Civil Rights, Sexual Assault and Wrongful Death
More than 25 years ago, Joseph Kennedy moved to New Mexico from Philadelphia and began suing police officers for excessive use of force and jail guards for the sexual abuse of vulnerable female detainees. Today, Kennedy’s legal team represents people and families who have had their educational opportunity, and their lives, destroyed by hazing, sexual assault and bullying in schools, colleges and on sports teams. Our attorneys have negotiated historic settlements for victims of police shootings and teacher-student sexual abuse. Whether it’s a police officer, doctor, teacher, landlord or boss, no one in authority should abuse power or unlawfully take a human life. When they do, people can turn to Kennedy Kennedy & Ives, with 60-plus years of combined experience, to sue those who foment sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination or retaliation in schools and in police departments.
Our team also takes on litigation against public housing and low-income apartment complexes that chose to fail to protect against gun and sexual violence on their premises. KKI attorneys also sue doctors who, working for the police, perform unlawful cavity searches, digital anal searches and unconstitutional, unnecessary medical procedures, such as colonoscopies, and x-rays on people who have been seized by the police.
Partners, Joseph and Shannon Kennedy, have litigated several class action lawsuits involving civil rights violations for “patrolling for profits,” seizing money and red-tagging homes without due process. Partner, Laura Schauer Ives, former Legal Director of the New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union, recently argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court for the right of terminally ill patients who want to end their lives with a physician’s assistance and dignity.
KKI attorneys share the same goal: Help clients rebuild their lives and face the future with hope. “It’s meaningful and gratifying work,” Shannon Kennedy says. “No one is above the law, and no one is below the law.” Parents and victims often demand that institutional changes be imposed upon the schools, jails, municipalities or police departments that caused, in part, or failed to prevent the trauma, serious injury or death of their loved ones. Hence, we measure our effectiveness and success by things equally important to the amount of money our clients receive through a settlement or judgment obtained at trial, though we have collected millions of dollars in settlements for victims of sexual assault and police misconduct. Our clients have created institutional and legislative changes, becoming strong advocates, as a matter of necessity, for our community, some even donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations whose missions are to eliminate homelessness.