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Civil rights experts gather to prepare local lawyers on transforming city

As the city of New Orleans finds itself in the midst of new initiatives aimed at reforming corruption and improving morale in the New Orleans Police Department, top civil rights lawyers and judges from throughout the region will gather at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law to demonstrate the best practices and information on filing civil rights class actions in federal court.

The Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law presents “Civil Rights - From Filing Suit to Getting Paid,” on Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. – 4:35 p.m. The program takes place in the Pan American Life Center, 601 Poydras Street, 11th Floor, Orleans Room. The cost is $295 (or $275 for Loyola alumni) and includes 6.3 CLE credit hours, 1.0 hour of ethics and 1.0 hour of professionalism. Advanced registration is recommended and is available at

Two sessions will highlight how lawyers can utilize “Brady,” which refers to the 1963 Supreme Court landmark case, “Brady vs. Maryland,” in which the prosecution withheld evidence from the criminal defendant. Participants will hear about “Brady” issues and civil rights cases from cutting edge and experienced civil rights lawyers and judges, including the appropriate remedies for failure to hand over evidence.

Featured panelists include:

  • The Hon. Helen Ginger Berrigan, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Samuel S. Dalton, J.D., attorney at law
  • Soren Gisleson, Herman, Herman and Katz
  • Gerald H. Goldstein, Goldstein, Goldstein and Hilley
  • Mary E. Howell, attorney at law
  • The Hon. Calvin Johnson (Ret.), Orleans Parish Criminal District Court
  • William P. Quigley, J.D., Janet Mary Riley Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans
  • William E. Rittenberg, Rittenberg, Samuel and Phillips, L.L.C.
  • Nicholas J. Trenticosta, Center for Equal Justice
  • The Hon. Franz Zibilich, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

Speakers will also discuss Section 1983 actions, including whom to sue, the decision about whether to file in federal or state court and how to obtain attorney's fees. Section 1983 makes it unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of state law to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or federal law. Common claims brought against law enforcement are false arrest and use of excessive force.

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