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Civil and Human Rights Litigation

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The United States Constitution ensures that everyone in America has certain, inalienable rights. When these rights are infringed upon by government officials such as politicians, police officers, or other authority figures, it takes a special kind of advocate to stand up for what is right, achieve justice for those injured, and prevent future violations. Going up against powerful governmental institutions requires tenacity, rigor, and courage, as well as scrupulous ethics and a superior grasp of legal strategy and procedure. The lawyers at DiCello Levitt Gutzler are tireless advocates that exhibit all those qualities.

Our team has been recognized across the country as leaders in the field of civil and human rights litigation: we have received national recognition for our role in some of the most significant civil rights litigations in modern history. The firm recently received the Public Justice 2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year award in recognition of our success in the landmark civil rights trial Black v. Hicks, a case of shocking police brutality and corruption. We secured a jury award of $50 million – a judgment that has been affirmed at all appellate levels – in a civil suit against the City of East Cleveland, its chief of police, and another high-ranking police officer. This momentous verdict not only provides some measure of compensation to the victim for the violation of his constitutional rights, but also serves as an effective deterrent to police corruption both in Ohio and nationwide.

The firm is also presently representing more than one hundred plaintiffs in a massive class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York: many of our clients are young, impressionable, and often impoverished children and women who allege they were trafficked and raped by fashion mogul Peter Nygard and his business entities. We are pursuing Nygard and his family of corporations and their employees for allegedly financing and facilitating this horrific network of sex trafficking for several decades; for more information on this ongoing case, click here.

Representative Matters
  • Jane Does 1-57 v. Nygard

Retained by victims to file the largest international sex trafficking lawsuit in U.S. history alleging Peter Nygard, the Nygard Companies, and their employees committed a decades-long conspiracy to rape, sexually assault, and traffic hundreds of women and girls.

  • Arnold Black v. Detective Randy Hicks

Won a record $50 million civil rights verdict for a police brutality victim against the City of East Cleveland for detaining Mr. Black without probable cause, beating him, and locking him in a storage closet for four days without food or a toilet.

  • Rachel DeMarcus and Alexis Silver v. University of South Alabama

Represent student athletes against the University of South Alabama, its athletic director, and its prior women’s volleyball head coach for a pattern and practice of assault, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.