Civil Rights

Civil Rights

For decades, Patterson Harkavy’s attorneys have committed themselves to advancing North Carolinians’ civil rights. 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 convictions, police misconduct, jail abuse, 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. With offices in Chapel Hill and Greensboro, North Carolina, our civil rights lawyers have achieved notable results across the state. Contact us toll-free at 1 (800) 458-2541 to see if we can help.

Defending Citizens’ Constitutional Rights

All citizens have the right to be protected against unlawful intrusions and discrimination by government agencies, prosecutors, and the police. Civil rights lawsuits hold the government accountable when it infringes on its citizens’ most important rights. We offer unparalleled advocacy in the following areas:

Civil rights lawsuits under the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions are generally not available against private parties, such as social media companies or private employers. However, we have successfully assisted citizens in cases where a private entity was acting on behalf of the government, or where federal or state civil rights statutes establish additional protections.

Know your rights about civil rights law.

A Distinguished Record of Defending the People

The lawyers at Patterson Harkavy have successfully and energetically represented individuals and groups whose civil rights were threatened or violated. Some of our notable civil rights cases include:

  • Improving conditions in state prisons (Small v. Martin).
  • Establishing a statewide right to treatment for troubled youths (Willie M. v. Hunt).
  • Obtaining four separate multi-million dollar settlements in favor of those wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit
  • Obtaining an $11.25 million settlement for the victim of a police shooting (Betton v. Knowles)
  • 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.

Learn More about the Patterson Harkavy civil rights legacy.

Make an Impact: Protect Your Rights

Civil rights violations are particularly difficult to prove, especially in today’s legal climate, but with the right case, you can receive substantial compensation for violations of your civil rights. Patterson Harkavy’s civil rights attorneys have been representing the rights of inmates, wrongfully convicted defendants, and the victims of police brutality for decades. We know what it takes to win these difficult legal battles. 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.