Civil Rights Lawyer - Shreveport & Bossier City
Everyone in the United States possesses rights and privileges that they are entitled to under the law. These rights work to ensure the safety, freedom, and ability to live comfortably and free from discrimination for all Americans. Individual rights and liberties are believed sacred in the United States. Therefore, the protection and indoctrination of civil rights is an important component of this country’s democratic principles. Unfortunately, as with most laws and legislation, civil rights can and often will be broken. Politicians, law enforcement agencies, hate groups, and other organizations in this country target and violate these protected rights on a daily basis.
Bossier City civil rights attorney Michael J. Vergis fights for justice for his clients in every case he handles and is ready to fight for you if your rights have been infringed upon in any way. Call the general practice law firm of Michael J. Vergis, Attorney at Law at (318) 698-3724 to schedule your free consultation today.
What Are Civil Rights?
Civil rights are an essential set of rights designed to protect American citizens from unfair treatment. Based on legally protected characteristics, they encompass the right to equal treatment—free from discrimination—in a variety of settings, including education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and more.
You can find legislation for civil rights at both the federal and state levels. The majority of laws protecting and regulating civil rights are enacted at the federal level, such as the following:
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Fair Housing Act (FHA)
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The state of Louisiana mostly relies on federal legislation when it comes to civil rights. However, state law does provide a few additional protections for its citizens concerning discrimination in housing, employment, and people with disabilities. These laws can be found in Louisiana’s Revised Statutes (R.S.) 51 § 2601, R.S. 46 § 2251, and R.S. 23 § 301.
What is a Civil Rights Lawyer?
A civil rights lawyer represents people whose rights have been infringed, whether they are residents of the United States or immigrants living in the nation. They are specialists on the individual freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, and they may testify in both civil and criminal cases.
When a person’s rights are violated, that person has the legal right to initiate a civil action against the person or organization that is responsible. To guarantee the best possible outcome, that person would hire a civil rights attorney like Michael J. Vergis to defend them in court.
Common Civil Rights Violations
In addition to defending their client’s rights, civil rights attorneys undertake a number of responsibilities. They do case research, write legal documents, present cases in court, and reach settlements, among many other things. They must also stay current on local laws and regulations relating to civil rights, which may change periodically.
There is a realm of ways in which someone’s rights may be violated, thus requiring them to obtain legal help. A few examples of common civil rights violations include:
- Police Brutality
- Hate Crimes
- Labor Rights Violations
- Sexual Assault
- Discrimination in the Workplace
- Wage Violations
- Whistleblower Cases
- Cruel and Unusual Punishment
- Search and Seizure Violations
- The Use of Excessive Force
Civil Rights Lawsuits
Civil rights lawsuits can occur for many different reasons. It is also important to note that there are numerous directions a civil rights claim can take, foreseen and unexpected. This may include a violation of rights from the workplace, housing, education, law enforcement, and more. For example, you could have a civil rights case that focuses on employment law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that an employer may not discriminate with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment against an employee for their race, skin color, national origin, sex (pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity), disability, or religion.
Regardless of your type of case, it is vital to have representation that is well-versed in state and federal law, has the experience to handle complex situations, and truly cares about achieving justice on your behalf.
What Should I Do If My Civil Rights Have Been Violated?
Just because you feel as though someone violated your rights, this doesn’t always mean they violated your civil or protected rights from a legal standpoint. When determining if you have a viable civil rights case, the first thing you must ask yourself is whether there has been a clear and legal violation of one or more of your protected rights. These rights work to protect you from unlawful discrimination on the basis of things like race, sex, age, disability, national origin, etc.
If someone has violated one of these protected rights, you likely have a civil rights case on your hands. There are a few things you should do next. First, consult with a local civil rights attorney to know for certain if you have a legal case. If it is confirmed that you have a viable civil rights case, you have a few options regarding your next move: settling the dispute through informal negotiations, submitting a government claim, or initiating private legal action.
Do I Need a Bossier City Civil Rights Lawyer?
You may be contemplating whether you truly need the help of a civil rights attorney or whether you can manage the lawsuit on your own. In any type of legal proceeding, especially those as complex as civil rights matters, it’s imperative to the outcome of your case that you have a legal professional like Michael J. Vergis on your side.
More Civil Rights Law FAQs
Here are some more common questions that are frequently asked regarding civil rights law.
There is no absolute answer for this. A case’s strength is determined based on a unique set of circumstances, including evidence and state-specific laws. Finding out if you have a case typically requires a consultation with an attorney who is experienced in civil law. By reviewing your claim, Attorney Michael J. Vergis will determine whether you may have a viable case and help you explore all potential legal options.
If you have a civil rights complaint you would like to launch in the state of Louisiana, you can lodge the complaint with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights (LCHR) or file a lawsuit through your lawyer.
If you would like to file a complaint of discrimination with the LCHR, you may do so by:
- Phone: (225) 342-6969
- Mail: Office of the Governor, Louisiana Commission on Human Rights, P.O. Box 94094, Baton Rouge, LA 70804
- In-person at 1001 N. 23rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
- Online here.
If your eligibility is approved after meeting all deadlines, an investigator will examine the merit determination and recommendation. The results of this will be given to you and the respondent and in some cases, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). At this point, remedial action will be discussed and available for any employment discrimination, which could include lost pay, promotions, front pay, reinstatement, and reasonable accommodations.
If there is no violation of the statute discovered by the LCHR and by the EEOC, you will be given a right to sue. This is where the services of Michael J. Vergis will be the most valuable to you. For further explanation or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your LA civil rights claim by calling 318-698-3724.
In the state of Louisiana, civil rights claims (as well as most all civil actions) must be brought within one year, according to the LA statute of limitations. Federal law provides a different statute of limitations, which allows seven years for a civil rights claim to be brought within federal courts. However, the seven year time frame only applies to cases that did not result in death. Cases that led to the death of another individual have no time limit.
A civil rights case is typically handled in civil court rather than criminal court. However, conduct that violates rights can still generate a criminal charge. For example, a hate crime like assault could be considered both a civil rights violation and criminal conduct.
The truth is, most people are not familiar with the complicated nature of laws that surround civil rights, at least not without a legal background. Without a civil rights attorney, you may find that your attempt to sue another person for a civil rights violation is met with a less than favorable outcome. As a result, you may not receive the settlement that you deserve or even any settlement at all. It can be extremely hard to prove there’s been a violation of your civil rights, but a reputable Shreveport private attorney can significantly increase your chances of winning the case.
When you need a civil rights lawyer, it is because you need the legal assistance of someone with the knowledge and dedication to protect the rights afforded by the constitution to all individuals, minorities, and businesses. They should have the drive and resources to make sure that the defendant will be held accountable for their wrongdoings and that their client will achieve justice. With the highest possible care, our civil rights lawyers at The Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis will fight for you across multiple practice areas to ensure each person receives justice after having their rights violated.
Call Experienced Shreveport Civil Rights Lawyer Michael J. Vergis for a Free Case Evaluation Today
If you feel you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, it is important that you obtain the help of a qualified civil rights attorney. For more information about what a civil rights attorney can do for you or to book a consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis today.
Michael J. Vergis is devoted to his civil rights practice and is committed to ensuring that people whose rights have been violated receive the representation and justice they deserve. To get in touch, please give us a call at (318) 698-3724 or fill out our online intake form today.