Barry Litt is one of foremost civil rights attorneys in the country. He specializes in civil rights class actions and complex individual civil rights cases. He has been lead or co-lead counsel in four law enforcement related class actions with settlements over $10 Million, and several others with settlements in the mid-seven figures. He has also been lead counsel in several seven figure and one eight figure individual damages case. He has been published on the topic of civil rights class actions, and acknowledged by judges as one of the preeminent civil rights practioners. He has litigated police, jail, housing, employment, disability and general constitutional violations. He has published decisions from jurisdictions around the country. He has been acknowledged by SuperLawyers for the past eleven years in the fields of civil rights and class actions. Below are some of his best known cases. His full resume is here.
McKibben v. McMahon (2018) – lawsuit challenging the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s systemic discrimination of gay, bisexual and transgender jail detainees. Class members were assigned to segregated housing and permitted significantly less time out of their cells and fewer work opportunities, educational courses, and rehabilitation programs than general population inmates. The settlement provided for extensive policy reforms including a broader range of housing options; increased time out of cell; equalized access to rehabilitation programs, drug treatment classes, and work opportunities; a committee to assess and monitor housing needs, access to programming, work opportunities; a commitment to eliminate discrimination; sexual harassment training for deputies; and, $2,050,000 in damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.
Williams v. Block (jail over detention and strip search cases, which settled for $27 Million and resulted in a complete revamp of jail procedures).
Craft v. County of San Bernardino ($25.5 Million settlement for blanket strip searches of persons ordered released from custody; total policy change).
MIWON v. City of LA (MayDay protestors at MacArthur Park attacked by police; case settled for $12,800,000 — the largest protest settlement in the country).
Bynum v. District of Columbia (jail over detentions and blanket strip searches settlement of $12,000,000 against District of Columbia).
Lopez v. Youngblood ($7 Million settlement of strip search case against Kern County)
Barnes v. District of Columbia ($6 Million settlement of strip search case against District of Columbia)
Tipton-Whittingham v. City of LA (injunctive relief and damages case for discrimination/harassment of women officers; approximately $6.5 Million settlement).
Coley v. City of Simi Valley (2019) –represented Craig Coley, along with co-counsel, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for approximately 39 years. After Mr. Coley’s DNA demonstrated that he was not present during the double murder he was accused of committing, counsel demonstrated his conviction was a result of the police planting of evidence and the manipulation of multiple witnesses to give false testimony. As a result, Mr. Coley first received the largest recovery from the California Victim’s Compensation Board under Penal Code §4900 for being an innocent man wrongful imprisoned for an amount of $1,958,740. Then, after engaging in extensive negotiation with the City of Simi Valley, Mr. Coley received a $21 million settlement for his wrongful imprisonment. The settlement is to the largest individual wrongful imprisonment pre-filing settlement in U.S. history.
Frank and Nicholas O’Connell v. County of Los Angeles, et al., Case No.: 13-01905-MWF (PJWx) (C.D. Cal.) (civil rights cases for police failure to turn over exculpatory information and eyewitness manipulation, resulting in murder conviction; plaintiff spent 27 years in prison before his habeas petition was granted, and he was not re-tried; suit on behalf of son as well for denial of relationship with father as result of conviction; defendants’ qualified immunity appeal rejected in Carrillo/O’Connell v. County of Los Angeles; $15 Million settlement).
Bruce Lisker v. City of Los Angeles, Case No.: CV 09-9374 AHM (AJW) (C.D. Cal.) (civil rights cases for police fabrication of evidence and failure to turn over exculpatory information, resulting in murder conviction; plaintiff spent 26 years in prison before his habeas petition was granted, and he was not re-tried; 9th Circuit affirmed district court’s denial of immunity on 3/20/15; petition for en banc review denied; $7.6 Million settlement
McClure v. City of Los Angeles (2004 $22.5 Million verdict for fair housing and equal protection violations for preventing opening of Alzheimer’s homes; settled while on appeal for $20 Million).
Thomas Goldstein v. City of Long Beach et al. (wrongful conviction by failing to disclose critical evidence; total settlement of $8.85 Million including first-of-its-kind recovery from Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office).
Ware v. Brotman Medical Center (1993 $2.5 million verdict against hospital for removal of hospital privileges of black doctor; settled for $1.75 million).
Melgar v. Klee (1988 $1.5 million verdict against Los Angeles Police Department for police shooting; settled for $1.45 million).