Civil Rights Litigation
The government has tremendous power. With that power comes the responsibility to use it fairly and honestly, and unfortunately, the potential for abuse is inevitable. When abuses of power by governmental officials occur, Jeff Edwards is often called upon to help victims and their families right those injustices.
Although making a claim against a government official or institution can seem like a daunting task, our firm has a record of prevailing in civil rights violation cases. These include police brutality cases and wrongful police shootings, sexual abuse of minors by officers and government employees, cases in which medical care is not provided to inmates and cases of wrongful imprisonment.
In addition to obtaining significant monetary recoveries for victims of civil rights violations, Jeff has played a pivotal role in instigating policy changes at the City of Austin and throughout the State of Texas.
For example, when Jeff brought a claim against the City of Austin and the City of Brownwood for facilitating sexual abuse of minors, they not only settled the claims for significant amounts, each shut down the specific program in which the abuse occurred. Likewise, the Texas Youth Commission changed its housing practices following the successful prosecution of a civil rights case by Jeff.
When an individual is imprisoned, the government has the obligation to treat him or her with a basic level of decency. Often times, however, this does not occur and jail officials ignore serious medical needs, psychological conditions and dangerous conditions.
Cases in which Jeff has prevailed include jail suicides, jail deaths, cases of excessive force, officials’ failure to protect inmates from known harms and cases in which jail officials and doctors display deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. If a loved one has died in jail or suffered a significant trauma, Edwards Law may be able to help. Please contact us for a free and confidential consultation.
With the advent of DNA testing, Texas has discovered that it has imprisoned many innocent people. When the false imprisonment is due to violations of due process, victims have the right to bring a federal lawsuit. Jeff is one of the few lawyers in Texas to have successfully brought such a claim.
In fact, Jeff obtained a $6.8 million recovery— one of the largest civil rights recoveries in U.S. history – for a wrongfully imprisoned innocent man. This case involved egregious abuses of our client’s civil rights, including a forced confession obtained by the Austin Police Department and physical abuse by a fellow inmate that resulted in brain injury. Jeff was able to recover damages not only from the City of Austin, but also from Travis County and the individual who implicated our client. Read about an actual case.
While police officers have a difficult job, they must also follow the law. This means that they may only use force that is necessary and may not use deadly force unless the circumstances allow it. Far too often, officers shoot first and ask questions later. When such cases are complex and require a significant investment, Jeff stands ready to fight for the victims of excessive force. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or death due to excessive force by a police officer or deputy, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Read more about an actual case.
Sexual Abuse of Minors
There is arguably nothing worse than the sexual abuse of a child. It is devastating in both the short and long term and impacts and child forever. Yet, unfortunately, sexual abuse of minors by government officials is all too common in Texas. As a consequence, Jeff has handled numerous abuse cases throughout the State of Texas. While these cases are complex, they need to be undertaken to ensure that the abuse ends, the perpetrators are held accountable and the courage of victims is rewarded. If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Read more about an actual case.