HEADLINES FROM OUR CURRENT CASES
A towing racket, excessive force, and corruption in the city of Melvindale resulted in the former Police Chief's wrongful termination. Read the latest, with Deb's comments, here.
SUMMARIES & PRESS FROM PAST CASES
FALSE CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST FAMILY WITH AUTISTIC CHILD
A West Bloomfield family was torn apart when a rogue police department and rampaging prosecutor falsely accuse the parents of sexually abusing their severely autistic daughter. Deborah Gordon negotiated settlements and took Oakland County to court, earning the Wendrows $6.5 million.
Oakland to pay Wendrows $2 million for false sex allegations – Detroit Free Press 6/1/2015
Jury Awards $3 million to Wendrows in wrongful prosecution case – Detroit Free Press 11/7/2014
Ex-prosecutor: Autistic girl was communicating in rape case - Detroit Free Press 10/14/2014
A controversial autism therapy unravels family – Time Magazine 6/24/2011
Horrific Allegations Video ABC News mp4 YouTube (20/20 episode)
University student VINDICATED
A promising young engineering student was at the University of Michigan when he was wrongly found to have violated the sexual misconduct policy. Deborah Gordon sued the university in federal court, alleging that university officials had violated his constitutional rights to due process. The University eventually removed the misconduct charges from his record. Deborah Gordon has been on the forefront of the fight to ensure that young college students are not harmed by false accusations and reckless “investigations’’ launched by universities ill-equipped to handle sexual misconduct charges.
How a Michigan college student beat a sexual assault allegation – Washington Post 9/16/2015
A campus rape ruling reversed – Slate 9/16/2015
Sex assault fight spurs civil rights complaints – Detroit News 1/27/2015
Two UM sexual assault cases, little satisfaction – Bridge Magazine 12/4/2014
University of Michigan’s first gay student body president, Chris Armstrong was enjoying his college days and popularity among his fellow students in 2010 when a man he’d never met before, assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell began stalking and publicaly harassing him, launching a false and vicious attack on Chris via social media, accusing him of being a “radical, homosexual elitist.” He also began stalking Chris, showing up on campus and in front of Chris’ home. The abuse made national headlines. Deborah Gordon filed a lawsuit on behalf of Chris, and a jury awarded Chris a $4.5 million verdict. Shirvell was fired from his job and sued Deborah Gordon, alleging she had conspired with the AG’s office and defamed him. The court tossed Shirvell’s suit, calling it frivolous, and awarded Deborah Gordon sanctions.
Sanctions against Andrew Shirvell upheld – Detroit Free Press 2/2/2015
Federal judge dismisses lawsuit brought by anti-gay attorney – Associated Press 9/17/2013
Judge throws out Andrew Shirvell lawsuit against former U-M student body president - MICHIGAN RADIO 4/17/2012
Shirvell v. Gordon: Former assistant attorney general suing Bloomfield Hills attorney - November 3, 2011 OAKLAND PRESS 11/3/2011
Gordon not worried about Andrew Shirvell's suit - MICHIGAN DAILY 10/31/2011
Judge slams anti-gay former state attorney for trying to short-circuit lawsuit – The Ann Arbor News 10/12/2011
Shirvell files motion to dismiss claims made by Armstrong - MICHIGAN DAILY 5/11/2011
Andrew Shirvell seeks dismissal of stalking complaint, adds counterclaims to Chris Armstrong's lawsuit - ANN ARBOR.COM 5/10/2011
Andrew Shirvell Was Warned Before Firing, Report Says – Huffpost College 1/23/2011
Attorney calls for retraction from fired assistant attorney general who blogged about gay student - The Oakland Press 11/10/2010
Attorney Andrew Shirvell ordered to pay 4.5 million for attacks on gay student – ABC News 8/17/2010
Tina Varlesi was a graduate student at Wayne State University, studying to become a social worker when she began a mandatory internship at a Salvation Army facility in 2008. Varlesi, who was pregnant, had outstanding grades and planned to graduate that year. Her internship supervisor, however, began telling her to wear looser clothing, warning that touching her belly was arousing the men at the facility and making other disparaging remarks. Varlesi was ultimately given a failing grade on the internship, despite her excellent academic record and was denied her degree. Deborah Gordon filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. In 2013 a jury awarded Varlesi $850,000. A federal court of appeals upheld that judgement.
Pregnant-belly-rubbing advice costs Wayne State University $850,000 payout to student – Detroit Free Press 3/7/2016
Pregnant woman told not to rub belly wins lawsuit – FoxNews Detroit 3/8/2016
Tina Varlesi claims WSU, Salvation Army discriminated against her for being pregnant and unwed – Huffington Post 12/08/2010
COURT VIOLATES EMPLOYEE'S CONSTITUTIONal RIGHTS
Michelle Horton was a 14-year veteran clerk at the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills and had been named employee of the year when she was abruptly fired in 2004, falsely accused of leaking damaging information about the court. Deborah Gordon filed a federal lawsuit alleging a political motive for the termination, and during several days of testimony grilled three sitting judges, some who gave conflicting testimony about what happened. A disgusted jury took just hours to award Horton $3 million in damages.
Ex-court clerk wins $3 million – Macomb Daily 12/13/2006
Brian Dickerson: The jury speaks and a district court trembles – Detroit Free Press 12/13/2006
In our opinion: Put stops to court’s abuses, waste – Detroit Free Press 12/20/2006 NO LIVE LINK
POLICE OFFICER RETALIATED AGAINST
Michael Corbett had been a Novi police officer for almost 25 years with an impeccable personnel record when he began to feel pressure from the command staff to meet quotas when writing tickets. Quotas are against the law. When Corbett complained, he was threatened that he would not get his pension. He filed suit. Deborah Gordon helped him obtain a significant settlement.
Former Novi officer gets $280,000 in ticket quota lawsuit – Oakland Press 4/21/2014
Ex-Novi cop wins $280,000 in lawsuit over alleged ticket quota – ClickOnDetroit 4/18/2014
Federal judge to hear case of transgender employee fired from funeral home Detroit News 8/17/2016
Former waitresses at Royal Oak's Beirut Palace file federal lawsuit against owner - Oakland Press 7/7/2016
Adell Broadcasting to pay $1.3 million to estate of former WADL-TV employee - Crain's Detroit 12/9/2015
Court workers fired 11 years ago ordered reinstated - Macomb Daily 9/11/2015
Fired Detroit funeral home worker may shape transgender rulings – Crains Detroit Business 8/23/2015
UPDATED: Court workers fired 11 years ago ordered reinstated- September 11, 2015
Court workers, accused of lying, get $2.2M jury verdict -Lawyers Weekly 2/10/2012
Detroit settles suit with former aide to councilwoman Reeves - CBS 9/27/2011
Conversations Secretly Taped at School - MACOMB DAILY NEWS 11/14/2010
SOUTHGATE: City settles whistleblower lawsuit against judge - The News Herald 10/92010
Teacher's Aide Says She Was Fired for Reporting Third-Grader With Drugs - ABC News 3/9/2010
'U' settles case with former Dental School student - Michigan Daily 11/1/2009
Feds seize former Pontiac school official's Jaguar, cash in probe - February 26, 2012
DEB IS FREQUENTLY ASKED TO COMMENT AS AN EXPERT ON CASES OTHER THAN HER OWN. SHE IS FEATURED IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES:
Family awarded $21 million in case of fatal brain surgery mix-up – Detroit Free Press 5/7/2015
Honigman Settles With Ex-Secretary Injured On The Job - Law 360 6/1/2011
Ex-WCSX DJ sues, says she was harassed - Detroit News 11/18/2009