to formerly incarcerated individuals, under the complex's policy prohibiting anyone with a criminal record from living there, as racially discriminatory.

  • 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.

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

  • 10.13.2011
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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