State and Federal Civil Rights


Avery Law Firm principal James Avery has over 35 years handling major state and federal civil rights claims, from his time in the 1980’s as a defense lawyer* representing University of Colorado School of Medicine and Hospital, and the Colorado Counties Casualty and Property Pool (CAPP).  His experience includes dozens of cases handled as lead trial lawyer in the US courts.  James Avery is licensed in the State of New York, Indiana and Colorado and has been admitted and handled cases in numerous federal District Courts in the 2nd Circuit, 7th Circuit, 9th Circuit and 10th Circuit and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.  *James Avery has limited his practice to representing victims since 1989.

The core of civil rights law is embodied in the federal and state civil rights acts, the most important  of these is 42 U.S.C. § 1983: Civil action for deprivation of rights.  This legislation was asked for by President Grant and passed within one month of when the president sent the request to Congress. Grant’s request was a result of the reports he was receiving of widespread racial threats in the Deep South, particularly in South Carolina. He felt that he needed to have his authority broadened before he could effectively intervene. After the act’s passage, the president had the power for the first time to both suppress state disorders on his own initiative and to suspend the right of habeas corpus. Grant did not hesitate to use this authority on numerous occasions during his presidency, and as a result the first era KKK was completely dismantled and did not resurface in any meaningful way until the first part of the 20th century.[1] Several of its provisions still exist today as codified statutes. The most important of these is 42 U.S.C. § 1983: Civil action for deprivation of rights (Section 1983).

The civil rights laws incorporate all the protections of the US Constitution (such as freedoms of speech, religion, and guarantees of ‘due process’ of law and prohibition against ‘cruel and unusual punishment’) and impose those obligations on the States (all state ‘actors’ including counties, state agencies and municipalities, state and University hospitals, prisons, sheriffs, state police, etc) via the 14th Amendment.  Most state constitutions embody similar constitutional protections for its citizens which can form the basis for federal and state claims.  The state and federal courts have concurrent jurisdiction to enforce the Section 1983 civil rights laws. Remedies includge special damages, general damages,  attorneys fees and litigation costs.

There is a vast volume of state and federal cases pertaining to this specialized area of law, experience is critical to success and case merit must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Cases are typically handled on a ‘fee recovery’ or contingency fee basis, and if there is no recovery, you owe us nothing.  If you would like to confidentially consult on a perceived civil rights violation, contact James Avery at 303-840-2222 or complete the contact form below.  Prisoner communications welcome.  Mail to:  Avery Law Firm, 44 Cook St., Ste. 100, Denver, CO 80206.

All communications treated as attorney-client confidential communications.

Our fee promise:  If no recovery, you owe us nothing.