Background and Commitment to Equal Justice
Richard Seligman has been committed to the cause of civil rights and justice since he was a child marching in the streets of Miami Florida protesting segregation in the 1950s. He has devoted his professional career to fighting for the rights of people in a wide variety of matters. He began his career as a paralegal assisting juveniles with the Public Defender in Baltimore in 1973. He continued his work as a paralegal with prisoner’s rights organizations in Baltimore, Boston and Washington DC. He attended Antioch School of Law in Washington DC where he continued his work on behalf of those less fortunate, whether they where denied inheritance because their parents were not married or subject to inhumane prison conditions. While in law school he was awarded with a special internship in 1978 with the late United States District Judge Joseph C. Waddy who had previously issued a landmark decision regarding the rights of the disabled.
Richard Seligman began his professional career as an attorney as the Interim Director of the Prisoner’s Rights Project in Baltimore Maryland where he fought for the rights of prisoners and challenged inhumane conditions throughout the state of Maryland. He brought a class action case that closed a 100-year-old PG County Jail. In 1981 and 1982 he continued his work on behalf of Maryland prisoners as a clinical adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and simultaneously started a general practice of law in the District of Columbia.
His firm has a special emphasis on civil rights, criminal and civil litigation in D.C. and Maryland. Specific areas of practice include criminal trial and appellate litigation, post conviction litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice, construction contract litigation, wrongful death, employment discrimination, police brutality, prisoner’s rights and civil rights litigation in federal courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.
- Supreme Court recognition of Fourth Amendment Privacy Rights of family members when police execute arrest warrants-Wilson v Layne (1999)
- Equal Protection challenge to Baltimore District Court practice of giving defendants an alternate sentence of $100 fine or ten days in jail
- Class Action settlement closing the PG County Detention Center based on unconstitutional conditions of confinement
- Acquittal following trial or appeal of criminal defendants charged with serious offenses including armed robbery, malicious wounding, conspiracy to kill a federal witness and rape
- Settlement of wrongful death cases involving the shooting of a fleeing felon and failure to protect a prisoner from a fatal assault by another prisoner
- Settlement of wrongful imprisonment due to a pattern of inadequate recordkeeping practices of the DC Jail
- Dismissal of federal child pornography charges against a federal employee and the subsequent reinstatement of his security clearance and attorney’s fee award