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37th Annual Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference

Kimberly D. Bailey |  Gerald M. Birnberg |  Karen M. Blum |  Victoria Carmona |  Erwin Chemerinsky |  Rosalie Levinson |  John B. Murphey |  Sheldon H. Nahmod
12 hours 30 minutes
Product Type:
Access for 365 day(s) after program date.



Liability arising out of §1983 claims continues to present challenges for courts across the country, and the Supreme Court has a large impact in this dynamic area of law. Join us for this 10-part webinar series, held over three days, to get up-to-date on the latest cases, trends, and strategies affecting §1983 litigation. You have the opportunity to examine both the law of §1983 as well as the litigation strategies that underlie successful cases. Experts in the field address the most important issues and provide wisdom for you as you tackle this year’s cases, whether you represent plaintiffs or defendants. As always, the conference provides an analytical approach to problems and offers practical advice about how to solve them.


Kimberly D. Bailey's Profile

Kimberly D. Bailey Related seminars and products

Associate Professor and Edna Freehling Scholar

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Professor Bailey joined the Chicago-Kent faculty in fall 2007. Prior to joining Chicago-Kent's faculty, she was a visiting scholar and adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center. She also practiced labor and employment law in Houston, Texas, where she was an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP.

Professor Bailey was a Clarence Darrow Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School. She graduated cum laude, and she was an associate editor and contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review. Professor Bailey earned her bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She graduated with highest distinction, and she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Professor Bailey's research focuses on how social, political and economic inequalities are reflected in criminal law. Her articles have analyzed gender violence, privacy, and aggressive surveillance of communities of color. She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence at Chicago-Kent. In 2017, she received Illinois Institute of Technology's John W. Rowe University Excellence in Teaching Award.

Gerald M. Birnberg's Profile

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Founding Partner

Williams, Birnberg & Andersen

Gerald M. Birnberg is a 50-year lawyer whose practice has been focused on civil rights litigation, primarily on the plaintiff’s side. The founding partner of Williams, Birnberg & Andersen, LLP in Houston, Texas, he is certified as a specialist in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a life fellow of the College of the State Bar of Texas, and an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law-Houston, teaching a seminar course on recent United States Supreme Court cases.

          Upon completing law school at the University of Texas in 1971, Mr. Birnberg served as a law clerk to the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has been in private practice since that time, concentrating on complex litigation and appeals. Mr. Birnberg has appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States (either on the briefs or in oral argument) on several occasions, including arguing Farrar v. Hobby, 506 U.S. 103 (1992). He is admitted to practice before seven federal circuits, and has been involved in more than 100 appellate cases.

          From 2003 to 2012, Mr. Birnberg was Chair of the Democratic Party of Harris County, Texas. He also served on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Task Force on Policing Reform and is a member the Houston Independent Police Oversight Board.

          A frequent lecturer, Mr. Birnberg has made numerous presentations to state and local bar seminars and published articles on attorney’s fees in civil rights cases and other topics. He also testified before the Committee on Education and Labor of the United States House of Representatives concerning the attorney’s fees provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1990.

           Mr. Birnberg has represented fee claimants in major attorney’s fees litigation on a number of occasions and has been involved in several cases in which the amount of fees in issue exceeded $1 million.

Karen M. Blum's Profile

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Professor Emerita and Research Professor of Law

Suffolk University Law School

Karen Blum began teaching at Suffolk Law School in 1974. She has taught in the areas of Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Civil Rights and Police Misconduct Litigation. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Wells College, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and an LL. M. from Harvard. Professor Blum is a regular faculty participant in § 1983 Civil Rights Programs and Institutes around the country. In addition, she serves as a faculty member for workshops sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center for Federal Judges and Federal Magistrate Judges. Professor Blum has authored numerous articles in the section 1983 area and is a co-author, along with Michael Avery, David Rudovsky, and Jennifer Laurin, of the treatise Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation. As a Professor Emerita, Professor Blum continues to engage in Section 1983 programs throughout the country and is actively involved in efforts to achieve police reform.

Victoria Carmona's Profile

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Chicago-Kent College of Law

Victoria Carmona joined the Chicago-Kent College of Law faculty in August 2019 as director of the C-K Law Group’s Immigration Law Clinic. The clinic’s practice focuses on United States immigration law and practice, including family-based immigration before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum offices and removal defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (immigration court).  

From 2014 to 2019, Carmona practiced immigration law at the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates PC, representing clients in applications for family-based and victim-based immigration benefits and in removal proceedings. Additionally, Carmona provided pro bono representation for immigrant woman and children detained in the South Texas Family Residential Detention Center in Dilley, Texas. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Chicago Chapter, and serves on several liaison committees.

Carmona earned her LL.M. in international human rights from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 2018, where her thesis focused on human rights violations by the U.S. with concern to the regulation of migration. She earned her J.D. with a certificate in child and family law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2014. While earning her J.D., she was a caseworker in the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Children and Family Justice Law Center. She also received a Public Interest Law Initiative grant to work at the Chicago Legal Clinic's Chancery Advice Desk. 

Before law school Carmona completed a bachelor's degree in international and Latin American studies at the University of Chicago and a Master of Social Work at the Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Social Work.  

Carmona speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and German, and has lived in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and Spain. From 2008 to 2014, Carmona was the assistant director of the Brazil in Chicago Portuguese Language School and Brazilian Cultural Center. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois.

Erwin Chemerinsky's Profile

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Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law

University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law.

Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law.  Before that he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. From 1980-1983, he was an assistant professor at DePaul College of Law.

He is the author of fifteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction.  His most recent books are Presumed Guilty:  How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (Liveright 2021), and The Religion Clauses:  The Case for Separating Church and State (with Howard Gillman) (Oxford University Press 2020).

He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He is a contributing writer for the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, and writes regular columns for the Sacramento Bee, the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court. 

In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States.  In 2022, he is the President of the Association of American Law Schools.


B.S., Northwestern University (1975)

J.D., Harvard Law School (1978

Rosalie Levinson's Profile

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Valparaiso University School of Law

Rosalie Levinson is currently the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Professor of Law and a Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso Law School, where she teaches constitutional law, civil rights litigation, and federal practices.

She previously worked as a staff attorney for a public interest organization and has been involved in substantial litigation. She has argued several civil rights cases before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and has been a frequent lecturer for continuing legal education programs, including those sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center for Federal Judges and the Practice Law Institute. In addition, she has team taught with Justices Scalia, Ginsburg and Thomas in conjunction with Valparaiso University School of Law’s summer program in Cambridge, England.

Professor Levinson received her J.D. at Valparaiso University School of Law (1973), her M.A. at Indiana University (Woodrow Wilson Fellow) (1970), and her B.A. at Indiana University (Phi Beta Kappa) (1969).

John B. Murphey's Profile

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Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier & McGrath, Ltd.

John B. Murphey is currently a Partner at Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier & McGrath, Ltd.. He graduated cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1976.  He serves as counsel to many local government units throughout Illinois and is a nationally recognized expert on civil rights law.  John has successfully litigated complex zoning matters for private and public clients. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. 

Focusing his practice on cases involving civil rights defense for local governments, John represents public clients in all phases of litigation in state and federal courts.  He advises local cities and villages on matters involving zoning and serves as special labor counsel to many municipalities.

John serves as regular and special counsel to dozens of Illinois local governments.  He has argued numerous cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court on issues including first amendment, fair housing, due process, employment discrimination and zoning.  He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in Section 1983 litigation.  

John frequently presents at conferences and workshops on topics affecting municipalities, including a zoning workshop organized by the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency in 2020.  He presents annually at Chicago-Kent’s Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference. 

John is a two-time winner of the Litigation Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association.  For the past 15 years, he has been selected to Super Lawyers and is one of Super Lawyers Top Rated lawyers in the State, Local and Municipal category.  He has been named to Best Lawyers in America.

John has been an elected official, serving for 12 years as a member of his local school board, the last four as President.

Sheldon H. Nahmod's Profile

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University Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Sheldon H. Nahmod is a well-known expert on constitutional law, the First Amendment, civil rights and liberties and the law of Section 1983. He is the author of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (4th ed. 2019); A Section 1983 Civil Rights Anthology (1993); a casebook, Constitutional Torts (5th ed., forthcoming 2020, with Wells & Smith); and numerous law review articles. He has written many certiorari petitions and amicus briefs in the Supreme Court. He has also successfully argued civil rights cases in the Supreme Court and the First, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits. In addition, he has lectured on civil rights matters to federal judges and attorneys throughout the country, including organizing and speaking at Chicago-Kent's own annual Conference on Section 1983, now in its 37th year. Further, he lectures to lay groups on constitutional law and the First Amendment.

Nahmod graduated from the University of Chicago, Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Divinity School (1996). He practiced with a corporate law firm in Chicago and was a legal services staff attorney before entering academia. He also was a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School, where he earned an LL.M. After joining Chicago-Kent, he served as associate dean for three years, and was named IIT University Distinguished Professor in 1992. Over the years he has won awards for his teaching, most recently the Brill Award from the Student Bar Association. He was named University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2018.

Nahmod has served as chair of the Sections on Civil Rights, Law and Education and Law and Religion of the Association of American Law Schools. He founded and for many years co-directed Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Humanities. In 2001, he received the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Section 1983 jurisprudence from the American Bar Association's Section on State and Local Government Law. In 2018, he received the Abner Mikva Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Constitution Society for his contributions to civil rights and liberties.

Nahmod blogs on Section 1983, constitutional law, the First Amendment and other law-related topics at

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