The Litigation Group consists of six units.
Civil Rights Unit
The Civil Rights Unit (CRU) defends all lawsuits filed against the City and its 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. CRU also represents the Department of Human Services when constitutional violations are alleged to arise out of DHS’ child welfare cases.
CRU provides legal advice to City departments on issues with potential civil rights implications and counsels City departments on policy issues. CRU also assists in ensuring training is properly conducted and that City personnel in all departments are aware of the constitutional limits of their authority.
Armando Brigandi received his undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University and his law degree from Villanova University. He joined the City’s Civil Rights Unit in January of 2006, where he has defended both police officers and prison personnel against claims involving alleged constitutional violations. Armando has tried over 70 civil rights cases to verdict in both state and federal Courts. In December of 2011, he was promoted to divisional deputy of the Civil Rights Unit for the City of Philadelphia Law Department. In March of 2016, he was named the chief deputy of the Civil Rights Unit.