Civil Rights

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Over the past several years, lawsuits based on alleged civil rights violations have received significant national and local attention. Civil rights is a growing and complex area of law with higher than average risks based on statutory fee shifting provisions. Our lawyers have extensive experience in defending claims under 42 USC 1983 for excessive force, unconstitutional policies and procedures, failure to train, and other civil rights claims. Our team provides compliance counseling, proactive legal training, and litigation services regarding civil rights claims to a broad array of governmental clients, as well as to public schools, media outlets and private employers. We will work with you in administrative and/or court proceedings to dispose of frivolous matters through dispositive motions, resolve legitimate claims where appropriate or defend you through trial and any subsequent appellate proceeding (if necessary).



Compliance and Administrative Representation

Our lawyers represent a range of governmental and private clients with respect to compliance with federal, state and local civil rights laws.  We regularly represent officials and employers at all levels of administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP), the New Mexico Department of Labor (DOL), and the New Mexico Human Rights commission (HRC).

Litigation Experience

Our litigation experience in the area of civil rights includes litigation claims brought under federal and state constitutions as well as civil rights statutes such as 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the New Mexico Human Rights Act.  Constitutional issues we have litigated include freedom of speech, freedom of association, religious freedoms, and alleged violations of due process and equal protection.  We have litigated these and other issues in state and federal district courts, the New Mexico Court of Appeals, the New Mexico Supreme Court, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Representative Clients

Modrall Sperling has defended the State of New Mexico, the New Mexico Risk Management Division, the State Corrections Department, the New Mexico State Police, the New Mexico Municipal League, the Albuquerque Public Schools, the City of Albuquerque and other municipalities throughout New Mexico, the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, the New Mexico Association of Counties, the New Mexico Public School Insurance Authority, and numerous state, county and local entities and officials, as well as private employers in cases involving alleged violations of civil rights.