Civil Rights

For decades, Patterson Harkavy’s attorneys have committed themselves to advancing the public good. We have litigated class action cases to uphold the rights of voters, government employees, prisoners, and mentally disabled children, and have represented individuals in cases of wrongful convictionspolice misconduct, and governmental discrimination.

If you think you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, our attorneys can help defend your rights and obtain the relief you deserve.  Contact us today to see if we can help.

A Distinguished Record of Defending the People

All citizens have the right to be protected against unlawful intrusions and discrimination by the government.  The lawyers at Patterson Harkavy have successfully and energetically represented individuals and groups whose civil rights were threatened or violated.

Our attorneys are currently challenging the elimination of North Carolina teachers’ employment protections as violating the United States Constitution’s Contracts Clause.  Some of our other cases include:

  • Improving conditions in state prisons (Small v. Martin).
  • Establishing a statewide right to treatment for troubled youths (Willie M. v. Hunt).
  • Obtaining a $7.52 million settlement on behalf of a man wrongfully incarcerated for 18 years (Dail v. City of Goldsboro).
  • Obtaining a $4.625 million settlement on behalf of a man wrongfully incarcerated for 17 years (Taylor v. Deaver).
  • Proving that a university discriminated against a female athlete because of her sex (Mercer v. Duke University).
  • Obtaining a substantial jury verdict in favor of two men who were assaulted and falsely arrested for participating in a union election campaign.
  • Changing the method of electing county commissioners, city councils, and boards of education in many North Carolina communities.

We have also regularly prepared amicus briefs on behalf of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice on issues including employment discrimination, unlawful drug testing, and unconstitutional searches.

Call us at 1 (800) 458-2541

Civil rights violations are particularly difficult to prove, especially in today’s legal climate.  As a result, we are able to accept only a limited number of these cases.  If you believe you have suffered serious damage because of a civil rights violation, or are one of a number of people suffering a systemic injustice, please contact us online or call 1 (800) 458-2541.

For more information, read more about our work representing victims of police misconduct and the wrongfully convicted.