Passages of Hope andJustice 15 Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association One afternoon in 2006, an African-American couple, “Linda” and “Greg,” were driving home after work with their three-year-old son. As they approached an intersection, they saw two white motorcyclists waiting at a stop sign.The motorcyclists pulled out behind them, shouting racial epithets and making ugly gestures. Linda and Greg pulled off the road in hopes of avoiding further confrontation, but found them- selves trapped in a parking lot with the motorcyclists,who smashed their car windows,showered broken glass on their terrified child, grabbed Linda’s hair, and punched her in the face. Passersby called 911 and the assailants fled, but they were later arrested and indicted by a grand jury. Linda and Greg turned to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association, a nonpartisan legal organization founded in 1968. In turn, the Lawyers’ Committee contacted Paul Wilson, who serves, along with Mintz Levin colleaguesYalonda Howze and John Regier, on the Committee’s Board of Directors. Paul then asked Colin Van Dyke to represent Linda and Greg in the civil lawsuit. “It’s hard to believe that there is out-and-out racial violence in Massachusetts in the 21st century,” Paul says.“It’s discouraging to see how far we haven’t come.” The attorneys obtained a restraining order, attached the defendants’ property, and then brought suit for civil rights violations, as well as for assault, property damage, and emotional distress. Meanwhile, in the criminal case, one defendant pleaded guilty while the other refused to plead, stood trial, and was convicted. After nearly two years, the drawn-out proceedings began to take their toll on Linda and Greg. They opted to go to trial; however, on the first day, the defendants agreed to settle. Colin negotiated settlements that would force both defendants to make significant financial restitution.“It was not just about litigating and winning, but about letting the clients know that they had options. It’s not always worth it to endure living through the events all over again,” Colin says. For Linda, Greg, and their son, life seems to be moving in a positive direction. “Seeing that the defendants have to be accountable for what they did was really satisfying for them.” Colin reports. Positive Directions “ When Linda and Greg first came in, they were scared and confused. After working with them on this case, their confidence in both the system and in us increased, and by the trial date, they walked into the courtroom with their heads held high.” —  Colin Van Dyke Mintz Levin