Protesters at Capital interior hero

Our Staff

Home » Who We Are » Staff » Carl Messineo

Carl Messineo

Co-Founder & Legal Director

Carl Messineo is co-Founder and Legal Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and its project, the Center for Protest Law & Litigation. During his more than 25 years of practice as a civil rights and constitutional rights lawyer, he has litigated complex federal and state court civil rights cases and class actions, challenging police misconduct, abuse of government authority, and advancing claims of illegal arrests, searches, or seizures.

Carl has served as co-lead class counsel in the largest protestor rights lawsuits in the nation’s capital, including the approximately seven hundred class members in Becker, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al., Civil Action No. 01-0811, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (mass false arrest, excessive force and other violations by law enforcement in connection with the April, 2000 IMF/World Bank protests in Washington, D.C.), and as lead class counsel on behalf of approximately four hundred class members in Barham, et al. v. Ramsey, et al., Civil Action No. 02-02283, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (false arrest in connection with the September, 2002 IMF/World Bank protests in Washington, D.C.).

He has litigated landmark First Amendment cases, including one which led to the opening up of the Presidential Inaugural Parade route to the public and protestors after years in which the government had privatized access to the route through an exclusive ticketing system which broadly limited access to the politically well-connected.

Carl’s litigation experience also includes public records lawsuits, employment discrimination claims, domestic violence protective orders, family law matters and consumer protection. He also provides criminal defense to protestors and activists including defending against false arrests, false charges, and over-charging by the government to suppress free speech and social justice activism. Carl received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.