Civil Litigation Division

General Litigation Sections

CLD’s four General Litigation Sections represent the District of Columbia in civil lawsuits that seek monetary damages from the District. The Sections:

  • Defend the District in employment and individual civil rights matters brought under federal and local law, including, for example, the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, and the District of Columbia Whistleblower Protection Act.
  • Defend the District and its employees in all personal injury lawsuits, including both negligence and intentional claims such as motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice.
  • Represent the District in common-law suits involving District agencies and litigate cases in several specialized areas, such as special education cases filed against the D.C. Public Schools and cases in Small Claims Court.
  • Handle actions brought under the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act.

In all cases, the Sections’ goal is to reach a fair resolution, whether by settlement or litigation.

Equity Section

The Equity Section defends the District (including its officials and employees) in complex class actions and other major civil lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Section primarily focuses on cases that seek declaratory and injunctive relief. Those matters often include constitutional challenges to District laws and regulations, and claims under the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments, as well as challenges to District government programs and policies. The Section also represents the District’s interests in consent decree and other ongoing judicial monitoring cases, and handles some Freedom of Information Act cases.

Civil Enforcement Section

The Civil Enforcement Section is responsible for affirmative litigation and prosecutions that support enforcement of the District’s laws and regulations. The Section defends litigation involving administrative appeals of final District agency actions to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and to the District of Columbia’s Office of Administrative Hearings. The Section also recovers funds to satisfy Medicaid liens filed by the District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance, prosecutes civil forfeiture matters, and brings the District’s subrogation lawsuits.

The Personnel and Labor Relations Section

The Personnel and Labor Relations Section defends District government agencies, primarily in matters related to (1) disciplinary actions, (2) public sector workers’ compensation claims, (3) charges of discrimination and (4) reductions in force. PLRS attorneys appear in practice before Police Adverse Action Panels; Fire Trial Boards; The District of Columbia Office of Employee Appeals; American Arbitration Association and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Arbitrators; The Public Employee Relations Board; The Office of Administrative Hearings; The Compensation Review Board; The Office of Human Rights; The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

PLRS attorneys also defend administrative mattered appealed to the District of Columbia Superior Court from final decisions of the Office of Employee Appeals, the Public Employee Relations Board, the Office of Human Rights, the Office of Risk Management, and non-performance of duty injury determinations made by both the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.