Civil Rights

We are in various stages of litigation of civil rights issues in Chicago and around the country. In certain cases, our representation has been limited to helping clients navigate the media landscape and in other cases we are integral members of the litigation team. We see justice and accountability of police and prosecutors as problems that face cities and states across the nation. Technology and quick access to O'Hare airport allow us to represent clients outside of Chicago. We enjoy filing open records requests in neighboring states like Missouri just as much as working with local journalists to file FOIA requests with the City of Chicago. We handle cases that involve the police causing serious injury or death to victims, such as representing the family of Tamir Rice in the Northern District of Ohio and the family of Jordan Baker in Southern District of Texas.

We began our interest and involvement in federal civil rights cases through our activism in the communities of Chicago. We realized that civil rights cases presented the opportunity to combine our profession with our beliefs and our activism.

Our activism has focused on curbing surveillance abuses by the NSA, exposing the Chicago Police Department's illegal detention of people at Homan Square, working on issues of restorative and procedural justice in the community, and trying to stop police officers around the country from the unnecessary use of force. Our activism on these issues has compelled us to shift our role from activists to attorneys in federal civil rights litigation.

This activism has also provided us valuable experience in dealing with the media. Billy and Ben have been heavily involved with exposing illegal detention and abuse at Homan Square. Billy has been one of the main co-organizers of Homan Square protests and attempts to communicate with CPD. This involvement led to multiple interviews with The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, and several other publications. We also have experience communicating with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. Billy was one of the co-organizers of Restore the Fourth Chicago, which formed via Reddit in the wake of Ed Snowden's disclosures. That involvement led to interviews with Vice, Gapers Block, and an op-ed in Streetwise. Fellow activists have also taught us to communicate through encrypted channels, should that be of interest to you.

We hope to hear from you if you have been the victim of police or prosecutorial misconduct. We work best in collaboration with more established civil rights firms that have the ability to finance contingency cases. To clarify, Sections 1983 and 1988 allow for lawyers to represent victims of police and government abuses on a contingency basis. The contingency fee is normally in the 33% to 40% range, depending on the case.