Nakisha N. Chaney

Nakisha N. Chaney

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Rights Attorney in Northville, MI

Salvatore Prescott Porter & Porter
 | 105 E. Main St., Northville, MI 48167
Phone: 248-679-8711
Fax: 248-773-7280
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2021
Licensed Since: 2003
Practice Areas:
  • Civil Rights (60%),
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (40%)
    Attorney Profile

    From negotiating employment contracts to representing human trafficking survivors in civil litigation, Nakisha Chaney’s practice focuses on empowering individuals who desire to know, secure, and enforce their legal rights. Nakisha is an employment, civil and human rights litigator. Her clients range from highly-compensated professionals who want to negotiate an employment or separation agreement to vulnerable low-wage earners who seek recourse for labor exploitation and other workplace harms. Nakisha has represented clients in actions involving sex harassment and discrimination; race, age and disability discrimination; retaliation and whistleblowing; prison abuse; contract and noncompete negotiation and litigation; and human trafficking. Nakisha also counsels and represents college students, professors, and employees in disciplinary proceedings.

    Nakisha’s cases have been featured in statewide and regional media coverage, including through outlets in Atlanta (GA), South Bend (IN), Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor. In 2016, Nakisha was featured in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s verdicts and settlements. Nakisha has been a featured speaker on issues of employment litigation, sexual harassment, and human trafficking for groups at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Oberlin College, as well as for numerous organizations in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Nakisha is a member of the National Black Lawyers-Top 100, and she currently serves on the State Bar of Michigan’s District Character and Fitness Committee.

    Prior to joining Salvatore Prescott & Porter, Nakisha was a Senior Attorney at NachtLaw P.C., where she practiced employment and civil rights litigation. She previously served as a commercial litigator at Dickinson Wright PLLC and clerked for two years at the Michigan Supreme Court.

    Nakisha earned her BA from Oberlin College, Phi Beta Kappa and with high honors. She earned her JD from the University of Michigan Law School where she was a member of the Journal of Gender and Law.


    About Nakisha Chaney

    Admitted: 2003, Michigan

    Professional Webpage:


    • The Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” Award recognizes persons or organizations that have fostered greater awareness and sensitivity to racial, ethnic and gender bias issues in the legal system and have made strides towards the goal of eliminating such biases., Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Award, Washtenaw County Bar Association , 2018
    • Selected in 2018., Super Lawyers - Employment Litigation, Super Lawyers, 2018
    • National Black Lawyers - Top 100, 2016

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified, ICLE's 40-Hour General Civil Mediation Training, 2018

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • State Bar of Michigan District Character and Fitness Committee Member, 2016

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Board of Directors, Student Advocacy Center of Michigan, 2016
    • Board of Directors, Ozone House, 2016
    • Board of Directors, Sanctum House, 2017
    • Member, Amnesty International, 2016

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Served as keynote speaker, Keynote Speaker, Human Trafficking Conference, Private Enforcement: The Role of Civil Litigation in Combating Human Trafficking, Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, 2018
    • Guest lectured in class regarding sexual harasssment in the workplace, rights and responsibilities. , Guest Lecturer, Sexual Harassment, University of Michigan, College of Engineering, 2018
    • Authored chapter "Civil Rights Damages" (with contribution from Nelson Miller) in ICLE Book Damages and Remedies in Michigan. , Author, "Civil Rights Damages" , Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2018
    • Served as panelist with focus on workplace culture. , Panelist, Sexual Harassment Policies and Investigations Seminar, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2018
    • The Role of Civil Litigation in the Anti-Human Trafficking Effort, Speaker, Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, 2017
    • Human Trafficking, Panelist, Citizen Education Law Clinic, 2016
    • Labor Trafficking: Identification and Legal Remedies, Speaker, SW Detroit Workmen's Committee Meeting, 2013
    • From Oberlin Grad to Human Trafficking Litigator, Speaker, Oberlin College, 2016
    • The Role of Lawyers in Combating Human Trafficking, Speaker, Michigan State University College of Law, 2016
    • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Guest Lecturer, University of Michigan College of Engineering, 2016
    • Insights into the Legal Profession, Speaker, University of Michigan, Kappa Alpha Pi Prelaw Fraternity, 2016
    • Employment Practices and Pitfalls, Speaker, Nonprofit Administrators' Forum, 2016
    • Discovery and Depositions, Lecturer, CORT Basic Lawyers Skills Training, 2014
    • Identifying and Dealing with Bullying in the Workplace, Faculty, ICLE Labor and Employment Law Institute, 2013
    • Workplace Bullying State Law Survey, Contributor, American Bar Association Rights and Responsibilities Statutory Rights Subcommittee, 2013
    • Book Review: Employment Litigation in Michigan, Reviewer, State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment LawNotes, 2013
    • Civil Litigation and Human Trafficking, Guest Speaker, 910 am Detroit (radio), 2016
    • The Private Cause of Action and the Fight Against Human Trafficking, Author, Labor and Employment LawNotes, 2015
    • Michigan's Human Trafficking Laws, Presenter, Lucas County (Ohio) Human Trafficking Coalition, 2015
    • Human Trafficking and Our Children: Detection, Protection and Prevention, Conference Co-organizor/Moderator, 2014
    • Human Trafficking, Panelist, Women's Lawyers Ass'n of Michigan - Washtenaw Region, 2013
    • Labor Trafficking, Author, Res Ipsa Loquitur, 2013
    • Combating Human Trafficking in Our Own Backyard: The Role of Civil Litigation, Panelist, Women Laywers Ass'n of Michigan - Wayne Region Annual Meeting, 2013
    • Know Your Rights: Title VII, ELCRA, AWPA and TVPA, Co-Presenter, SW Detroit Workmen's Committee, 2013
    • Know Your Rights: Title VII, ELCRA, AWPA and TVPA, Co-Presenter, SW Detroit Workmen's Committee, 2013
    • Hidden in Plain Sight: Labor Trafficking in Michigan, Author, Labor and Employment LawNotes, 2012
    • The Right to Education, Speaker, Oberlin College, 2010
    • Sexual Harassment Training for U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, Trainer, 2014
    • Sex Trafficking, Speaker, House Of The Lord Church Women's Convention, 2012
    • How-to-Kit: Bring a Claim under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, Author, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2009
    • DEQ Seeks New Beachhead in Shoreline Development, Co-Author, Michigan Bar Journal, 2011
    • Authored book chapter discussing the available remedies for human trafficking and discrimination in public accommodations, housing, education, and credit (with contribution by Nelson Miller), Author, Civil Rights Damages, ICLE, 2018
    • Guest speaker for University of Michigan's Society of Women Engineers on topic of sexual harassment. , Speaker, Sexual Harassment, 2018


    • In a pioneering human trafficking case brought in the Eastern District of Michigan federal court (Docket No. 2:15-cv-10724) by Nakisha Chaney, Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III this week entered a half-million-dollar judgment against Michigan psychiatrist Mamoun Dabbagh for his role in a human trafficking scheme. The landmark decision, described by Martina Vandenberg of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center as "a tremendous victory for human trafficking survivors," concludes more than a year of contested litigation in which Plaintiff sought to hold Dr. Dabbagh accountable for providing prescriptions for pills that her trafficker used to forcibly drug her. Relying on 18 U.S.C. § 1595, a relatively little known federal law that allows victims to sue anyone who knowingly financially benefits from participating in a human trafficking scheme, Plaintiff Jane Doe sued Dr. Dabbagh for helping her trafficker forcibly drug her with Adderall by providing prescriptions for pills. After a lengthy period of contested litigation and Dr. Dabbagh's subsequent disappearance, the Court entered judgment against Dr. Dabbagh, ordering him to pay Plaintiff more than $500,000.00 in damages, fees and costs. Notably, this is the first known civil judgment to hold a third-party facilitator liable under this theory of liability. Remarking on the importance of this judgment, Ms. Vandenberg observed, "This is an enormously significant judgment in a case that reflects the pioneering use of human trafficking laws to hold a third-party facilitator accountable . . . The judgment is a reminder that the survivor's right to sue those who knowingly benefit from their participation in trafficking is a powerful weapon in combating and deterring human trafficking."  , 2016

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Hosted delegates from Bangladesh’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons Project and Bahrain’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, 2016

    Educational Background:

    • Oberlin College, B.A. African American Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, with High Honors, 1998
    • University of Michigan Law School, 2001
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    Office Location for Nakisha N. Chaney

    105 E. Main St.
    Northville, MI 48167

    Nakisha N. Chaney:

    Last Updated: 3/15/2021

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