Civil Rights

The law of American civil rights is based upon those rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Our firm has an active civil rights practice, with qualified attorneys representing Nevada’s state and local governmental entities against civil rights claims in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Erickson, Thorpe & Swainston defends clients against numerous claims covering the breadth of the civil rights context, with particular experience litigating the following broad categories of cases:

  • Representation of public and private employers in defense of labor and employment discrimination and tortious discharge claims brought pursuant to Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA and State civil rights law;
  • Representation of individual and municipal defendants against claims of excessive force, false arrest and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs brought under both the Fourth and Eighth Amendments;
  • Representation of individual and municipal defendants against the alleged denial of both substantive and procedural due process afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment; and
  • Representation of political subdivisions and their officials in cases of allegedly improper land use decisions involving claims of public and private takings, a rapidly burgeoning – and increasingly complex – area of Constitutional law grounded in the Fifth Amendment.

Successfully navigating such complex litigation requires the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. This is critical where even the most insignificant Constitutional violation may trigger an award of attorneys’ fees under 42 USC § 1988. Since 1969, the Firm has vigorously represented Nevada’s political subdivisions and their officials against allegations of Constitutional violations. This familiarity with the Courts and the law has allowed us to gain a detailed understanding of the complex and often conflicting jurisprudence controlling civil rights actions, particularly those brought pursuant to 42 USC § 1983. The unparalleled experience possessed by the civil rights attorneys of Erickson Thorpe & Swainston allows the Firm to provide its clients with the most advantageous and efficient defense from the very beginning of each case, which often occurs even before a lawsuit is filed.