Our client Zahara Green, co-founder of TRANScending Barriers discusses the problem of disproportionate violence and murder against Transwomen of color. Zahara Green has a civil rights case before the Eleventh Circuit concerning a terrible assault she suffered while incarcerated at an all male facility in Georgia. She tells the story of the terrible rape she suffered here. More information on her case can be read here and here as well as here. Both Elton John and Michael Stipe gave a statement in Rolling Stone condemning her treatment which can be read here. In it, they both stated “We must do more to end the culture of violence and discrimination surrounding gender identity and expression,” the duo wrote. “We urge the state of Georgia to embrace desperately needed changes to their correctional system.”
Georgia Whistleblower Lawyer files suit against DeKalb County Schools on behalf of Corporal Frederick Joiner, a courageous whistleblower who reported sexual misconduct by administrators against students and other violations of Georgia law. In response the District retaliated against him.
The District is alleged to have failed to comply with the Georgia Open Records Act and also to have blocked emails that Corporal Joiner sent to the Board of Education alerting them as to the corruption and coverup that was going on within the Public Safety Department placing young students at risk.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Education Reporter Marlon Walker writes about the whistleblower lawsuit here. The 6 p.m. breaking news WSBTV investigative report on Channel 2 can be viewed here.
Williams Oinonen LLC Partner Mario Williams spoke on Saturday at the Emory University School of Law EPIC (Emory Public Interest Committee) 2017 conference this past Saturday. The keynote speaker was Professor Fred Smith, Associate Professor at Emory University School of Law.
Attorney Mario Williams discussed his civil rights cases concerning prisons as a panelist at the conference organized by EPIC. EPIC was formed in 1989 by students committed to making public interest jobs accessible to Emory students. For more information, on Emory University School of Law’s promotion of Public Interest work, see here.
Congratulations to Deborah Schwartz, winner of the National Employment Lawyers Association of Georgia (NELA-GA) Advocacy Award. NELA-GA Board Members Tamika Sykes and Julie Oinonen organized the Advocacy Award Dinner this year and were proud to present Deborah Schwartz with this year’s award.
NELA-GA, the Georgia affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), is a civil rights bar association composed of attorneys whose employment litigation practices advocate for employees’ rights.
Julie Oinonen and Mario Williams of Williams Oinonen LLC are proud members of NELA-GA. Stated Julie Oinonen: “We believe in this group of like-minded lawyers who care about protecting civil rights. Ms. Schwartz’ work, particularly in the area of employment discrimination, has been an inspiration to all of our members to continue fighting the good fight.”
Mario Williams discusses a lawsuit against Charlottesville Police for ‘standing down’ and failing to intervene in the hate crimes committed in front of them during the white supremacist rally. Mario Williams is a founding law partner of Williams Oinonen LLC and chief of the civil rights division at Nexus Caridades Inc. In this recent television broadcast, Mr. Williams and Mr. Mike Donovan, President of Nexus Services Inc. discuss the lawsuit which was filed this past week on behalf of Robert Turner who was attacked by white supremacists who doused his eyes with mace and then beat him with a cane stick during the rally in front of the police.
Williams Oinonen LLC was a proud supporter of the Girl’s Inc. Annual Awards Luncheon held this past Friday at the Westin in Buckhead. This annual event featured WSB-TV’s Jovita Moore as the keynote speaker. Scholarships to young ladies were awarded and a fantastic auction took place which succeeded in raising and surpassing its fundraising goal.
Since 1976, Girls Inc. Atlanta has provided educational programs to thousands of metro Atlanta girls through innovative programs that help girls confront subtle societal messages about their value and potential, and prepare them to lead successful, independent and complete lives. The programs include math and science education, pregnancy prevention, media literacy, adolescent health, child abuse prevention, substance abuse prevention, along with sports and cultural activities. To make a donation to this worthy non-profit organization, please click here.
Williams Oinonen LLC partner Julie Oinonen is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Directors.
Georgia Whistleblower Attorney filed suit on behalf of Mr. Christopher Jones, DeKalb County Schools whistleblower who lost his job after reporting illegal activity. Richard Belcher of WSB-TV news did a full blown investigation which can be watched here. Additionally, AJC reporter Marlon Walker wrote an excellent piece which can be viewed here.
After Mr. Jones blew the whistle on illegal activity occurring at his school, he received private messages from Board member Vickie Turner who assured him that as long as he cooperated with the investigation she would make sure his job was protected. Unfortunately, that did not happen and Mr. Jones lost his job and has had multiple job offers in metro Atlanta rescinded because his principal who he blew the whistle on would not provide him with a reference.
Attorney Julie Oinonen stated: “We want the DeKalb board to make things right not just for Mr. Jones, but to make sure whistleblowers at DeKalb County Schools are protected from retaliation.”
Georgia Education Lawyer Julie Oinonen won an appeal before the State Board of Education on behalf of Mrs. Cindy Williams, a Georgia Association of Educators’ member and one of the sole African American guidance counselors in Grady County School System in southwest Georgia who was wrongfully terminated.
Fortunately,the Grady County Board of Education agreed to award a $50,000 settlement as detailed in the front page of the Thompson Times newspaper. Along with the settlement, the Georgia State Board of Education granted Williams’ appeal, reversing the Grady board’s vote to terminate her employment.
Mrs. Williams’ attorney, Julie Oinonen of Williams Oinonen LLC in Atlanta, said of the settlement:
Georgia Education Lawyer won back the $750 of liquidated damages taken out of 150 DeKalb County School teachers’ contracts. The suit, brought on behalf of two plaintiffs for the loss of $1500.00, ended up having a settlement of $160,000 to pay each of the 150 teachers back their unpaid wages, paid $50,000 in attorney fees, and placed a moratorium of the liquidated damages provision in teacher contracts for the 2017-2018 school year.
The two courageous plaintiffs, Chayka Bettis and Leslie Hein, were members of the Georgia Association of Educators. Williams Oinonen LLC partner Julie Oinonen stated that “we filed the lawsuit hoping to establish a state-wide precedent for all Georgia educators. We hope that DeKalb will uphold the moratorium and other school districts will follow their lead.”
Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams represents Kelvin Stevenson and Miguel Jackson for violation of their civil rights after correctional officers at State Smith Prison beat them with a hammer. Williams Oinonen LLC filed suit on behalf of the Plaintiffs under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for violation of their constitutional right under the Eighth Amendment to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. A copy of the complaint is below.