Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York has ordered the plaintiffs’ law firms in a securities class-action case before him to “make every effort to assign to this matter at least one minority lawyer and one woman lawyer with requisite experience,” since “this proposed class includes thousands of litigants, both male and female, arguably from diverse backgrounds.” The judge notes that he has done this sort of thing before, proudly citing an earlier case.
As Michael Krauss at Point of Law asks: “But is Judge Baer of the view that only lawyers of the same race and sex as class members can ‘represent’ them? In a securities class action? Why is that so?” Why indeed. If I were a class member here, I think I’d want the best lawyer available, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sex. But maybe that’s just me.