Civil Rights

Chris is a graduate of the invitation only Impact Fund Class Action Training Institute. He has maintained an ongoing class action, civil rights lawsuit of national importance against Contra Costa County since 2012. Upon arriving in the county in 2011, he was astonished to observe that the county left people in jail for two weeks or more without any legal representation. He filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Contra Costa County Public Defender in December of 2012, and two weeks later the Public Defender started providing representation to jailed people at the first appearance in court.

Chris has a very keen interest in civil rights, especially where municipalities, police agencies, or courts maintain practices of systematically violating the constitutional rights of people charged with crimes. He believes that the transgressions of the state – often perpetrated on a mass scale by petty, self-interested bureaucrats – must be challenged in a civil society.

That said, Chris is not the ACLU. His firm has in way over 1500 hours and tens of thousands in expenses in the Contra Costa case, which is back at the Ninth Circuit again. So, while Chris is interested in discussing civil rights cases, writing amicus briefs, and providing direction, he is extremely selective in taking additional civil rights cases.