Civil Rights Case Summaries
For zealous and effective legal representation in your case, call Kannin Law Firm P.S. at 206-574-0202. As the case summaries below show, Kannin Law Firm’s attorneys have the experience and skills necessary to ensure the best possible outcome in your case and the track record to prove it.
Civil Rights cases of note include:
Case: W.R. Smith v. Seattle: Civil Rights/Police Misconduct.
Result: Five-Figure Settlement.
In a case covered by the local television news networks, Dewoyne Lowe was assaulted by a police officer on January 28, 2007 outside Dick’s restaurant in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. The incident occurred when Lowe and a friend attempted to buy food at the restaurant and were told by the security guard, an off-duty police officer, that the establishment was closed, despite the fact that there were long lines at the counters and other people came in after them. After engaging in a heated verbal exchange with the guard, Lowe and his friend proceeded to head out of the parking lot when officer Camilo DePina cut them off with his patrol car. DePina slammed Lowe face-first into the ground, cuffed him, and slammed him onto the hood of the patrol car. DePina continued to attack Lowe with punches to the groin in the parking lot and continued his assault at the police station by slamming Lowe’s head into the counter multiple times. Lowe was thrown into a holding cell and later taken to the Harborview ER. Lowe’s injuries included a five-centimeter laceration to his brow that took 12 stitches to close, a laceration to his chin that required six stitches, and a concussion.
Lowe hired John Kannin to represent him in his claim against the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department for using excessive force.
Two civil lawsuits were filed in state and federal court and went through the formal exchange of information process called “discovery.” At the end of discovery, the defense counsel for the city of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department entered into a mediation with Lowe and his attorney. As a result, the case settled for a satisfactory sum of money.
Protecting Citizens Against Police Misconduct: Seattle King County South Civil Rights lawyer John Kannin and Kannin Law Firm recently represented one of the defendants in a claim of police misconduct against former Washington State Trooper Michael Idland (M.D. v. The State of Washington, the Washington State Patrol and Trooper Michael Idland, King County Superior Court, Seattle). Mr. Kannin’s skillful negotiating earned his client a six figure settlement after a difficult mediation.
Civil Rights Advocacy: In a case of mistaken identity, Seattle police officer Rudy Gonzales shot Mr. W.R. Smith in the mouth with a rubber bullet from a distance of less than fifteen feet (W.R.S. v. SPD Officers Gonzales and Towne, the Seattle Police Department and the City of Seattle, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington). The police thought they would hear no more from Mr. Smith, a homeless person of color, once they picked his teeth off the ground and called for medics to transport him to Harborview. However, Mr. Smith retained Seattle civil rights lawyer John Kannin and Kannin Law Firm to represent him. Kannin Law Firm filed a civil rights claim in Federal Court against the Seattle Police Department and the officers who mistakenly shot him. The defendants claimed that their false suspicions gave them just cause to shoot an innocent man. The odds did not look good for Mr. Smith; a 52-year-old, homeless African American suffering from mental illness versus the City of Seattle and their private law firm, hired with taxpayers’ money to represent the police officers and the City. The City’s lawyers made an offensive offer of zero dollars during a supposed “mediation.” On the eve of trial, the City returned to Kannin Law Firm with a five-figure settlement offer for Mr. Smith, which he accepted and agreed to dismiss his civil rights lawsuit.