Background

Bhavani K. Raveendran has always wanted to help those who have endured injustices and decided to fight back. Bhavani has worked in civil litigation and civil rights for most of her career and is passionate about standing up against violations of her clients’ constitutional rights to hold private and government actors accountable. Bhavani uses her position to work on issues of civil rights both in the courtroom and outside of it, including supporting pro civil-rights legislation.

Since joining Romanucci & Blandin LLC as an associate attorney in 2015, Bhavani has focused her practice on police misconduct, prison abuse, hazing, bullying, sexual abuse and wrongful death. Bhavani has first-chaired federal and state trials and received numerous settlements for her clients, notably including Doe v. Maine West High School involving one of the largest high school hazing settlements in Illinois and a $21.3 million verdict for a family devastated by a police chase.

She had the honor of representing the family of George Floyd in the civil lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis and four of its police officers, which resulted in a $27 million settlement in March of 2020.

In 2018, Bhavani had the honor to argue before the 1st Appellate District of Illinois in a sexual abuse case where she advocated for a child victim and in which the Court determined that the sexual abuse of a child cannot be considered a “de minimus” injury. Bhavani has also been honored to represent the Estate of Desiree Robinson and her family in their wrongful death action against Backpage.com and their continuing advocacy against the sex-trafficking of children. She currently serves on the team representing family members of Javier Ambler against Williamson County and its officers for Mr. Ambler’s death, as well as on several other high-profile police misconduct cases throughout the country.

In 2021, Bhavani successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on behalf of the family of a police misconduct victim who died in custody after being held face-down in a positional restraint regarding whether qualified immunity would apply.  

Before joining Romanucci & Blandin, Bhavani practiced as a general civil attorney with a McHenry, Illinois firm, Diamond & LeSueur, P.C. After obtaining her law degree, Bhavani completed a fellowship in human rights litigation at DC-based International Rights Advocates working to hold American corporations answerable for funding and causing overseas abuse of human rights. During law school, she also served as a student attorney for the International Human Rights Clinic, as a legal intern at Torture Abolition and Survivor Coalition International, and as a civil rights law clerk at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Chicago. These experiences solidified Bhavani’s passion for helping those who have suffered injustices and violations of their basic rights and freedoms.

In her free time, Bhavani enjoys a good sandwich, contemplating the general state of the world, volunteering with her temple, and quality time with her family and friends.

Practice Areas

Education & Certifications

  • J.D., American University-Washington College of Law, 2012
  • B.A., Case Western Reserve University, 2009

Awards & Recognition

  • American Association for Justice Leonard Weinglass in Defense of Civil Liberties Award, 2021
  • American Association for Justice, Certificate of Recognition, 2020, 2021
  • Emerging Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company, 2018-2021
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2021, 2022
  • Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers®, 2018-2021
  • Top Women Lawyers in Chicago - Daily Herald Business Ledger, 2019
  • Top 10 Motor Vehicle Accident Verdicts in Illinois in the year 2019, Carreon v. City of Chicago
  • Top 50 Motor Vehicle Accident Verdicts in the United States in the year 2019, Carreon v. City of Chicago
  • Graduated cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law
  • Graduated magna cum laude, with honors in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University
  • Recipient of the Case Western Reserve University Women’s Club Prize, 2007
  • Recipient of the Case Western Reserve University Provost Scholarship, 2006

Notable Cases

  • Family of George Floyd v. City of Minneapolis and officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death, March 2021, civil rights, $27M settlement
  • Carreon v. City of Chicago, April 2019, police chase, $21.3M verdict
  • Wilson v. City of Elkhart, Indiana police pursuit, $700,000 settlement
  • Doe v. Conf. Bus Co. and School District, sexual assault of minor, $700,000 settlement
  • Pippenburg v. McCook, sexual assault and harassment, $500,000 settlement
  • Plaintiff v. Indiana Police Department, police assault of 20-year-old man, $290,000 settlement
  • Lippe v. Oklahoma City, assault by off-duty police officer, $187,000 settlement
  • Does v. North Suburban HS District, educational abuse, Confidential

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Illinois, 2012
  • S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, 2020
  • Northern District of Illinois, 2016
  • Southern District of Illinois, 2016
  • Central District of Illinois, 2017
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2016
  • Northern District of Indiana, 2017
  • Southern District of Indiana, 2017
  • Federal District of Colorado, 2017
  • Federal District of North Dakota, 2017

Newsroom

Press Releases

Articles

Videos

Speaking Engagements

  • “School and Police Misconduct Intake – Best Methods for Case Intake and Evaluation”, CLE Presenter, January 2017
  • “Combatting Human Trafficking Through the Courts”, Bradley University, Lecturer, April 2019
  • I am Jane Doe Screening and Panel at the Park Hyatt Chicago, Panelist on Sex-Trafficking Litigation, January 2018
  • Building Resumes and Interview Skills, Legal Prep Charter School, Presenter
  • “Battling Implicit Bias at Trial”, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Presenter, May 2020
  • “Battling Implicit Bias at Trial”, Washington State Association for Justice, Presenter, September 2020
  • “8th Amendment – Failure to Provide Medical Care”, New Jersey Association for Justice, Presenter, December 2020
  • “Fundamentals of Litigating Section 1983 Excessive Force”, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Co-Presenter, August 2020
  • “The Anatomy of Section 1983 Litigation”, Police Misconduct & Qualified Immunity: Reimagining We the People, Panel Participant, February 2021
  • “Tips to Combat Implicit Bias”, AAJ Litigation Group Leaders’ Committee, Presenter, February 2021
  • “Sexual Violence & Race, a Historical & Societal Perspective if Race-Based Sexual Violence”, Chicago Bar Association, Panel Participant, December 2020
  • “Overcoming Jury Bias against the Civil Rights Attorney”, AAJ Police Misconduct Litigation Group, Co-Presenter, July 2020
  • “Accountability Webinar: How do you Hold Yourself Accountable to be Anti-Racist and Anti-Sexist?”, AAJ Minority Caucus and Women’s Caucus, Panel Participant, March 2021
  • “Ethical and Moral Responsibility when Representing Communities of Color”, AAJ Minority Caucus, Civil Rights Section and Police Misconduct Litigation Group, Panel Moderator, July 2021
  • “Tips for Effective and Inclusive Communication”, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Presenter, May 2021
  • “Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment”, Federal Court Litigation Boot Camp, Presenter, April 2021
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