Chicago Civil Rights Lawyer

The Law Office of Douglas B. Harper represents plaintiffs in civil rights litigation in Northeastern Illinois. These cases seek compensation for deprivations of civil rights including the right to equal treatment by the government and the right to be free of discrimination by the government and by employers. These cases include:

  • Litigation about racial discrimination by government officials involving contracts and enforcing laws, brought pursuant to Section 1981 (42 U.S.C. § 1981). These cases typically involve any of the following:
    • Official misconduct
    • Denial of equal protection
    • Discrimination by municipalities
    • Serious financial and economic damages
  • Litigation about misuse of official authority by police officers, prisons, jails, municipalities, or other government officials for the purpose of denying constitutional rights, brought pursuant to Section 1983 (42 U.S.C. § 1983). These cases can involve any of the following:
    • Excessive force
    • Police shooting
    • False arrest
    • Unlawful detention
    • Coerced confessions
    • Malicious prosecution
    • Denial of medical care
    • Serious physical injury
  • Litigation about employment discrimination by employers because of race or gender, brought pursuant to Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e). These cases typically involve:
    • Retaliation
    • Employment discrimination
  • Litigation complaining about the denial of medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act or FMLA (29 U.S.C. § 2601).

When we accept a civil rights case, it usually involves events that occurred in Cook County, Illinois. Occasionally, we accept cases with events that occurred in Lake, Will, DuPage, Kendall, Kane, LaSalle, and Grundy County. Sometimes, we also accept cases with events that occurred in McHenry, DeKalb, Boone, Winnebago, and Lee County.

The law office also handles civil rights litigation on appeal.

Read About Our Best Civil Rights Litigation Results

The Law Office of Douglas B. Harper has handled many civil rights cases in Chicago. These are some of our best results.

Successful Appeal Reinstates Plaintiff's Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

Read about this case in our appeals section.

$1.8 Million Settlement in Wrongful Conviction, Civil Rights Lawsuit

After winning David Fauntleroy's release from prison, Mr. Harper represented him in a Section 1983 civil rights lawsuit against the City of Chicago, former Chicago Police Lieutenant Commander Jon Burge, and Chicago Police Detectives Raymond Madigan and Daniel McWeeny. In 2012, Mr. Fauntleroy settled the lawsuit for $1.8 million. Various news agencies reported the settlement (read a news article). In the years that followed, Mr. Fauntleroy has remained gainfully employed and happily married.

Jury Verdict for Plaintiff and Judicial Award in Jail-Beating, Civil Rights Lawsuit

Clynell Mickey was an inmate at the Cook County Jail. Guards led by Sgt. Liutauras Dargis entered his cell to move him to a different cell. When Mr. Mickey asked them for time to let him pack his belongings, the guards attacked him — punching, kicking, and hitting his head against the concrete jail cell floor.

Years later, Mr. Harper represented Mr. Mickey in a civil rights lawsuit (under 42 U.S.C. § 1983) and won a jury verdict against the guards. The case settled after trial for $90,000.00. For his handling of the case, Mr. Harper received a judicial award for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service, awarded by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. The court issued a news release for the award ceremony that contained this description:

Douglas B. Harper, a sole practitioner, represented the plaintiff in Mickey v. Cook County, (99 C 7281). As a Cook County Jail inmate, Mickey claimed that prison guards used excessive force against him. After extended discovery, Mickey declined a settlement offer and instead went to trial, where Harper's representation prevailed. The judge in the case noted Harper's dedication, diligence, outstanding performance and reasonableness.

Awards Presented For Pro Bono, Public Interest Work. News Release, June 1, 2005. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

For one year following the award ceremony, Mr. Harper received the additional honor of having his photograph and a copy of the brochure kept on display at the United States Courthouse in Chicago.

Other Internet Resources to Address Civil Rights Violations

If you came to this website looking for information about a civil rights violation and you did not find what you were expecting, these resources may be helpful.

Use this link to the Illinois Department of Human Resources to file a complaint about civil rights violations in the areas of employment, housing, financial credit, and public accommodations; and also sexual harassment in education.

This link to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will take you to the EEOC's website where you can file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.


New Contact Information

The Law Office of Douglas B. Harper Two Prudential Plaza 180 N. Stetson Avenue, Suite 3500 Chicago, Illinois 60601‑6769 New Cases: (312) 214-7040 Main: (312) 214-2454 Fax: (312) 212‑4102


If you request a free consultation, please tell us: (1) your name and phone number, (2) the date and place where the event happened, (3) the names of the people and businesses involved, and (4) a a short description of what happened to you. Please do not send documents and do not provide confidential details unless you are asked to do so.