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.
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.
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 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.
A 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 was upheld on appeal by the Second Circuit.
J. Relman & R. Colfax, Fair Housing Implications of "Essential Workforce" Housing, The Florida Housing Coalition (2012).
Case Note: Denied Water Service Because of Race, 43 Clearinghouse Rev. 7-8 (2009).
R. Colfax, "Housing Choice Voucher Discrimination: Another Obstacle to Achieving the Promise of Brown," in The NIMBY Report, Fifty Years Later: Brown v. Board of Education and Housing Opportunity (2004).
In the Media
- WBTW News 13, 02.14.2019
- Courthouse News Service, 12.14.2018
- BuzzFeed News, 08.09.2018
- #BikingWhileBlack: NAACP and Black Motorcyclists Sue Myrtle Beach, SC, for Discrimination During ‘Black Bike Week’The Root, 05.25.2018
- The Post and Courier, 02.27.2018
- The Nation, 07.15.2016
- New York Times, 06.27.2016
- wkyc.com, 08.25.2014
J.D., Yale Law School
A.B., Harvard University, magna cum laude
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
- Hon. Thelton E. Henderson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California