Clinic Accomplishments

In the recent past, Public Justice Advocacy Clinic students and faculty have:

Unemployment Compensation Cases

  • Obtained unemployment benefits for a security guard who had originally been denied benefits due to alleged misconduct after clinic students refuted the evidence before an administrative judge.
  • Persuaded an administrative law judge to reverse the denial of benefits to a food service worker wrongly accused of assaulting  a co-worker.
  • Obtained a favorable decision and partially restored the benefits for a retail clerk accused of misconduct
  • Filed an appellate brief drafted by clinic students that challenged a judge's conduct during an administrative hearing.
  • ​Obtained full unemployment benefits for a client who had been accused of using his employee discount improperly. Students conducted all aspects of the hearing under faculty supervision including conducting a direct examination and presenting a closing argument.
  • Obtained unemployment benefits for a client by successfully arguing that, under the circumstances, the client, a security guard who fell asleep on the job, had not engaged in gross misconduct.  Students conducted all aspects of the hearing including conducting a direct examination and presenting a closing argument.  
  • Obtained unemployment benefits for a woman who had been terminated shortly after complaining of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Students represented the client at a hearing that involved multiple witnesses for the employer and for the claimant.
  • Successfully represented in an unemployment compensation hearing a bus driver who was fired for failing to complete her shift after experiencing medical problems.
  • Successfully represented in an unemployment compensation hearing a home health care aide who was fired after missing work due to illness.  The clinic then represented the same client in claims against her employer for its failure to pay her overtime wages.  The matter was resolved favorably.

Federal Cases

  • ​​​Filed and favorably settled three cases against three employers that had failed to pay minimum wages and overtime in accordance with D.D. and federal law.
  • Filed and won a Freedom of Information Act case seeking data relating to the Medicare Advantage Program on behalf of a George Washington University professor.  Biles v. CMS, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39269, 2013 WL 1154207 (D.D.C. Mar. 21, 2013)
  • Filed and settled on favorable terms a federal Freedom of Information Act case seeking records relating to the District of Columbia's implementation of a federal settlement governing accessibility to homeless shelters.  Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless v. U.S. Department of Justice, No.11-2023 (D.D.C.).
  • Litigating a Freedom of Information Act case on behalf of the National Security Archive against the SEC seeking documents relati​​ng to the relationship between Chiquita Brands International and armed militia organizations in Colombia.
  • Favorably settled a federal lawsuit brought by a restaurant employee who was not paid overtime wages.
  • Settled on favorable terms federal claims made by families who alleged they were discriminated against on grounds of their disabilities in homeless shelters.  One settlement included substantial reforms to relevant programs.
  • Litigated and settled on favorable terms a wage and hour case brought by a restaurant employee for unpaid overtime and other wages removed by the employer to federal court.

District of Columbia Court of Appeals Cases

  • Successfully appealed a denial of unemployment to the D.C. Court of Appeals for a client who was late to or absent from work on a number of occasions due to health emergencies and car trouble.  Students represented the client at the initial hearing before an Administra​tive Law Judge and briefed the case before the D.C. Court of Appeals.  The court reversed the ALJ and ordered that benefits be paid.  Hamilton v. Hojeij Branded Food, Inc. 41 A.3d 464 (D.C. 2012).
  • Prevailed in a case before the D.C. Court of Appeals seeking attorney's fees for law student time in a disability compensation case.  Copeland v. District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, 3 A.3d 331 (D.C. 2010).

Superior Court Cases

  • Helped a family of an individual held captive in a foreign country secure a conservatorship.
  • Won a D.C. Superior Court judgment for over $12,000 for a cleaning company employee who was not properly paid for her work.  After the debtor refused to pay the judgment, students worked for over a year to locate assets that could be seized and successfully garnished the entire amount owed.
  • Won a D.C. Superior Court default judgment of over $120,000 for two employees of a restaurant who were not paid the minimum wage or overtime.
  • Won a D.C. Superior Court default judgment of over $16,000 for an employee that had not been paid proper salary.
  • Filed and obtained $8,000 judgment in case in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of a man who was paid significantly less than the amount agreed to for his construction work on defendant's homes.
  • Filed and settled on favorable terms a case in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of a restaurant worker who was denied overtime for all six years of his employment at a local restaurant.
  • Filed and settled on favorable terms a case in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of a restaurant employee who was not paid required minimum wages during a portion of his employment.
  • Successfully settled the claims of a minor whose employer had failed to pay her the minimum wage.
  • Filed a lawsuit on behalf of four cleaning workers who had not been paid for work, had not been paid minimum wage and were not paid overtime.  Students represented the clients at trial after settlement offers were rejected.  The students examined five witnesses, admitted over twenty documents and presented opening and closing statements.  At the conclusion of the day-long trial, each client was awarded a judgment of $5,000, the jurisdictional maximum.  Students also filed claims in one defendant's bankruptcy case, resulting in additional payments to the plaintiffs.
  • Settled Superior Court lawsuits for over $6,900 filed on behalf of pizzeria employees who were not properly paid for their work.

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