Macdonald and Douglas Named Litigators of the Week by The American Lawyer's Litigation Daily
Arnold & Porter partners Timothy Macdonald and Matt Douglas were named Law.com’s “Litigators of the Week,” for their successful representation of seven protestors who sued the City of Denver claiming officers used excessive force responding to demonstrations in the summer of 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Loevy & Loevy’s Elizabeth Wang, who was also recognized in the feature, represented the other five protesters.
The jury found the city and police committed a variety of First and Fourth Amendment violations and awarded a total $14 million to the 12 plaintiffs who went to trial.
“Our clients were peaceful protestors who took to the streets of Denver and the state capitol to voice their concerns over another instance of police brutality and excessive force after the murder of George Floyd,” Douglas told Law.com’s Litigation Daily. “They were met by repeated, unjustified uses of less lethal force in the form of tear gas, grenades, pepper balls, shotguns, and other projectiles, simply for protesting against police brutality.”
“What was at stake in this case was whether the police would be held accountable for responding with violence against peaceful protestors,” said Macdonald, who heads the firm’s Denver office. “We hope that this verdict will be a message to police departments and police leadership that they must adopt a guardian mentality.”
In a Q&A for Law.com, Macdonald and Douglas described the emotional strain of the case on their clients, but also their courage and bravery.
“When the jury’s verdict was read, all of the members of our legal team, along with our clients, were overcome with emotions and we huddled in the courtroom to savor the moment with hugs and tears. The jury had found for our clients on nearly every single claim and legal theory on the verdict form, which was such a strong message to the City,” said Douglas.
Douglas is a litigator whose practice focuses on product liability and environmental litigation, including extensive work in the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. His experience includes environmental, product liability, consumer class actions, and antitrust matters.
Macdonald is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on complex civil trials and appeals. He has far-ranging appellate experience, pursuing and defending appeals in the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Federal Circuit, First Circuit, Second Circuit, Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit, DC Circuit, and other state supreme courts.