City of Philadelphia

Office of the City Solicitor


Craig M. Straw

Chief Deputy City Solicitor

Civil Rights Unit


Chief Deputy City Solicitor Craig M. Straw received his undergraduate and law degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He earned his law degree while working for a City Council member, who currently serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Senate. After graduating from law school, Craig worked for seven years as an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Pittsburgh.  During his tenure with the City of Pittsburgh Law Department, he primarily handled civil rights litigation involving the City of Pittsburgh Police Department. 


Upon moving to Philadelphia in 2003, he worked for a trial litigation firm defending local municipalities in police and prison cases.  In 2006, he joined the Civil Rights Unit of the City of Philadelphia Law Department as a Deputy City Solicitor.  Shortly after joining the Civil Rights Unit, he was named Divisional Deputy City Solicitor. 


The Civil Rights Unit defends all lawsuits filed against the City and it's employees in which it is alleged that an individual's constitutionally-protected rights have been violated.  Most of these cases are filed in federal court under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C 1983.  Many of the cases involve Fourth Amendment claims brought against the Philadelphia Police Department, and Eighth Amendment claims asserted against the Philadelphia Prison System.  The Civil Rights Unit also represents the Department of Human Services when constitutional violations are alleged to arise out of DHS' child welfare cases.  

The Civil Rights Unit provides legal advice to City Departments on  issues with potential civil rights implications, and counsels City Departments on policy issues.  The CRU also consults with City Departments on employee training issues to ensure that City personnel in all departments are aware of the constitutional limits of their authority.

All CRU attorneys have active trial case loads, and are given substantial responsibility at an early stage.  All attorneys handle their own cases from the filing of a complaint until jury verdict, to have the opportunity to develop a theory of the case, build a factual record to support the theory, and present their case to a jury.  The Civil Rights Unit attorneys are: 


Matthew Kevin Hubbard

Divisional Deputy City Solicitor

The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law,

Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina; graduated 1985


Armando Brigandi

Divisional Deputy City Solicitor

Villanova Law School, 2001


Mark V. Maguire

Divisional Deputy

Temple Law School, 2004


Niya Blackwell

Deputy City Solicitor

New England School of Law, 1996


Amanda Shoffel

Deputy City Solicitor

New England School of Law, 2009


Brock Atkins

Assistant City Solicitor

Georgetown University School of Law, 2006


Christopher Rider

Assistant City Solicitor

Temple Law School, 2009


Anne Taylor

Assistant City Solicitor

Georgetown University School of Law, 2007


John Coyle

Assistant City Solicitor

Temple Law School, 2011


Dimitri Mavroudis

Assistant City Solicitor

Temple Law School, 2004

Regina Lawrence
Assistant City Solicitor
Rutgers Law School, 2012

Chair, Litigation Group
Civil Rights
Labor & Employment
General Litigation
Housing & Code Enforcement