Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Workplace Disputes

CGL is nationally recognized for our representation of plaintiffs in civil and international human rights class actions. Our work on behalf of Constitutional rights in the United States and human rights abroad has earned our lawyers many accolades, including selection as finalists for Trial Lawyer of the Year. On the workplace front, we have had success representing plaintiffs in class actions brought under federal and state laws governing the payment of wages. We have successfully achieved substantial returns for workers denied payment for overtime and "off-the-clock" work.

Strip Search Cases

We served as co-lead counsel in numerous class actions on behalf of individuals who were strip searched in county jails after being arrested for minor crimes. These cases included invasions of privacy that the courts then regarded as illegal. Significantly, the Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment more narrowly than nearly all federal appellate courts had interpreted it. The outcomes in these cases will benefit thousands of people who suffered the indignity of being strip searched.

Supreme Court Upholds Miranda Rights

The House Democratic Leadership retained CGL to represent it in the Supreme Court case Dickerson v. United States, on the constitutionality of Miranda rights. The issue was whether a provision of a bill passed by Congress had overturned the Supreme Court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, which established the constitutionality of “Mirandizing” suspects.

In an amicus brief to the court, Jonathan Cuneo and Charles Tiefer presented “a specifically legislative viewpoint,” arguing that Court’s decades of reaffirming Miranda prevented Congress from superseding it with a mere legislative provision. The Court upheld the requirement that police read citizens’ their rights upon being arrested as a criminal suspect.

Hungarian Gold Train

CGL represented Hungarian Holocaust survivors whose property found on the “Gold Train” in the final days of World War II was appropriated by the U.S. government in the final days of World War II. We served as co-lead counsel in this landmark class-action Rosner v. United States which alleged that the plaintiffs’ personal property was loaded on a train by the Hungarian Nazi government during the waning days of WWII; that the U.S. Army later accepted the train and its contents into custody; and that, rather than returning the property to its owners, the Army misappropriated it and permitted it to be looted.

In 2005, the court approved a $25.5 million settlement, which provided a minimum of $21 million for use by existing social welfare programs to aid Hungarian victims of Nazi persecution; allocated $500,000 to fund and create an archival collection of information and artifacts as part of the U.S. reckoning; and required a first-of-its-kind statement by the U.S. government acknowledging its part in the events surrounding the Gold Train.

Securing Freedom for Kenyan Human Rights Activist Koigi Wa Wamwere

Jonathan Cuneo was instrumental in securing the freedom of Kenyan writer, politician, and human rights activist Koigi Wa Wamwere. Put on trial in Kenya and sentenced to death for false charges, Mr. Cuneo worked was successful in getting him out of prison in Kenya.

Mid-western Retail Convenience Store Managers Recover $13.1 million in Overtime

For tens of thousands of employees of a retail convenience store chain operating in the mid-western states, we won a significant amount of overtime compensation due them for their “off-the-clock” work. This $13.1 million settlement is one of the largest ever achieved in a case of this kind in the Midwest.

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