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Civil Rights
Employment, Discrimination & Sexual Misconduct

Civil Rights

Civil Rights are personal rights guaranteed and protected by the United States Constitution, the New York and New Jersey Constitutions, as well as federal laws enacted by congress and their state statute counterparts.  These acknowledged fundamental rights preserve our individual freedoms, protect us from infringement by the government and promote equality.  

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is our nation's benchmark civil rights legislation, passed to address racial segregation and end the application of "Jim Crow" laws.  President John F. Kennedy asked congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill in June 1963, in response to massive resistance to desegregation and the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi.  After President Kennedy's assassination that November, President Lyndon B. Johnson continued to press congress to secure the bill's passage the following year.  

 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination, the unequal or unfair treatment of an individual, or group, based on certain characteristics, including race, color, religion or national origin.  It is also unlawful to discriminate on the basis of disability, age, military status, marital status, maternity, sexual orientation and/or gender, which encompasses sexual harassment and sexual assault.  Discrimination on these bases is forbidden in the employment context, whether in hiring, promoting or firing.  In addition to discrimination in the workplace, it is illegal to discriminate based on the foregoing characteristics in schools, voting, housing, public accommodations or federally funded programs

Lewis Law Group assists clients with matters involving pending or potential litigation to combat the aforementioned discrimination, particularly in school and the workplace, including claims sounding in Title VI, Title VII and Title IX, Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), New York State and New York City Human Rights Law (NYSHRL & NYCHRL).  The firm has handled numerous racial discrimination and sexual misconduct matters, as well as discrimination claims based on age, religion, and disability.  Clients have sought Nick's counsel, and the investigative skills he first honed in the Bronx District Attorney's Office, to conduct internal corporate investigations in various industries, from financial advising to wholesale food distribution, education and health care.

Defamation & Fist Amendment

Nick Lewis is experienced combatting First Amendment violations and bringing defamation suits, in response to the rampant swell of online defamation, harassment and cyberbullying. He has successfully represented a wide array of clients in libel and slander claims in Federal and State Courts around the country.  His vast experience includes online reputation management, unmasking anonymous internet trolls and successfully arguing motions concerning protections afforded by anti-SLAPP statutes and the Communications Decency Act, besting some of the finest attorneys in the nation along the way.

Lewis Law Group protects our clients’ interests when faced with public dissemination of libelous content by the emboldened, angry mobs of cancel culture, lurking in every sordid corner of the internet. We have successfully negotiated removal of defamatory content from omnipresent social media sites, secured retractions from powerful legacy media publishers and obtained significant restitution for damages caused by libelous attacks, tortious interference, cyberbullying and other privacy encroachments. 

 

Nick successfully argued in opposition to a CDA Section 230 Immunity defense on summary judgment, in the well-publicized S#it+y Media Men litigation. He has also fought to restore the reputations of  professional athletes, an NBA coach and assistant coach, as well as politicians, business executives, physicians and PTA members, all of whom suffered significant career setbacks due to the malicious publication of false statements, Nick takes great pride in utilizing his well-honed investigative skills and courtroom prowess to establish the truth of the published, subject matters, secure financial renumeration for the damage caused by the defamation and deliver some modicum of peace, if not justice, to his clients.

 

Lewis Law Group has also fought for clients' First Amendment rights to speak, pray and associate freely, and we hold this duty sacred.  Free speech has been under attack in public spaces, within local and federal municipalities and on many college campuses, throughout the United States.  Academic Freedom Policies are applied inconsistently, and often ignored, to appease petulant student groups who favor obstinance, ego-stroking and stubbornly extricating opposing views over tolerance, nuance and the value of diverse perspectives and respectful debate. If you have been censored, punished or retaliated against for simply speaking your mind or expressing your views, our firm, and often the First Amendment, are on your side.  Even at private schools or within some corporate entities, handbooks and policies of the organization often promise to respect and guarantee your free expression.  You can look to Lewis Law Group to defend your right to speak freely, worship how you choose and express your true self.

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Lewis Law Group has experience litigating various commercial matters on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, in court, mediation and a wide range of venues and hearings in New York and New Jersey.  We have represented individuals and businesses in matters concerning breaches of contract, fiduciary duty and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as tortious interference, fraud, conversion, insurance and malpractice matters, plus shareholder, broker-dealer, partnership and real estate disputes.  

Our mission is to cost-effectively resolve your dispute to avoid litigation as  commercial litigation matters can be costly, stressful and draining.  We have extensive experience settling matters pre-suit, at every stage of litigation and in both private and court-led mediation.  When the parties cannot resolve their issues through negotiation, or our clients are simply not satisfied with the resolution options, litigation may be the only way to bring closure to the cases.  When that situation presents itself, Lewis Law Group is ready to fight for you, to protect your interests at every stage of litigation from pleading, through discovery, motion practice and trial.  

Nick has tried many cases, including multiple breach of contract matters concerning failed real estate transactions, termination of employment agreements and seeking specific performance, to verdict in federal and state courts.  The firm has represented clients at FINRA arbitration hearings, administrative law proceedings and before professional disciplinary committees.  When the stakes are high, you can count on Lewis Law Group for committed, zealous representation, and to prosecute or defend your interests effectively and efficiently.

Cannabis

Cannabis

As a natural evolution of our Civil Rights Practice, Lewis Law Group has gained valuable experience in the developing legal cannabis industry, in New Jersey and New York.  As a proud son of New Jersey, Nick has long been intrigued by the landmark legislation legalizing recreational adult-use cannabis in his home state, the Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance & Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act.  He has studied the CREAMM Act's text for years, long before it was enacted.  Nick has since gained valuable experience helping clients secure cannabis dispensary licenses with funds previously secured in civil rights actions.

Lewis Law Group lauds the power and prosperity bestowed upon the citizens of New Jersey by the legislators.  In particular, our firm is well-versed in helping clients avail themselves of the retributive portions of the CREAMM Act, aimed at rectifying the more deleterious effects of the "War on Drugs," from mass incarceration and civil rights violations to widespread poverty and unemployment.  The CREAMM Act provides built-in advantages for New Jerseyans who were, statistically, hardest hit by the increased law enforcement activity.  Black New Jerseyans, for example, were 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white New Jerseyans despite similar usage.  Diversely-owned businesses, owned by minority, female and/or disabled veteran candidates, are granted priority preference in the application process.  The CREAMM Act also includes priority preference advantages for applications from Social Equity businesses, owned by individuals from Economically Disadvantaged Areas, and/or Impact Zones, municipalities with historically higher concentrations of law enforcement activity, poverty and marijuana arrests.  We are proud to be in a state that provides these advantages in the Cannabis Marketplace Application process and has, to date, adhered to these priority preferences.  

As a point of tremendous pride, Lewis Law Group has enjoyed great success securing Class 5 dispensary licenses for microbusinesses, with Diversely Owned and Social Equity designations.   In addition to preparing applications and conducting multiple hearings on behalf of these clients, Nick has presented at community events and town hall meetings in Economically Disadvantaged Areas and Impact Zones, to educate fellow New Jerseyans of their rights, benefits and the finer points of the CREAMM Act, including the above application priority advantages and  provisions concerning expungement of convictions for marijuana related offenses.  Lewis Law Group is prepared to help you secure your recreational cannabis license, from entity formation and contract drafting to application submission and hearings before cannabis boards.

Campus Due Process

Campus Due Process

Students often face discrimination from staff and faculty at colleges and universities on the basis of sex; however, such institutions are required by law to treat students with fairness and equity regardless of the department, activity at the university and/or your level of education. Schools may legally be held accountable when they fail to do so.

As part of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX protects students and employees from gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unlawful retaliation. The law applies to universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that receive federal funding.

Our firm represents students from campus Title IX proceedings through civil litigation, when necessary. In addition to our vast Title IX experience, we represent students in a wide array of disciplinary, academic integrity as well as student conduct proceedings.  Lewis Law Group also represents faculty members in matters ranging from academic freedom matters to tenure revocation hearings. 

Our goal is to ensure students are treated fairly, get solid value for their educational investment and have comprehensive understanding of their rights in order to make sound decisions to attain their educational and career goals.  We passionately advocate for our clients' rights to due process and justice at every stage of the school proceeding, serving as advisor during initial interviews and throughout formal investigations to hearings, appeals and, where appropriate, informal resolutions.  In the event our clients do not receive the protections and unbiased outcome they are entitled to, we are prepared to litigate up through and including trial, to rectify the lack of due process and erroneous outcome.

Special Education 

Special Education

Nick has fought against disability discrimination by employers and in the educational context for years.  He has been a zealous advocate for atypical students, and their families, in the battle to ensure students with special needs are provided with a free, appropriate, public education, with reasonable accommodations where necessary, under IDEA, Section 504, and related laws.  As a proud father of three, Nick has an unflinching belief and dedication to each student’s right to attend an educational environment free from hostility and bullying.  He has been a tireless advocate for all students with special needs, since he and his wife’s son was first diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder years ago.  Recognizing the immense stakes of appropriate placement for students and their families, Nick fights with uncommon conviction for students' rights, in any venue necessary, from IEP meetings to due process hearings and, if necessary, in federal court.  He has held school districts, private schools, colleges and public universities accountable for discrimination, whether disability,  gender, racial or religious discrimination.  Our firm advocates for safe, comfortable and inclusive learning environments,  We proudly battle school districts that fail to meet this standard, whether in their refusal to accommodate students’ special needs or in their deliberate indifference to callous,  dangerous bullying of protected students by other students, teachers or abusive coaches.

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