Civil Rights & Constitutional Law

The constitutions of our state and federal governments form the legal bedrock of our civil rights and freedom as citizens. Yet these inalienable rights are sometimes violated in the workplace and in other settings. As a firm that works on behalf of individuals, we are uniquely positioned to take on state and federal agencies, as well as companies large and small.

Betz + Blevins’ focus on employment law means that our knowledge of civil rights and constitutional law is considerable, as is our experience. We have advocated many cases in which individual rights have been threatened or harmed in the workplace, and have successfully taken on state professional boards and agencies on behalf of our clients.

Of note, Betz + Blevins has been selected by the state’s largest newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, to represent and advise the company regarding several First Amendment and public record disputes. One case involved The Star pursuing public records from a state agency, a matter in which we prevailed in obtaining the records involved in the 1999 White River fish kill. Another higher profile case, involved representing The Star in pursuing public records relevant to the investigation and termination of former Indiana University basketball Coach Robert (Bobby) M. Knight.

Some cases representative of our experience in this area are:
Anderson v. U.S.F. Logistics (IMC) Inc.—A federal appeal of a religious practice – “Have a blessed day” comment by office worker – in the workplace. 274 F.3d 470 (7th Cir. Ind. 2001)

Curry v. State of Indiana—A State Employee’s Appeals Commission action against the Indiana Department of Corrections Cause No. 41C01-0307-PL-00032

Marvel v. Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana—A federal court ERISA/employee benefits claim by eight vocational therapists. Prevailed in a judgment worth more than $100,000. Cause No. 99-C-0913-T/G

Ross v. Indiana State Board of Nursing—A state appeal of civil rights involving the Indiana State Board of Nursing, requiring the State Board of Nursing to pay a judgment of more than $80,000. 790 N.E.2d 110 (Ind. App. 2003)

Tarapore v. McNamara LLC—A federal claim for national origin discrimination. 2004 WL 1629513 (S.D. Ind.), Slip copy, Feb 13 2004

Thomas E. Carter v. U.S. Army—A federal court disability claim against the U.S. Army. Settled for more than $150,000. Cause No. IP01-C-05750H/L

Hart v. City
Starks v. City
Carson v. State

These prior cases in no way predict future success, but only show our past experience.