Public Interest Litigation
For more than two decades, Brown, Goldstein & Levy has been recognized as Maryland’s leading private law firm for handling high impact, public interest cases. Our attorneys have handled these challenges in the Supreme Court and most of the federal appellate circuits, as well as in state courts around the country. The Maryland State Bar Association recognized us as the Maryland Pro Bono Firm of the Year.
We have successfully challenged America Online’s failure to make its site accessible to blind users, enforced minority voting rights on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and enforced the rights of African Americans, people with disabilities, and others to live in the communities of their choice.
Suing under the Commerce Clause, Brown, Goldstein & Levy overturned a state tax on interstate truckers. Suing under the Free Speech Clause, we affirmed the rights of those with unusual views to communicate their messages. Suing under the Due Process Clause, we won recognition of tenants’ right to notice before eviction. Suing under the right to privacy, we struck down antiquated laws that intruded on the private lives of gay men.
For this work, the firm and its lawyers have been honored repeatedly. Among the awards we have won are:
- Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s Machen Award.
- Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs’ Outstanding Achievement Award in the Field of Fair Housing.
- Maryland Bar Foundation’s Professional Legal Excellence Award for Advancement of the Rights of the Disadvantaged.
- Maryland Bar Foundation’s Professional Legal Excellence Award for Advancement of Unpopular Causes.
- University of Maryland School of Law Alumni Association’s Benjamin L. Cardin Pro Bono Award.
- The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland’s Outstanding Dedication Award.
- Women’s Law Center’s Beatty Memorial Award.
- League for People with Disabilities’ Advocacy and Awareness Award.
- Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning’s Huntington S. William Award.
- Maryland Food Committee’s Sampson Green Award.
- Volunteers for Medical Engineering Robert Dole Award.
- Arc of Baltimore Stanley S. Herr Advocacy Leadership Award (to two of our lawyers).
- Daily Record‘s Leadership in Law Award (to five of our lawyers).
- Kuchmas v. Towson University – suit against the country’s largest private developer of college dormitories for building inaccessible dorms, 553 F. Supp. 2d 556 (D. Md. 2008).
- Thompson v. HUD – co-lead counsel since 2002 in enforcing the partial consent decree, and in liability and remedies phases of trial seeking to desegregate Baltimore’s public housing, 348 F. Supp. 2d 398 (D. Md. 2005); 2001 WL 1636517 (D. Md. 2001).
- Halliday v. Sturm, Ruger & Co. – represented the plaintiff in the first case in the country filed against a handgun manufacturer for its failure to childproof its guns, 368 Md. 186, 792 A.2d 1145 (2002).
- McIntyre v. Robinson – appointed by federal court to represent prisoners injured by second-hand tobacco smoke in case that resulted in ban on cigarettes and other tobacco products in Maryland state prisons, 126 F. Supp. 2d 394 (D. Md. 2000).
- Heath v. Perdue Farms – recovered a total of $2.4 million in overtime pay and fees on behalf of low-wage poultry workers, 87 F. Supp. 2d 452 (D. Md. 2000).
- Reid v. Glendening – compelled the Circuit Court for Baltimore City to make its services and facilities accessible to people with disabilities (2000).
- Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. v. Rommel Builders, Inc. and LOB, Inc. – disability access to newly-built condos and apartments, 92 F. Supp. 2d 45 (D. Md. 2000); 40 F. Supp. 2d 700 (D. Md. 1999); and 3 F. Supp. 2d 661 (D. Md. 1998).
- Diggs v. Housing Authority of the City of Frederick – struck down a trespass policy that interfered with the right of public housing tenants to have guests, 67 F. Supp. 2d 522 (D. Md. 1999).
- Sallie v. Tax Sale Investors, Inc. – found Maryland’s lack of notice to tenants before tax sales and before eviction to violate due process, 998 F. Supp. 612 (D. Md. 1998).
- Williams v. Glendening – legalized private, consensual homosexual activity, 1998 Extra LEXIS 260 (Balt. City Cir. Ct 1998).
- Skipper v. Hambleton Meadows Architectural Review Committee – holding that abstention was not appropriate in suit brought to invalidate restrictive covenant that discriminated against group homes for people with disabilities, 996 F. Supp. 478 (D. Md. 1998).
- Cane v. Worcester County – struck down unlawful county voting structure, 59 F.3d 165 (4th Cir. 1995).
- Mack v. Mack – defined comatose patient’s right to die, 329 Md. 188, 618 A.2d 744 (1993).
- Potomac Group Home Corp. v. Montgomery Co. – invalidated licensing law that sought to prevent group homes, 823 F. Supp. 1285 (D. Md. 1993).
- Danna v. State – won new trial for woman convicted of murdering abusive husband, 91 Md. App. 443, 605 A.2d 150 (1992).
- Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors v. Hughes – struck down Baltimore City’s ban on for sale signs on First Amendment grounds, 596 F. Supp. 906 (D. Md. 1984).
- Iskon, Inc. v. Schmidt – infringement on free speech, 523 F. Supp. 1303 (D. Md. 1981).