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The William Trine Law Fellowship was established to honor Human Rights Defense Center board member Bill Trine, a nationally renowned trial lawyer, author and teacher, who spent his 55 years as a trial lawyer representing people seeking justice for violations of their civil rights, and for injuries and deaths caused by corporate and governmental abuse and wrongdoing.

Bill is a past president and founder of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ), a public interest law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., and a past president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. He was honored with the first Norm Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and with the Access to Justice Award in 2014. He is co-author of the best-selling book, Winning Medical Negligence Cases, and the author of more than 75 published articles. Bill retired in 2014, but continues to write and teach.

William Trine
William Trine




2017-present: Masimba Mutamba

Masimba Mutamba
Masimba Mutamba

Masimba Mutamba is HRDC's inaugural William A. Trine fellow and an HRDC staff attorney who works on civil rights matters. Masimba graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law, where he was an associate editor of the University of Miami International & Comparative Law Review. In addition, Masimba participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court competition where he received a Best Oralist award. He further competed on behalf of the law school in the Willem C. Vis International Arbitration competition in Vienna. Masimba obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) degree with distinction from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Prior to joining HRDC, Masimba litigated complex real estate cases on behalf of Fortune 500 financial institutions and a nationwide mortgage servicer. He handled matters in various state and federal courts and at both the trial and appellate level. Further, Masimba represented individuals against municipal police departments in civil rights actions and represented the rights of a student in an administrative proceeding against a school board under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More recently, he worked at a full-service immigration law firm representing clients across the country in lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its attendant immigration agencies, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In that position, Masimba handled complex family and business immigration matters consisting of administrative appeals, federal court lawsuits based on administrative immigration decisions, as well as immigration appeals before the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Masimba is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida and is admitted to the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the District of Colorado, the District of New Mexico, and the Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals. He is an Executive Board member of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association, a member of the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Section of the Palm Beach County Bar Association.

As a William Trine Law Fellow, Masimba has appeared in anti-censorship cases that protect the rights of prisoners to freely communicate and maintain access to reading materials.

To date, Masimba has appeared in:

Prison Legal News v. Sec’y, Fla. Dept. of Corrs., No. 18-355 (2018);

Brown v. Stored Value Cards, Inc., et al., No. 18-35735 (9th Cir. 2018);

HRDC v. Forest Cnty, et al., No. 2:18-cv-00184 (S.D. Miss. 2018);

Lorine Gaines v. Jones, et al., No. 4:18-cv-00367 (N.D. Fla. 2018);

HRDC v. Corizon Health, Inc., No. 2018 CA 009487 (Fla. 15th Cir. Ct. 2018);

H.C., a minor v. Bradshaw, et al., No. 9:18-cv-80810 (S.D. Fla. 2018);

HRDC v. Lewis Hatcher, et al., No. 7:17-cv-00614 (E.D.N.C. 2017);

HRDC v. Rodney Ballard, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00057 (E.D. Ky. 2017);

HRDC v. County of Los Angeles, et al., No. 2:17-cv-04883 (C.D. Cal. 2017);

HRDC v. Baxter County, et al., No. 3:17-cv-03070 (W.D. Ark. 2017);

PLN v. Management & Training Corp., et al., No. 2:16-cv-01174 (D.N.M. 2016);

HRDC v. San Miguel Cnty, et al., No. 1:18-cv-00355 (D.N.M. 2018);

HRDC v. Santa Fe Cnty, et al.,No. 1:18-cv-00305 (D.N.M. 2018);

HRDC v. Sw Virginia Reg. Jail Auth., et al., No. 1:18-cv-00013 (W.D. Va. 2018);

HRDC v. John Baldwin, et al., No. 1:18-cv-01136 (N.D. Ill. 2018);

Joe Rudy Reyes v. JPay, Inc., et al., 2:18-cv-00315 (C.D. Cal. 2018);

Jeffrey Reichert v. Keefe Commissary Network, LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-05848 (W.D. Wa. 2017);

HRDC v. Greene Cnty., et al., No. 1:17-cv-00730 (S.D. Ohio 2017);

HRDC v. Union Cnty., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01064 (W.D. Ark. 2017);

PLN v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, No. 1:15-cv-02184 (D. Colo. 2015);

PLN v. Nw Reg. Jail Auth., et al., No. 5:15-cv-00061 (W.D. Va. 2015); and

PLN v. Charles L. Ryan, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02245 (D. Ariz. 2015).




The William Trine Law Fellowship receives support from foundations, law firms and individuals. This support safeguards civil and human rights across the country; HRDC sincerely thanks the donors who support this fellowship and have made possible the work of its fellows.

If you are interested in supporting the William Trine Law Fellowship, please contact HRDC's Development Coordinator, Michelle Dillon:




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