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Featured Work

  • In a significant victory in the fight for fair lending, we secured a major jury verdict against New York-based Emigrant Savings Bank and Emigrant Mortgage Company for discriminatory mortgage lending. The June 2016 liability verdict was both the first case in which a jury held a bank accountable for lending practices that contributed to the country’s 2008 financial collapse, and the first reverse redlining case ever to be tried in federal court.

  • 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 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

  • 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 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 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 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 systemic housing discrimination case against the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) challenges Fannie Mae’s discriminatory maintenance of its “real estate owned” (REO) properties around the country.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • In this Fair Housing Act lawsuit against a Virginia landlord, which challenged a racially discriminatory policy of rejecting all applicants with criminal backgrounds, the defendant agreed to adopt a new policy to ensure equal access to its properties.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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. 

In the Media

MultiMedia

  • St. Bernard Parish
  • Coal Run: Kennedy v. City of Zanesville
  • Feeling Justified: Stark County v. Ruth
  • Fair Housing Advocates Speech 2017
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