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TOP US CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYERS DISCUSS POLICE REFORM, CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION AND QUALIFIED IMMUNITY Experts share their views on 2020 civil rights cases and issues – and what’s ahead in 2021

Posted on: December 10th, 2020 by Romanucci & Blandin

(CHICAGO- December 10, 2020) – An esteemed panel of nationally recognized civil rights litigators, including the lawyers for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many of the most high-profile civil rights victims in US history, will discuss the latest developments in the law in a Zoom webinar this Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 12:30-2pm ET. The event is coordinated by 360 Advocacy

This unprecedented online conference event – “The Most Successful Civil Rights Lawyers Discuss the Seismic Shift in Litigation”– features a remarkable panel of highly respected attorneys speaking to key issues.

The panel will outline the civil rights litigation landscape, examine how increased public awareness of police misconduct in 2020 has changed the legal terrain, and what these events mean for the future of civil rights litigation and law enforcement.  Panelists include:

  • Attorney Ben Crump, Ben Crump Law, on Institutionalized Racism and Civil Rights Litigation
  • Attorney Bobby DiCello, DiCello Levitt Gutzler, on You Won’t Believe What Police Officers Will Say in a Civil Rights Case
  • Attorney Antonio Romanucci, Romanucci & Blandin, on How One Good Apple Beats the Lies
  • Attorney Frank Amanat, DiCello Levitt Gutzler, on Civil Rights and the Future of Qualified Immunity

Drawing on their years of experience in the courtroom prosecuting police brutality and misconduct cases, and their advocacy on these issues in various other public forums, the panel will:

  • Highlight the areas in which police reform needs to be focused;
  • Illustrate through real-life examples the forces resisting reform and how they drive destructive behavior by officers – on the street and on the witness stand;
  • Discuss the legal and practical problems that make prosecuting a case against a police force difficult and sometimes nearly impossible; 
  • Demonstrate how courageous individuals have changed our society for the better by shedding important light on official wrongdoing; and  
  • Break down the history and evolution of the Qualified Immunity doctrine which can incentivize officer misconduct and offer several meaningful alternatives for reform.

“The country has reached a historic moment of reckoning in the way some police officers and agencies have mistreated Black people, using a different code of law that tolerated excessive force and the repeated violation of the civil rights protections. The world woke up in 2020, and we have all seen the urgency to address these issues and create meaningful and permanent reform in policing all across this country. This includes calling federal lawmakers to task to create a series of national standards to further professionalize policing and create the accountability and transparency needed to create trust in our communities,” said Attorney Ben Crump.

“The truth is, cooperative law enforcement officers often hold the key to unlocking the truth in civil rights cases. These are high stakes cases. The lives of public citizens and the careers of police officers are involved. Given the protests we’ve seen, some might say the future of our country is it stake,” said Attorney Bobby DiCello.  “It would be naïve to say that simply bringing a lawsuit and questioning cops uncovers the truth in a civil rights case.  Think about it.  Would you tell on a co-worker if doing so would cost you your career? Probably not.  That’s the bad news. The good news is police officers who know the truth will tell it when they are given a chance to tell the truth in a way that does not destroy them.  The key is knowing how to give them that chance in a way that does not ruin the integrity of the process.” 

“One of the greatest challenges in trying police misconduct cases can be taking it from the perception that just one bad officer was involved to helping a jury understand that a culture of impunity in a police force is also responsible.  Showing the connection between the patterns, practices and policies of a police department and the behavior of its officers on the street is essential to not only bringing justice to a client, but to also creating needed awareness and change for the long term, “said Attorney Antonio Romanucci. 

“After five decades of protecting law enforcement agents and other government actors from individual liability for constitutional and civil rights violations committed under color of law, the doctrine of qualified immunity finds itself increasingly under attack from stakeholders across the political spectrum. Is it time for it to go? If so, what might come in its place, or does the doctrine continue to have staying power in this increasingly polarized world? Having litigated civil rights cases from both sides of the case caption, I offer my own ‘radical,’ but in my view fair, proposal for the future evolution of this controversial doctrine,” said Attorney Frank Amanat.

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About the Speakers

Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. 

Antonio Romanucci is a Founding Partner of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, a national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of civil rights abuses, police misconduct, negligence, abuse and wrongful death arising from corporate negligence, mass torts, and class actions, among other issues. Tony is honored to serve alongside Lead Counsel Ben Crump representing the family of George Floyd in the Minneapolis police misconduct case and others and has been a leader in police misconduct cases in Chicago and nationwide throughout his career. 

Bobby DiCello is a Partner at DiCello Levitt Gutzler, a nationally and internationally recognized law firm which obtains justice for victims of corporate wrongdoing and clients injured by powerful corporations and institutions.  Bobby is proven trial lawyer, with extensive experience advocating for clients in mass tort and class action litigation, who represents victims of police abuse around the country. In 2016, he earned a $22 million jury verdict for an Ohio man subject to police misconduct. 

Frank Amanat is a Partner at DiCello Levitt Gutzler, where he represents victims of fraudulent and illegal conduct, as well as whistleblowers and other plaintiffs, in a wide range of high-impact litigation. A highly decorated litigator with nearly 30 years of experience, Frank spent more than two decades at the Department of Justice, where he specialized in administrative and constitutional law and handled numerous civil rights cases. He recovered billions of dollars from corporate wrongdoers, and received multiple awards and recognitions for his integrity, fairness, courage, and superior commitment to the public good. He was also one of the principal drafters of the regulations implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act, leading the largest and most complex rulemaking initiative ever undertaken in the DOJ. Frank is a highly decorated litigator with nearly 30 years of experience.

About Ben Crump Law 

Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more, visit or call (800) 935-8111.   

About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC 

Romanucci & Blandin is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death arising from police misconduct, corporate negligence, civil rights actions, medical malpractice, mass torts and class actions. Founded in 1998, the firm is widely recognized for representing plaintiffs in numerous practice areas including: workers’ compensation, pharmaceuticals, civil rights, police misconduct, excessive force, aviation, product liability and premises liability. For more information, please visit or call (312) 458-1000. 

About DiCello Levitt Gutzler

DiCello Levitt combines excellence in commercial litigation, class action litigation, mass tort litigation, catastrophic injury litigation, medical malpractice litigation, and civil rights litigation. Practicing nationwide—and internationally—from offices in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, we are an aggressive, attentive, and creative complex litigation firm whose work speaks for itself—billions of dollars in recoveries in some of the highest-profile matters in U.S. history. Revered by clients and respected by defense counsel, our team gets results. For more information, please visit or call (312) 214-7900.

About Pintas & Mullins

Pintas & Mullins is a national law firm, headquartered in Chicago, which has fought for the rights of the seriously injured for more than 35 years. Its practice areas include representation for the victims of environmental injustice, nursing home abuse of seniors, medical malpractice, dangerous products and drugs, and more. Through its close association with Ben Crump law, Pintas & Mullins is a passionate advocate for those without a voice against powerful interests and bad-acting corporations.  For more information please visit or call (800) 935-8111.

About 360 Advocacy

360 Advocacy is a conference provider specializing in plaintiff personal injury and trial skills programs since 2008.  Faculties feature prominent trial lawyers, experts in a broad variety of disciplines, and specialists in related areas, all of whom share their knowledge, insights and skills with attendees.  360’s goal is to provide strategies, information and skills to assist trial lawyers in being more successful for their clients.  For more information please visit or call (719) 578-9645.

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