Our Advocacy

Loevy + Loevy’s relentless legal advocacy has had a sizable impact on civil rights in the United States. Our public interest litigation has positively changed the law for victims of future civil rights violations, provoked reforms in police departments, and exposed abuses of power across the country. We have uncovered widespread patterns of police and prosecutorial misconduct in cities like Chicago, Elkhart, and Boston that have prompted public debates, practice changes, and important reforms. 

Creating Lasting Change

Our attorneys have also been able to secure meaningful reforms through innovative litigation and settlement terms. These commitments have improved the transparency and accountability of police departments, prosecutor’s offices, and other government agencies.

We likewise work hand-in-hand with civil rights organizations, activists, and community groups to advocate for systemic change to ensure that the injustices endured by our clients never take place again. 

Read more about cases where Loevy + Loevy has secured meaningful policy changes, legal victories, and accountability:

Loevy + Loevy represented Madison Hobley—an innocent man who was wrongfully convicted after being tortured by Chicago police officers—in his lawsuit against the Chicago police officers who tortured and framed him. In response to written questions from Loevy + Loevy attorneys, notorious Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge lied under sworn oath, denying that he ever committed torture. This was a lie: Burge violently tortured numerous Black and Brown Chicagoans. Prosecutors later used this instance of perjury to indict, prosecute, and imprison CPD Commander Burge. This prosecution made international news: before the perjury conviction, there were few legal avenues to hold Burge accountable since the statute of limitations had passed for his criminal acts of torture. Loevy + Loevy secured a historic $7.5 million settlement for Mr. Hobley.

Loevy + Loevy represented eight young women who were sexually abused by their school teacher. After suing the school district and the principal who knew about, and covered up, the teacher’s heinous misconduct, Loevy + Loevy won a $3.5 million jury verdict in 2010. The victory we secured was the only repercussion for the school district and principal, who each had $100k punitive damages levied against them.

After Chicago Police stonewalled public records requests from independent journalist Brandon Smith, Loevy + Loevy represented him in a 2016 FOIA lawsuit that forced the City of Chicago to release video footage exposing the heinous murder of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. The release of the video led to the firing of the heads of the Chicago Police Department and Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the replacement of IPRA with a new oversight agency, a federal pattern and practice investigation finding that CPD routinely violated the Constitutional rights of the people (especially people of color) it policed, a federal consent decree overseeing reforming of CPD, and a murder conviction. Read more about the FOIA lawsuit and the fallout from the killing of Laquan McDonald.

Tony Robinson, a Black teenager, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Madison, Wisconsin in March 2015. The community was upset, and protests ensued, but the City of Madison defended the officer and refused to interrogate his ultimately impossible claims that Robinson had punched him before he started shooting. Representing Robinson’s parents, Loevy + Loevy sued the officer and City of Madison. During litigation, Madison altered its police policies of which Loevy + Loevy complained, and changes that might have prevented the shooting. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Justice changed how it investigates police shootings to no longer allow the shooting officer to review audio and video recordings before being questioned about the incident. Then, after proving that objective forensic evidence proved that the officer’s account was impossible and untrue, on the eve of trial the case settled for a then-record amount for a police shooting in Wisconsin. Even then, Loevy + Loevy continued to represent the family after the City’s insurers tried to “spin the facts”. We gave a 2017 presentation at the State Capitol to educate the public on the truth of the matter: that the officer shot and killed an unarmed Black teenager who tripped down a stairwell (and did not strike the officer who was hiding, gun drawn, at the bottom of that stairwell).

Loevy + Loevy represented six black-owned mortuaries in Gulfport, Mississippi in a lawsuit against the public coroner, who discriminated against them in favor of two white owned mortuaries in the county. The case settled during the middle of the trial after the cross examination of the coroner, with an agreement to implement a desegregation plan (a rotation system) among all eight mortuaries in Gulfport. No, this was not in 1955 or 1965; it was desegregation implemented in 2018.

Loevy + Loevy, along with the Chicago Community Bond Fund, MacArthur Justice Center, and Civil Rights Corps, won an injunctive case filed in April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect detainees at the Cook County Jail. The case forced Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart to take protective measures for those detained in jail, including: enforcing social distancing; maintaining prompt COVID-19 testing; providing face marks to detainees; providing sanitation supplies; and more. This was one of the only successful COVID-19 legal injunctions in the country to survive appellate review. Mays v. Dart also resulted in policy changes that will remain in place to protect detainees against future pandemics.

Loevy + Loevy represented reporter Jason Leopold and BuzzFeed News in a lawsuit challenging redactions to the Mueller Report under the Freedom of Information Act.  In 2021, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the US Department of Justice to remove redactions that explained why Special Counsel Robert Mueller decided not to criminally charge Donald Trump Jr., former President Donald Trump’s son, with any crimes.

The Exoneration Project, with the support of Loevy + Loevy, has led and facilitated a series of mass exonerations, something that had never before happened in the history of Chicago. Since 2016, over 230 drug convictions tied to a disgraced former Chicago police sergeant and his corrupt tactical team have been dismissed. Roughly 175 individuals have been certified innocent in those cases. Subsequently, in August 2022, after decades of litigation, the Exoneration Project led the first mass exoneration in homicide cases in the history of the United States. On that day, seven murder convictions tied to corrupt police detective Reynaldo Guevara were dismissed. Nevertheless, most of the victims of these police scandals continue to seek accountability and acknowledgement from the City of Chicago. Read about their pending lawsuits here.

Prior to Loevy + Loevy’s intervention, Milwaukee maintained a widely-condemned practice of chaining pregnant women down with metal cuffs, chains, and manacles while they gave birth in custody. As a result of multiple lawsuits filed by Loevy + Loevy (Martin v. County of Milwaukee, Terry v. County of Milwaukee, Hall v. County of Milwaukee, Robles v. County of Milwaukee), the County of Milwaukee ended its practice of shackling women who gave birth in jail. Read about our client Melissa Hall and the condemned practice in Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Our client Fred Weichel spent 36 years wrongfully imprisoned after police fabricated false evidence and hid extensive exonerating evidence from both prosecutors and Fred’s defense attorney. After Fred’s exoneration, Loevy + Loevy represented him in his civil suit against the officers who framed him. A Massachusetts jury found Fred innocent, ruled that Braintree and Boston, MA police covered up exculpatory evidence, and awarded Fred a record-setting verdict of $33 million — one of the highest wrongful conviction verdicts in United States history. Due to a state statute, this award was reduced on judgment to $1 million. More important than the money was the resounding declaration that Fred was clearly innocent and should never have gone to prison in the first place.

For decades, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office issued illegal and unconstitutional “prep” subpoenas to witnesses in criminal cases—who were often bystanders to the crime—demanding that they meet with prosecutors before trial. If the witness did not appear for that meeting, prosecutors would ask a judge to hold the witness in contempt, sometimes putting people in jail. This happened to our client, who was believed to be a witness of her brother’s murder. Loevy + Loevy thought this was unconstitutional: there’s no requirement that citizens agree to private meetings with prosecutors as a general matter, and the subpoenas were extremely misleading. After Loevy + Loevy sued and publicized the issue, the State’s Attorney issued a new written policy banning this practice in 2022.

In 2018, Loevy + Loevy attorneys, together with civil rights attorneys at the People’s Law Office, successfully litigated Jackie Wilson’s exoneration after more than 36 years of wrongful incarceration.  Two years later, after obtaining the dismissal of charges with prejudice at the conclusion of a two-week retrial, and later, a Certificate of Innocence for Mr. Wilson, L+L attorneys successfully petitioned for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute members of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for misconduct that contributed to Mr. Wilson’s wrongful conviction.  On March 8, 2023, the Special Prosecutor announced a 14-count indictment against two former Cook County State’s Attorneys who were involved in Mr. Wilson’s wrongful conviction case.

Between 2004-2009, guards in Chicago’s Cook County Jail conducted abusive strip searches of as many as 250,000 people. The strip searches were often conducted in mass lineups and included detainees with minor traffic violation charges. In August 2009, a jury found that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was liable for allowing the abusive strip searches to continue after he took office. The class action lawsuit was settled for $55.3 million in November 2010, the largest-ever class-action settlement of its kind.

Loevy + Loevy filed a class action lawsuit in 2004 on behalf of up to 514,000 people who were mistreated by the Chicago police. The alleged misconduct included arresting people without warrants, shackling people to walls and metal benches in interview rooms and overnight lockups, and depriving people of sufficient food, water, bedding, and bathroom breaks. Following the lawsuit, the Cook County Circuit Court established a “duty judge” system to ensure probable cause hearings within 48 hours, and will enforce required mandates for more humane treatment in overnight lockups and interview rooms. The class action lawsuit was settled for $16.5 million in May 2010.

Take Action Today

To discuss your case with an experienced civil rights attorney, contact our firm today for a free and confidential consultation at 888-644-6459 (toll-free) or 312-243-5900.

Our Impact

Loevy + Loevy has won more multi-million dollar verdicts than perhaps any other law firm in the country over the past decade. Our willingness to take hard cases to trial, and win them, has yielded a nationally recognized reputation for success in the courtroom.

Read the latest public reporting and press releases about Loevy + Loevy’s clients, our public interest litigation, and our civil rights impact.

Our compassionate, award-winning attorneys work relentlessly to ensure our clients are supported, empowered, and victorious.

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