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Bar News - January 16, 2009

Employment Discrimination Plaintiffs Do Poorly in Court

Study Shows Bleak Landscape for Employees in Federal Courts

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) has released a study revealing new data that show "the federal courts disfavor employment discrimination plaintiffs, who are now forswearing use of those courts." The study, "Employment Discrimination Plaintiffs in Federal Court: From Bad to Worse?" by Stewart J. Schwab, Dean of the Cornell Law School, and Kevin M. Clermont, law professor at the Cornell Law School, explores the decline in success of employment discrimination cases in the federal court system.

Author’s comment: "This article uses data from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to convey the realities of federal employment discrimination litigation. Litigants in these "jobs" cases appeal more often than other litigants, with the defendants doing far better on appeal than the plaintiffs. These troublesome facts might help explain why today many fewer plaintiffs are undertaking the frustrating route into federal district court…where, at both pretrial and trial, these plaintiffs lose more often than other federal plaintiffs."

View the complete study.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is one of the nation’s leading progressive legal organizations. The views of the authors and panelists are their own and should not be attributed to ACS.

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