Jean Zachariasiewicz is a litigator who focuses her practice on civil rights law, including fair housing, disability rights, police misconduct, and prisoner rights. She also has experience in constitutional litigation, class actions, and contract negotiations. Jean represents clients in state and federal court, as well as state administrative bodies and has appellate experience, having argued in the Fourth Circuit and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Jean works to ensure that her clients’ stories, experiences, and concerns are heard and respected, whether her client is a powerful corporation or a prisoner.
Jean has been chosen for inclusion on the Super Lawyers‘ Maryland Rising Stars list, an honor reserved for those lawyers 40 years old or younger or in practice for ten years or less, who exhibit excellence in practice. Only 2.5 percent of the attorneys in Maryland are named to the Rising Stars list each year.
Prior to joining the firm, Jean was a civil rights litigation associate at a Washington, DC law firm and served as the Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellow at the Public Justice Center, where she practiced appellate litigation in the areas of civil rights and poverty law.
After law school, Jean clerked for the Honorable Myron Thompson on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and for the Honorable Fortunato Benavides on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
During law school, Jean served as Notes & Submissions Editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and as president of the Public Interest Law Foundation. Jean also interned at several organizations dedicated to education and civil rights, including Neufeld, Scheck & Brustin, a civil rights firm in New York that focuses on wrongful conviction, police misconduct, and prison suits.
Prior to law school, Jean was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine and then worked at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, DC.
- Columbia University Law School, J.D., 2010
- University of Virginia, B.A. with distinction, 2001
- New York
- District of Columbia
- Successfully represented American Oversight, a watchdog group focused on the executive branch, to obtain the expedited unsealing of a confidential 1999 report on alleged improper leaks from the Office of Independent Counsel (Ken Starr’s investigation of President Clinton), where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh worked as a prosecutor (2018).
- Tenae Smith, et al. v. Westminster Management, LLC, et al. – Represent tenants in large Baltimore-area apartment complexes managed by Westminster Management (Jared Kushner’s family real estate company) in a class action lawsuit alleging inflated late fees charged to tenants in violation of state laws.
- The Estate of Robert Ethan Saylor, et al. v. Regal Cinemas, Inc. et al. – Obtained a $1.9 million settlement on behalf of the parents of a young man with Down syndrome who was killed by deputy sheriffs who dragged him from a movie theater for the “crime” of wanting to watch a movie a second time without buying a second ticket (2018).
- AngelicCare LLC, et al. v. St. Barnard Parish, et al. – ADA and FHA case challenging a jurisdiction’s discriminatory zoning of group homes for children with mental health disabilities.
- The Daily Record’s Leading Women, 2018
- 2018 Maryland Rising Stars
- Public Justice Center, Board Member
- Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellowship, Board Member/Treasurer
- National Fair Housing Alliance, Member
- United Workers Housing Roundtable, Member
- On April 7, 2016, Jean led a fair housing training for lawyers and staff of Maryland Legal Aid, covering Fair Housing Law Overview, Reasonable Accommodation and Modification, a Fair Housing Act Damages exercise, and an Overview of the Duties of State and Local Jurisdictions to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, Columbia, MD.
- On April 8, 2016, Jean gave a presentation on Fair Housing, Persons with Disabilities, and Service and Assistance Animals at the Tampa Bay Fair Housing Consortium’s 2016 Fair Housing Symposium: Shared Opportunity in Every Community, Clearwater, FL.
- “The Refusal to Insure Section 8 Properties Has Disparate Impact Consequences,” Civil Rights Insider, Winter 2017.
- “Not Worth the Risk: The Legal Consequences of the Refusal to Insure Properties with Section 8 Tenants,” Banking & Financial Services Policy Report, November 2014, Vol. 33, No. 11, pp. 19-29.
- April 25, 2018, The Daily Record, “State, Deputies Reach $1.9M Settlement Over Death of Disabled Frederick Man.”