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Amy Jane Agnew, Esq.
Principal
e-mail: aj@ajagnew.com
 

Biography

EDUCATION

 

J.D., Rutgers Law School - Newark

   Nancy Stiles Scholar in Environmental Law

   Graduate Fellow in Constitutional Litigation

   Graduate Fellow in Legal         History

 

B.A., Johns Hopkins University

   Robert J. Brauer Scholar

   Dean’s List Distinction

   Thesis of Distinction

   Graduated with Honors

ADMISSIONS

New York State

New Jersey State

United States District Court,

Southern District of New York;   Eastern District of New York:

Western District of New York;

Northern District of New York: 

District of New Jersey

Second Circuit, Court of Appeals

Third Circuit, Court of Appeals

MEMBERSHIPS

American Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

New York City Bar Association

 

Member, Federal Bar Council, Public Interest Committee

Member, Federal Bar Council, Civil Rights Committee

Volunteer Lawyer, ACLU-NJ

Pro Bono Counsel, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice

 

Amy Jane "A.J." Agnew

Amy Jane Agnew maintains a small, personable practice in which she oversees every phase of clients' legal matters with her team.  The practice focuses on constitutional, civil, and disability rights matters as well as matters within education law.  With a network of specialized professionals, she can bring in outside expertise when needed --  forensic accountants, experts and specialized counsel -- but she seeks to keep clients' costs low and expectations met.  Her practice is small, intimate and effective.  She understands that your lawyer is a trusted member of your inner circle, not a vendor whose attention you buy.

 

Ms. Agnew continues to educate herself on the law as it develops and as it relates to her clients. For five years, Ms. Agnew served as the Graduate Fellow in Constitutional Law and Legal History at Rutgers School of Law - Newark, where she guided law students through complex constitutional litigation.   She still conducts legal history research and academic writing, as she believes the law is both a science and a social art that must be studied as it has been and as it develops.  Ms. Agnew most recently co-authored a chapter entitled, Obstacles to Litigating and Evaluating Trauma in Police Misconduct Cases in Assessing Trauma in Forensic Contexts published by Springer Publishing in 2020.

Ms. Agnew has four children and lives in Far Hills, New Jersey and NYC.  In her free time Ms. Agnew prides herself on conducting a masterclass in mortifying teenage children.

Some Litigation of Note:

Allen, et al. v. NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, et al., 19-cv-8173 (SDNY)

  The firm represents a putative class of incarcerated patients who require medications to treat chronic diseases and disabilities, like sickle cell anemia, late-stage cancers, paraplegia, neurological conditions, diabetes, HIV and major spinal conditions.  In 2017, NYS DOCCS promulgated a "Medications with Abuse Potential" policy and used it as justification to strip plaintiff class members of medically appropriate and effective medications without individualized assessments or justification.  In many cases, Plaintiff class members' medications were discontinued and no effective alternatives were prescribed.  The Firm and NYS DOCCS are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to reassess patients and see to it that they are medically treated pursuant to the protections of the U.S. Constitution.

James v. McCullough, et al., 17-cv-0843 (NDNY)

  The firm represents a group of Muslim plaintiffs whose Mosque Room was desecrated by employees of the New York State Department of Corrections directly after the Charlie Hedbo attacks in Paris, France.  Plaintiffs state claims under the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and pursuant to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C. 248 (which protects access to places of worship as well).

Knight, et al. v. DOCCS, et al., 18-cv-7172 (SDNY)

   The firm serves as counsel for a putative class of disabled prisoners within the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision who must undertake intermittent self-catheterization to empty their bladders.  DOCCS was forcing the plaintiffs  to rewash single-use catheters, causing the plaintiff class unnecessary UTIs, painful infections and hospitalizations.  The firm just successfully defended a motion to dismiss.

Medina v. Buther, 15-cv-1955 (SDNY)

 

    The firm represented a legally blind prisoner in a federal action against the New York State Department of Corrections and its employees.  The complaint alleged three distinct Constitutional violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as violations of the ADA and Rehabilitation Acts.  The district court granted mandatory injunctions against DOCCS, ordering them to treat the firm's client with effective medication and grant other ADA accommodations. A contempt proceeding was held in September of 2018, resulting in a 92 page opinion finding Defendants in contempt of court.  See, Medina v. Buther, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23529 (S.D.N.Y. 2019).

Stewart v. City of New York, 15-cv-7652 (SDNY)

 

Ms. Agnew successfully settled allegations against the City of New York for constitutional and ADA violations of the rights of a wheelchair-bound paraplegic.  Before settlement, Ms. Agnew won a motion to enforce settlement in which the City tried to impose a general release that would have negated the victim's claims for other constitutional and ADA violations. See, Stewart v. City of New York, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174155 (S.D.N.Y. 2017).

 

Sattinger and Birnbaum vs. Stonebridge Community Ass'n, MID-C-64-19 (N.J. Superior Court)

  Ms. Agnew won a temporary restraining order and thereafter negotiated a consent order against a Home Owners Association that attempted to pass a "Campaign Resolution" which violated the free speech rights of residents.  The Campaign Resolution attempted to forbid political t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and lawn signs in violation of home owners free speech rights guaranteed by the New Jersey Constitution.  

 

Yuzuk v. Cedar Village Home Owners Association at East Brunswick (N.J. Superior Court)

 

Ms. Agnew won summary judgment on two claims that a Home Owners Association committed ultra vires acts when it passed Resolutions purporting to assert control over elements of homeowners' units.  Ms. Agnew also successfully settled claims that the Home Owners Association Board passed an anti-leafletting resolution that contravened the New Jersey Supreme Court's holding in Dublirer v. 2000 Linwood Avenue Owners, Inc. et al. and engaged in free speech retaliation against a homeowner who challenged the Board's actions in leaflets and by filing suit.  

RUSA  v. Middlesex County Board of Elections

 

   For the Rutgers Constitutional Rights Clinic, Ms. Agnew wrote several dispositive and appellate briefs on behalf of Plaintiffs requesting declaratory judgment that New Jersey’s advance voter registration deadline is unconstitutional in light of technological advances in New Jersey’s election law regime.  Plaintiffs won a great appellate victory in 2014, forcing the trial court to redraft its summary judgment opinion. 

Matter of X.X.

Ms. Agnew recently represented a first grade student in an emergent relief petition, whose district sought to remove him to a therapeutic school without first accommodating him in accordance with the ADA and IDEA.  The petition was won and the student recently successfully completed his third grade year in public school with his mandated accommodations.

 

Matter of X.X.

 

Ms. Agnew represented a young, female high school student who suffered from anxiety and other psychological disorders and attempted suicide.  The student’s private school attempted to expel her under a blanket removal policy.  Ms. Agnew successfully settled the case before federal litigation.   The student was readmitted with full school privileges and the school agreed to draft policies and procedures for proper accommodations for disabled students and proper removal procedures when a student attempts suicide.   Removal procedures must not violate a students’ civil rights and an individualized inquiry must take place before a student is removed from their school.  The school paid all the student’s attorney fees as part of the settlement.

 

Matter of X.X.

 

Ms. Agnew filed a Notice of Tort Claim against a school district who continued to employ a sports coach who had engaged in the harassment and belittlement of female students on two sports teams.  Despite multiple incidents over several years the coach maintained his position.  The case successfully resolved when the coach resigned in the face of litigation.