Lawyers of the Year: Qusair Mohamedbhai
Qusair Mohamedbhai has had as many accomplishments in 2017 as some people might hope to achieve in a whole career. The cases he often takes don’t seem like they come with warm, fuzzy feelings: The Rathod Mohamedbhai partner’s civil rights and employment discrimination practice has included some high-profile cases of police shootings and abuse. But they have had no small impact, often resulting in policy changes to prevent the same harm happening again in addition to monetary settlements.
“Holding the government accountable in our court system is just of utmost importance to draw the line to prevent the government from encroaching on our federally protected rights,” he said.
Just a few of Mohamedbhai’s successes in 2017 include a settlement for Jessica Hernandez, a 15-year-old girl killed by police in 2015, and new oversight policies after the case of a school aide in the St. Vrain Valley School District who repeatedly abused — caught on video — an adult with autism under her care. Both led to changes in policy: As a result of Hernandez’s death, the city of Denver will not voluntarily release criminal histories of people killed by police, as well as a change to the Denver Police Department’s policy on shooting into vehicles. And as part of a host of new oversight policies, St. Vrain Valley began keeping video footage from school buses for several months rather than days.
Mementos of Mohamedbhai’s work are strewn around his office and the halls of the space his firm works out of. He keeps a thank-you card from an inmate in an excessive force case on his desk, and newspaper stories about his triumphs in the St. Vrain Valley and Jessica Hernandez settlements hang framed along a hallway.
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