Civil Rights and Police Misconduct

Civil rights litigation is the reason Andrew became a lawyer.  In his practice, the bulk of his work has been in the trenches, litigating cases for disadvantaged or marginalized clients against governmental entities and other institutions. When it comes to results, his track record speaks for itself. When your rights have been violated by the government, a regular lawyer won’t do. You need someone with expertise in constitutional matters.

Andrew believes in getting to know his clients personally, in part because their personhood is at the core of any civil rights case. To that end, he has spent countless hours in the homes of clients, sharing meals with them and listening to their stories. Some lawyers would consider this a waste of time, but Andrew believes that personal connections are essential to the representation of those people the government would like to remain dehumanized and marginalized in the eyes of the law.

Andrew’s dedication and skill in the area of civil rights is demonstrated in the verdicts and favorable results in civil rights cases he has tried. Representative legal work includes cases such as:

Anonymous Plaintiffs v. Ramsey County et al. Mr. Irlbeck represented a group of Plaintiffs whose property and businesses were damaged by a Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy who crashed into their office building, which subsequently sustained serious fire and water damage. Irlbeck and the Plaintiffs asserted a constitutional “Takings” claims, along with various state torts, and ultimately negotiated a $792,000 lump sum payment to the Anonymous Plaintiffs for business interruption and personal property damages.

Ronald Rosen and June Trnka v. Sgt. Schmidt et al, CIV. 12-1188 ADM/FLN, 2013 WL 5567447 (D. Minn. Oct. 9, 2013), and 2014 WL 1384084 (D. Minn. Apr. 9, 2014). Obtained orders denying qualified immunity to officers who conducted an unreasonable search and seizure and granting Plaintiff’s motion for directed verdict at trial. Ultimately obtained jury award of $90,000, and attorney fee judgment of $127,964.50.

Jeremy Axel v. Officer Michael Griffin, CIV. 12-1019 DSD/AJB (D. Minn. 2014). Used Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) to introduce prior bad act evidence at trial against a defendant police officer on an excessive force claim, and obtained a total judgment, including verdict and attorney fee award, of $270,653.33.

James and Aisha Keten, individually and o.b.o. K.K. v. Minneapolis Police Department et al, CIV. 11-1520 DWF/JSM, 2013 WL 870378 (D. Minn. Mar. 8, 2013). Defeated the City of Minneapolis’s motion seeking qualified immunity for police officers who unreasonably executed search warrant on the clients’ home and shot the clients’ non-threatening dog inches from the family’s pre-school age daughter using a novel Fourth Amendment seizure theory.  Obtained settlement of $225,000, with approval of special terms as to minor-child/Plaintiff by Judge Donovan W. Frank.

Ras Yirehmiel Tafari f.k.a. James LaVance Newbill v. St. Paul Police Department et al, CIV. 12-1987 SRN/JJK (D. Minn. 2013). Obtained settlement of $237,500 on an excessive force claim against police officers who tased Mr. Tafari, causing him to fall down a flight of stairs, and then kicked him in the head, breaking vertebrae in his neck after he ran from officers during a drug bust.

Anthony Clark v. St. Paul Police Department et al, CIV. 10-4131 MJD/JSM (D. Minn. 2012). After representing Mr. Clark pro bono on the criminal case, litigated his excessive force claim against several police officers to a $249,000 settlement where the officers beat Mr. Clark in the head with flashlights, kicked him in the head, and chemically burned him with aerosol subject restraint in a dark alley after Mr. Clark initially ran from officers who sought to detain him inside of a rap concert.

Haflich v. McLeod, CIV 09-161-M-DWM-JCL, 2010 WL 5665043 (D. Mont. Dec. 29, 2010) R&R adopted, CV 09-161-M-DWM-JCL, 2011 WL 320556 (D. Mont. Jan. 21, 2011). Obtained an order denying summary judgment and allowing a Monell claim to proceed to trial, which included the statement that “[Plaintiff] raised genuine issues of material facts, and has identified sufficient evidence on which a reasonable jury could conclude the City of Troy engaged in, or implemented a custom or practice of deliberate indifference to the excessive use of force employed by McLeod in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”