Michael Kanovitz is a partner at Loevy & Loevy where he concentrates in class actions, constitutional law, and whistleblower protection under the federal and state False Claims Acts. His cases have resulted in verdicts and settlements of over $125 million to his clients. He was recently recognized for his outstanding litigation and trial skills in the Law Bulletin’s prestigious 40-under-40 attorneys to watch.
On the national scene, Mr. Kanovitz recently handled several cases brought by whistleblowers against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In Vance et al. v. Rumsfeld, Mr. Kanovitz is lead counsel for two whistleblowers who were detained and tortured by U.S. officials after they reported on contractor corruption in the Iraq war. In Doe v. Rumsfeld, Mr. Kanovitz is working with the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a whistleblower advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., on a case involving an American contractor who was held incommunicado for over nine months. Both cases are the only ones of their type to have survived a motion to dismiss by Mr. Rumsfeld. Experts in constitutional law and legal educators have described these cases as groundbreaking.
In the area of constitutional law, Mr. Kanovitz has served as lead counsel in some of the largest civil rights class action suits in the nation. In 2010, Mr. Kanovitz secured a settlement in Dunn v. City of Chicago for three classes of persons whose rights were violated by the Chicago Police Department. The settlement provides $16.5 million in compensation to victims and has produced substantial changes in the Department’s treatment of arrestees. In Young v. County of Cook, Mr. Kanovitz proved at a jury trial that the Cook County Jail routinely abused citizens by using violence and intimidation when strip searching them. Cook County eventually settled the case for more than $55 million. Recently, Mr. Kanovitz was lead counsel for a class of men and women who were held in inhumane conditions at the Lake County Jail in Northern Indiana. The case settled in December of 2012 for over $7 million.
In other recent civil rights litigation, Mr. Kanovitz was lead trial counsel for a prisoner who alleged that he was denied medical care in the Illinois Department of Corrections. In January of 2013, a jury found in favor of the prisoner and awarded $11 million in compensatory damages as well as $1 million in punitive damages. This jury verdict followed a separate consent judgment by a prison healthcare company for $14 million and a settlement by two employee Wexford Health Sources Inc for $3 million, both in 2012. Mr. Kanovitz also obtained a $16 million dollar jury verdict for a wrongfully-convicted man who was incarcerated for five and one-half years. This is the largest per-year recovery on record. He defended the verdict on appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the jury’s verdict in May of 2010.
Mr. Kanovitz particularly enjoys using his trial skills to assist qui tam whistleblowers with their False Claims Act cases when the government declines to intervene. He has represented more than twenty whistleblower clients in state and federal False Claims Act suits in jurisdictions across the country. His cases have made law supporting whistleblowers in mortgage finance, defense contracting, and environmental qui tams, among others.
In addition to his litigation work, Mr. Kanovitz is a co-author for the Eighth through Eleventh editions of the textbook Constitutional Law, which is published by Lexis/Nexis. The book is used to teach law enforcement officers throughout the country about the United States Constitution.
Mr. Kanovitz is a graduate of Brandeis University and the Cornell Law School, having received honors with both degrees.
• U.S. Supreme Court, 2013
• U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1996
• U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2001
• U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 2001
• U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 2012
• Illinois, 2001
• Kentucky, 1994
• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2001
• U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1994
Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
• J.D. (cum laude) – 1994
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
• B.A. (cum laude) – 1990
• Constitutional Law, Lexis/Nexis
• United States ex rel. Karen Cericola v. Federal Nation Mortgage Association (U.S. District Court for the Central District of California)
• United States ex rel. Stephen G. Coppock v. Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas)
• City of Chicago ex rel. Ruley v. Motorola Inc. (Circuit Court of Cook County)
• Vance et al. v. Rumsfeld, (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)
• White v. McKinley (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri)
• Young et al. v. County of Cook (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)
• Dunn et al. v. City of Chicago (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)
• Flood et al. v. Lake County (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana)
• Fox v. Barnes, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)