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Adele P. Kimmel is a senior attorney at the D.C. headquarters of Public Justice. Since joining Public Justice in 1994, she has served as counsel in a wide variety of precedent-setting cases, with a particular emphasis on civil rights issues. Adele's areas of practice include bullying cases on behalf of students, constitutional and tort cases on behalf of immigrant detainees and prisoners, sex discrimination class actions on behalf of women intercollegiate athletes, retaliation cases on behalf of intercollegiate coaches, and employment discrimination cases.
In 2013, Adele spearheaded Public Justice’s Anti-Bullying Campaign, which seeks to hold school districts and officials accountable for failing to protect students from bullying, make systemic changes in the ways that schools respond to bullying incidents, and educate attorneys about best practices for handling bullying cases.
Adele’s work on Castaneda v. United States is serving as a catalyst for reforming the medical care provided to immigrant detainees. The case involves wrongful death and survival claims on behalf of the family of Francisco Castaneda, an immigrant from El Salvador who had his penis amputated and died of penile cancer as a result of egregious medical neglect while he was in California and United States custody. In 2011, Adele and her co-counsel obtained a $1.95 million settlement for the Castaneda family from the United States. Claims against California medical providers are still pending. The case was featured in a joint investigative piece done by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes to expose the deeply flawed health care system for immigrant detainees.
Adele and her legal team also obtained an important victory for prisoners’ rights in Dillon v. Rogers, 596 F.3d 260 (5th Cir. 2010) (holding that dismissal of prisoner’s suit for failure to exhaust administrative remedies was improper and that district court should have permitted prisoner to collect and present evidence concerning availability of administrative remedies).
In 2008, Adele and her team obtained a landmark $3.4 million settlement in Flood v. Florida Gulf Coast University on behalf of two former coaches for women’s intercollegiate athletic teams who charged the university with retaliating against them after they voiced concerns about gender inequities in the school’s athletic programs. As part of the settlement, the school also hired an independent expert to assess and monitor its compliance with Title IX, the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination at schools receiving federal funds.
Adele is a former Chair of the American Association for Justice’s Civil Rights Section and a longtime member of the Section’s Executive Board. Prior to joining Public Justice, she was a principal in a mid-sized, private law firm in Washington, D.C., where she represented plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases and litigated a wide variety of civil and commercial cases.
Adele received her B.A. degree with high honors from the University of Virginia in 1982, where she was an Echols Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, and a participant in the Philosophy Honors Program. She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985 and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1986, as part of a joint degree program. She is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia.