Speaking Truth to Power

February 21, 2020

by M&S Staff

Retired Police Officers Sue D.C.

Mehri & Skalet and co-counsel at Brown Goldstein Levy recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of hardworking D.C. police officers whom the city unfairly forced to retire early when they developed injuries or physical or mental disabilities. The police officers allege that D.C.’s forced retirement policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Federal law requires D.C. to engage in a fair and interactive process with police officers who develop disabilities while employed by the police department and to consider reassignment or other reasonable accommodation for police officers. D.C. failed to meet these basic legal obligations.

“Officers who serve our community deserve to be treated lawfully,” said Mehri & Skalet partner Ellen Eardley. “But the city pushes officers out of work, even if they are just weeks from full recovery or regular retirement. Our team will fight for them until justice is served.”

The case is Pappas v. District of Columbia, No. 1902899 (D.D.C.). Read coverage in the Washington Post here.

OpEd: The Vindmans’ Illegal Ouster from the White House

M&S partners Michael Lieder and Richard Condit, co-chair of our whistleblower practice, published an opinion piece about the recent firing of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother from the White House.

Based on their collective experience in employment discrimination and whistleblower law, they found the President’s actions to be illegal andcounter to the Constitution and federal statutes in addition to being conspicuously vindictive. Any executive action that retaliates against government employees for doing their jobs is not and should never be acceptable.

“Trump’s actions are more blatantly illegal than those that resulted in his impeachment,” write Mr. Condit and Mr. Lieder in their assessment of the current situation in the White House. As noted by Mr. Condit and Mr. Lieder, punishing Vindman for testifying truthfully before Congress infringed on his fundamental First Amendment rights, and violated the Military Whistleblower Protection Act as well as the Lloyd-La Follette Act. The danger created by the Senate and Attorney General leaving the President unchecked is that he will attack whistleblowers and other dissenters with impunity.

Read Mr. Lieder and Mr. Condit’s opinion piece in full on Medium.

Documentary: The Trailblazing Legacy of Fritz Pollard

M&S LATEST NEWS: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWERThe NFL Network is set to air an NFL 360 special documentary this Sunday that delves into the life of the pioneering football legend Fritz Pollard. The son of a Civil War-era champion boxer and a Native American mother, Mr. Pollard became the first African-American NFL player for the Akron Pros.

Despite much pushback from fans and players on the field, Mr. Pollard eventually went on to become the first African-American head coach the following year. In addition to his former team, the Pros, Mr. Pollard went on to coach four more teams during his career.

“It was evident in my first year at Akron back in 1919, that they didn’t want blacks in there getting that money. And here I was, playing and coaching and pulling down the highest salary in pro football,” said Mr. Pollard as quoted by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The NFL 360 documentary, Fredrick D. Pollard: A Forgotten Man, will air on February 23, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST on the NFL Network, and will include interviews with M&Spartner, and co-founder of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, Cyrus Mehri and M&S of counsel N. Jeremi Duru. During Super Bowl weekend, Mr. Mehri and Mr. Duru joined the team behind the documentary, Kyle Bowser and Anthony Smith, for its world premiere in Miami.

New Associates Join Our Team

We are excited to announce that we welcomed two new team members in November: associates Desiree Langley and Aisha Rich.

Desiree Langley

Prior to joining our firm, Ms. Langley worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Maryland, where she represented indigent clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies, and as a Litigation Fellow with the ACLU National Prison Project, where she assisted attorneys in class action lawsuits involving the inhumane treatment of prisoners. Desiree graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 2017, where she served as the President of the Black Law Students Association, Vice President of the Trial Advocacy Association and Pro-Bono Society, and a student attorney in the Mental Health Clinic.

AISHA RICHPrior to joining our firm, Ms. Rich was an Assistant District Attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Rich also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Honorable Edmond E. Chang of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Honorable Leondra R. Kruger of the Supreme Court of California. Ms. Rich graduated from Harvard Law School in 2015, where she was the Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review and a General Board Member of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.