Shawn Cabot


            In 2004, Mr. Cabot began his career at the Law Office of Christopher Trainor & Associates.  To this day, he continues fighting for the rights of those who have had their rights trampled on or who have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness.  Mr. Cabot’s primary area of practice is in the area of constitutional law.  Over the years, he has represented clients who have been abused by the police; who have been beaten by jail guards and corrections officers; who have been robbed of their right to obtain a free and appropriate education; who have been harassed by their employers or co-employees; who have been unlawfully terminated; and who have otherwise had their rights stripped by those in positions of authority. 

            Set forth below is a snapshot of the types of cases that Mr. Cabot has litigated in protecting the rights of others.


Police Misconduct

            Throughout his career, Mr. Cabot has, without hesitation, brought civil rights lawsuits (also known as Section 1983 actions) against Michigan State Police troopers, police officers, sheriff deputies, and corrections officers from local and state jails.  Mr. Cabot has protected the rights of citizens from police brutality and misconduct all over the northern and lower peninsulas of the State of Michigan, as well as various states across the United States.  Mr. Cabot has not only litigated cases against uniformed police officers but also against undercover officers belonging to such elite Michigan State Police Multijurisdictional Narcotics Task Forces as FANG (Flint Area Narcotics Group), HUNT (Huron Undercover Narcotics Team), BAYANET (Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team), and SSCENT (State Sheriffs Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team).  In addition, Mr. Cabot has brought actions against private security guards who acted in their capacity as police officers.

            Shortly after beginning his employment with Christopher Trainor & Associates, Mr. Cabot was involved in a case involving a client who had a life-altering encounter with an off-duty Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy who was acting under his authority as a sheriff deputy and was known for his short temper and assaultive behavior.  The deputy approached the client who was seated in his automobile, punched him in the face through the window, pulled the client out of his vehicle, and proceeded to beat him until the client was unconscious.  As a result of the deputy’s horrific actions, the client suffered a closed head injury, permanent nerve damage, fractured vertebrae in his neck, and a loss of memory and cognitive ability.  The deputy’s actions were unquestionably excessive, unreasonable, and clearly violated the client’s Fourth Amendment and state law rights.  Refusing to let the deputy get away with his heinous actions, and not afraid to go toe-to-toe with a police officer, the case proceeded to trial where a multi-million dollar verdict was obtained.

            While citizens of the United States have the right to be free from unreasonable or excessive physical force at the hands of law enforcement, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution also prohibits police officers from breaking into and barging into homes without a valid search warrant.  Also, just because a police officer is armed with a signed warrant, that does mean that the search or the arrest was legal or valid; because Mr. Cabot has exposed police officers who have lied and misrepresented facts in order to obtain a warrant; and that is against the law!

            In one particular case, Mr. Cabot and the attorneys from Christopher Trainor & Associates went toe-to-toe with troopers of the Michigan State Police who were represented by attorneys from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.  In that case, the peace and safety of his clients’ home in Harrison, Michigan was stripped from them when troopers (who were menacingly dressed in combat gear) stormed into the home of a husband and wife and their small children with guns drawn; executed an unlawful drug raid; and ransacked their home causing extensive damage.  As is too often the situation, the Michigan state troopers relied on the search and arrest warrants (which were riddled with lies and half-truths); but which had also been signed and approved by a magistrate.  Despite knowing that the law on search warrant cases generally is not in favor of those who have had their homes broken into and vandalized by law enforcement, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates successfully argued that the search warrants were facially invalid and that the raid was unlawful.  Taking a firm stand against the injustices that had been wielded against his clients, Mr. Cabot filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of his clients.  In an extremely rare and almost un-heard of decision by a federal court judge, the judge ruled that Mr. Cabot’s clients were entitled to summary judgment because the search warrant to which the Michigan state troopers drafted and relied on was not supported by a proper showing of probable cause.  The troopers fought the adverse decision against them in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals where they again lost.  Ultimately, the clients obtained a financial and moral victory; and once again, law enforcement was reminded that there are lines with respect to people’s constitutional rights that they cannot ignore.

            In addition to fighting bogus warrants and going after officers who brutalize citizens, Mr. Cabot has sued officers for false arrest and malicious prosecution.  In one particular case involving officers from the Detroit Police Department, Mr. Cabot’s client was falsely arrested and put in jail because he was a witness to a murder.  The police officers ultimately pinned a murder on the client that he never committed.  Mr. Cabot’s client was arrested and charged for murder; but was ultimately acquitted of the criminal charges by a jury.  After his acquittal, a federal lawsuit was filed, which alleged various claims under the Fourth Amendment, including but not limited to: warrantless search and seizure, malicious prosecution, and false arrest.  Once again, relying on caselaw that generally favors law enforcement and puts civil rights litigants behind the proverbial “8-ball,” the Defendant police officers attempted to get a United States District Court to dismiss the case.  However, after a long, hard-fought battle, justice prevailed.  The Court determined that the arrest warrant at issue failed to create probable cause and further determined that an informant’s tip alone was not sufficient to establish probable cause.  Ultimately, the Court determined that the false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution claims were ripe to be heard by a jury.  Also, in a rare decision, the federal court upheld the client’s Monell claim and indicated that it appeared that the City of Detroit had a policy/practice/custom of handcuffing and arresting witnesses; and that the ultimate determination as to that issue had to be made by a jury.


Inmate Rights

            In addition to seeking justice against police officers, state troopers, and sheriff deputies on the streets, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates have represented clients who have been victims of abuse within jails and prisons in Michigan and across the country.  Mr. Cabot has represented inmates who have been the victims of sexual abuse and assault, physical abuse, victims of inhumane conditions of confinement, suicide, and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.  Mr. Cabot has bravely taken on large insurance defense firms, state attorney generals, and well-respected defense lawyers and fought to the bitter end to ensure that his clients obtain the justice and compensation they deserve.

            In one particular prisoner case, which has subsequently been cited by courts across the country, Mr. Cabot represented a client who suffered life-shattering injuries at the hands of a nurse while being housed in a facility under the control of the Michigan Department of Corrections.  The inmate/client had been working out in the hot temperatures of a Michigan summer when he became dizzy, complained that his head hurt, was noticeably “wobbly,” and was otherwise obviously exhibiting the signs of heat exhaustion.  Instead of tending to his obviously serious medical condition, the prison nurse told the inmate to go back to his cell, rest, and drink fluids.  The inmate/client’s condition quickly deteriorated to the point where his speech became slurred, he began to shake uncontrollably, and he eventually became unresponsive.  As a result of the nurse’s complete lack of medical attention and care, the client/inmate became a quadriplegic; despite having been an otherwise healthy young man.  The State of Michigan fought the case at every single turn; eventually taking the case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a final attempt to get the case thrown out of court and dismissed.  However, when the State fought against the client, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates fought even harder.  In fact, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the nurse and determined that a jury could ultimately conclude that the prison nurse was deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need, and that she was grossly negligent in her treatment of the inmate/client.  The appellate court’s decision finally resulted in a significant monetary settlement.

            Mr. Cabot has continued to fight for the rights of inmates housed in city and county jails and state-run prisons; protecting them against violations of the Fourth, Fourteenth, and/or Eighth Amendments; and fighting against deliberate indifference, due process violations, and grossly negligent actions and/or inactions.  Mr. Cabot has taken a firm stand and fought against prison guards and corrections officers who believe they can assault inmates or strip them of their dignity and get away with it; and has continued to be the voice for incarcerated citizens who have been attacked, beaten, and who have lost their lives at the hands of corrections officers and jailers.  Unfortunately, it is all too often the case that society turns its back on those housed in our country’s correctional institutions; however, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates has not forgotten these incarcerated men and women and have been the champions for prisoner civil rights in the court system.


Rights of School Children

            Mr. Cabot’s practice not only involves protecting the rights of citizen’s on our streets and in our jails; but he zealously advocates for the rights of children who sit in school classrooms, whether they attend a state-run school system, public school academy, or charter school.  Once we put our children on a school bus or drop them off at the schoolhouse doors, we entrust their care to teachers and administrators who are supposed to ensure that our children are not only properly educated and not simply swept under the rug, but that that they are learning in a safe environment.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case. 

            Despite the abundance of laws and statutes that protect school teachers and administrators and make bringing legal action against them difficult, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates have faced those challenges head on; bringing justice and a voice to those who in society who are the most vulnerable and have the weakest voices.  Mr. Cabot has represented students who have been assaulted and falsely imprisoned by teachers; and has also been involved in litigation on behalf of students who have been bullied by students while at school or on school buses.  Claims under state and federal law have been brought to protect students’ Fourteenth Amendment due process rights; rights under the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Act; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Gross Negligence; Equal Protection; Michigan’s Child Protection Law; the Americans With Disabilities Act; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).


Employment Rights

            Throughout his career, Mr. Cabot has also been involved in employment cases involving the rights of both public and private employees.  Mr. Cabot’s clients have included employees from the private retail sector (national chain stores) as well as from the public sector (representing public employees of cities, states, prisons, jails, police departments, and other governmental agencies).

            Mr. Cabot has fought for those employees who have been terminated, demoted, or otherwise faced adverse employment actions because of unscrupulous employers, bosses, or supervisors.  Armed with high profile attorneys and the resources of nationally recognized law firms, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates have not been intimidated and have not backed down in zealously representing their clients.  Mr. Cabot has been involved in cases involving sexual and racial harassment and discrimination; retaliation; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); Title VII; the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act; the First and Fourteenth Amendments; free speech; violations of due process rights; equal protection; wrongful discharge; breach of contract; retaliatory discharge under the First and Fourteenth Amendments; and Section 1985 conspiracy.

            Mr. Cabot has also been successful in bringing actions against private employers under the intentional tort exception to the Michigan workers compensation law (MCL 418.131).  In Michigan, an employee’s sole remedy when he or she is injured on the job is typically those benefits enumerated within the workers compensation statute.  However, there is an exception to that general rule; and that exception is referred to as the intentional tort exception.  To prevail on the workers compensation intentional tort theory, the injured worker must essentially prove that he or she was injured as the result of a deliberate act of the employer and that the employer specifically intended an injury.  Needless to say, the cards are stacked against an employee who tries to sue his or her employer for injuries sustained in a workplace accident; and the cases in support of an injured worker in this area of the law in Michigan are very few in number.  However, this has not stopped Mr. Cabot or Christopher Trainor & Associates from going to bat for injured employees and obtaining sizable settlements in the face of seeming insurmountable odds.



            Mr. Cabot has also represented countless clients who were victims of landlords or property owners who just simply did not care about the conditions in which their tenants lived.  His representation of clients has not been limited to rental homes or apartment complexes, but has included manufactured homes as well.  In one particular case, Mr. Cabot brought a multi-count state court action against the manufacturer of a manufactured home; the seller of the manufactured home; the concrete company involved in pouring the pillars and foundation; the electrical contractor; and others.  At one point in the case, Mr. Cabot faced an army of eight (8) attorneys acting in concert to get the case dismissed.  Undeterred by the number of attorneys fighting against him and the constant barrage of attempts to dismiss the case, Mr. Cabot fought to the bitter end; ultimately obtaining a very favorable outcome for his clients.


Slips & Falls

            Mr. Cabot has also represented those needlessly injured because of injuries sustained as a result of city sidewalks that have not been properly maintained; parking lots and walkways of private businesses that have been neglected; and injuries sustained because of homeowners who failed to keep their premises safe.  While Michigan law has attempted to limit a person’s recovery in these types of cases, Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates have been successful in finding the loopholes in the law and using them to the advantage of their clients.


Trial & Appellate Advocacy

            Mr. Cabot does not back down in the face of a threat of trial.  If the client wants his or her day in Court, that is what Mr. Cabot will give them.  In fact, Mr. Cabot’s demeanor, zeal, and case preparation, has earned him the reputation of a fine trial advocate by judges in both the state and federal court systems.  And if you cannot find Mr. Cabot in the trial court arguing on behalf of his clients, you will likely find him in the state appeals court or the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit using his oral advocacy skills in persuading appellate court judges to rule in his client’s favor.

            Mr. Cabot and Christopher Trainor & Associates have a well-established reputation of not only fighting hard for their clients and obtaining favorable results, but for taking cases that are difficult and having been rejected by other law firms, and transforming them into cases resulting in a positive outcome.  While many other firms have refused to take a case because it was too labor intensive or did not appear to be “worth it,” Christopher Trainor & Associates and Mr. Cabot have taken those same cases and have obtained significant results on behalf of their clients.