There is no one-size-fits all approach to civil-rights cases. Each is extremely fact-specific and calls for a deep and thorough investigation prior to filing a lawsuit. Once our pre-suit investigation is complete, our attorneys can begin to strategize about the most appropriate way to litigate your case. Every decision requires careful consideration: how detailed should the allegations be? Should we file the case in state court or federal court? How many and what types of experts should we hire? Who are the friends and family members who can best explain to a jury how you were before and how you are after? We answer all these questions to chart the best path to a just result in each case.
Things to Keep in Mind
Pictures and Videos Are Gold
As you may have noticed in the media: one of the only ways to hold government wrongdoers accountable is by finding photographs and videos that were taken by the victims or bystanders.
You Have a Right to Remain Silent. Use It
When a police officer questions you during a traffic stop, that interaction is designed with one goal in mind: to get you to produce evidence against yourself. You do not have to consent a search of yourself, your person, or your belongings. If they do so despite your assertion of your right to silence and your refusal to consent to a search, your civil rights case is stronger.
Document Everything You Remember
If you believe your rights were violated, write down anything you can remember about the encounter: the officers’ names, their badge numbers, which agency they were from, the contact information for witnesses and any other details that seem important.
The law gives people the right to sue when government actors violate their constitutional rights. Even getting to a trial in these cases, however, can be difficult. Qualified Immunity is a doctrine that protects state actors unless plaintiffs can prove not only that their civil rights were violated, but also that the wrongdoers knew or should have known they were violating those civil rights. As such, civil-rights attorneys must thoroughly investigate every case early on to find a viable avenue to liability.