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Employment suits, for profit or not?

The Wal-Mart sex discrimination case is one of a growing number of cases in which plaintiff's firms are forming joint ventures to sue employers and other corporate defendants, "often pairing nonprofits with more materially minded private lawyers". A big advantage of the latter approach, openly boasted of by some of its strategists: you can sell the lawsuit to the public as motivated by a selfless concern with fighting discrimination rather than the chasing of fees, even if many of the private firms involved in the action are indeed known for chasing fees. (Nathan Koppel, "Wal-Mart Suit Will Test Alliance of Public and Private Firms", The American Lawyer, Aug. 10). Only days later, an AP reporter obediently portrayed the Wal-Mart suit -- which is being pushed by four plaintiff's firms including Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll -- as all about idealism rather than money (David Kravets, "Attorney suing Wal-Mart sees justice, not dollar signs", AP/San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 22).

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.