As we near the end of March, we are reminded of a grim, yet significant milestone in our lives, in passing the one-year mark since the coronavirus began sweeping through our communities, and irrevocably changing and reshaping our lives.

Around this time last year, the World Health Organization had just declared COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic, and everything began to shut down. As governments started to close public spaces, schools, and in-person gatherings, little did we know what the next twelve months would hold and what our new sense of normal would become.

However, despite the world being at a standstill, our advocacy work on behalf of those being harmed by the pandemic was just getting started. In early March, we launched a new COVID resources page on our website to help attorneys combat the corporations that are using the pandemic as an excuse to delay justice and block the courthouse doors. This resource page includes orders, opinions, briefs and other material you can use in your own practice, which we hope you will continue to use for your fight in ensuring the courts work for everyone. Today, with the pandemic still raging on in many communities across the country, we will continue to stand by your side during this time of health, safety, and economic concern.

As we take this time to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, we want to recognize all of our members who have been fighting to ensure that justice prevails, as they keep on fighting predatory corporate conduct, protecting frontline workers, and beating back attempts to immunize companies from bad behavior. At Public Justice, we're also continuing to fight for those who are most vulnerable during this time. The pandemic isn't over yet, and neither is our work in seeking justice for all.

While this month brought us to a moment of reflection on all that changed since one year ago, that didn't stop us from having a busy and productive March. From a historic lawsuit challenging perhaps former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos's most enduring legacy to a series of Supreme Court cases with far-reaching implications, you can read all about our recent and upcoming work below.

Finally, we cannot conclude this month without recognizing a transformative gift bestowed upon our organization that will help greatly enhance our efforts to stop court secrecy.

We are pleased to announce that Public Justice recently received a transformative gift of $2.4 million from the Arthur and Charlotte Zitrin Foundation of San Francisco to fund the Richard Zitrin Anti-Secrecy Attorney.

This gift, the largest ever in our organization's 39-year history, will provide for an advocate charged with preventing the scourge of courthouse secrecy caused by secret settlements and overbroad court protective orders that hide information from the public. This advocate will continue Public Justice’s longstanding efforts to break the barrier of secrecy in individual cases, and deepen Public Justice’s commitment to attack secrecy through legislative and other means. A priority will be fighting secrets about dangerous, defective, and fraudulent products.
“We must break the barriers that prevent public awareness about dangers to the public health and safety," said Richard Zitrin, the Foundation's president. "When corporations put profits before safety and trial courts issue overbroad secrecy orders in the interests of ‘efficiency,’ the public becomes the victim. And the damage to the public falls disproportionately on the poor and communities of color."

Read more about this unprecedented, incredible gift on the Updates section of our webpage.
On March 8, on behalf of the Women's Student Union at Berkeley High School in California, we joined the National Center for Youth Law and Correia & Puth, PLLC to file a legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Education's Trump-era Title IX regulations that put students nationwide in greater danger.

As explained in the legal challenge, the 2020 regulations adopted by the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos limit what type of misconduct is considered sexual harassment, remove schools' obligation to address reports of sexual harassment, and a number of other dangerous provisions that further prevent students from accessing justice when they are harmed.

In the complaint, WSU urges the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to strike down these harmful provisions that uphold DeVos's shameful legacy of tearing down students' protections and allowing schools to avoid accountability.

On the same day we filed the lawsuit, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Department of Education to review the Title IX regulations. While we were glad to hear that the Biden Administration is looking at this issue, this lawsuit intends to offer the court an opportunity to more swiftly erase some of the worst parts of the regulations and restore critical protections that students need now.

In an article covering DeVos's Title IX rules, NBC News spoke with Kazan Budd Staff Attorney Alexandra Brodsky and a WSU officer regarding the lawsuit. View additional coverage on our In the News webpage.

This legal challenge is part of our Students' Civil Rights Project. Learn more about our work advocating for students' access to justice here.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two major cases, the outcome of which hold far-reaching and serious implications for class action lawsuits that could deeply affect the ability for people to join together to prevent social and economic injustice when consumers' rights are violated.

Ramirez v. TransUnion involves a credit reporting agency that was found to have wrongly labeled thousands of people as terrorists. As damaging as this sounds, TransUnion claims that there was "no harm done" unless you're able to prove that the credit agency sold this false information to a third party. Currently, the $2.3 billion company wants the Supreme Court to step in and wipe away compensation for the 8,100 people wrongly labeled as terrorists or drug kingpins, with a ruling that in effect that the designation is no big deal.

Our Executive Director Paul Bland recently wrote a blog post for the Daily Kos, detailing the background of the case and why the Supreme Court must recognize the harm TransUnion has caused and reject its position. In addition to the blog post, you can also read our amicus brief we wrote in support of the plaintiffs, which sets out in great detail how risky and harmful it is for consumers to have false information like this in their credit files.

In Arkansas Teacher Retirement System v. Goldman Sachs, this class action lawsuit brought against the investment company claims that Goldman Sachs committed serious securities fraud. Originally filed over ten years ago, this case was brought on by shareholders who bought stock in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis at a price artificially inflated by Goldman's false statements regarding its high standards of conduct and strong protections of strong interest. However, unknown to the customers and investors, Goldman was reaping rewards from the creation of a complex type of mortgage-backed security, known as a “collateralized debt obligation”, backed by doomed-to-fail mortgages. Even worse, Goldman had worked with one favored hedge fund customer, who was planning to short (or bet against) a particular CDO, to maximize its chances of failure. Goldman then turned around and sold that CDO to other unsuspecting customers without warning them it had been designed to fail.

This month, we joined three dozen allies in releasing a statement explaining the ramifications of this case if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Goldman Sachs. In our statement, we layout Goldman's history of wrongdoing in this case, and why this case is so critical for the future of investor protection and market integrity. If the investment company gets their way, it will make it a lot easier for corporations to cheat investors out of their life savings - and even worse - it will signal to other corporations that they can get away with it.
Both cases emphasize the ways in which class action lawsuits have been central to holding corporations accountable for scams and fraud, equipping ordinary people with resources to fight against America's biggest corporations. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of either Goldman Sachs or TransUnion, this could have damaging effects on investors' and consumers' ability to protect themselves, by granting immunity to corporations and signaling to them that their misconduct can continue, unpunished. With both these cases, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to restore Americans' faith as both consumers and investors, in knowing that companiesno matter how big or too powerfulmust be held accountable.

Last month, Paul appeared on Mike Papantonio's America's Lawyer to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court cases and their implications. Click here to watch the episode. Oral arguments for both cases will be held next week. The Supreme Court will hear the Goldman Sachs' case on Monday, March 29; and the TransUnion case on Tuesday, March 30.
On March 19, Public Justice joined Texas Watch and CaseyGerry to file an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court, in support of a case against Amazon over serious injuries that occurred after a young child ingested batteries from a defective remote purchased on

In the brief, we argue that Amazon is liable both under Texas law and as a matter of public policy. Amazon claims that it should not be held responsible when items sold from third-party vendors cause harm to its consumers. However, in our brief, which was quoted in the Financial Times's coverage of the lawsuit, Amazon should be responsible for vetting its third-party vendors: "This is no different than if he had gone to a physical store, except Amazon shipped him the product rather than handing it to him after retrieving it from the warehouse.”

Our brief argues that the Texas Supreme Court's decision must hold Amazon accountable for selling defective and dangerous products. Such a decision may prompt Amazon to better regulate third-party vendors and incentivize ending its relationship with sellers who would put customers in harm's way.

On March 25, the Texas Supreme Court heard arguments in McMillan v. Amazon. The Court is expected to make its ruling by June. Click here to view the recording of the March hearing.
Do you prefer working from home in sweatpants or pajamas?

Join in the friendly competition between Team Sweatpants and Team Pajamas to raise funds and grow our network during our Spring Phonathon on Thursday, May 6!

All are welcome! Please contact Membership Manager Megan Kyte at to learn more.
We are proud to announce a special virtual wine tasting hosted by Thirty-Seven Wines proprietors, Public Justice Past President Al Brayton and his wife Lisa. This special tasting event will benefit Public Justice and support our consumer, environmental, civil rights and other work.

Please join us Wednesday, April 15 at 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific to sample an extraordinary selection of wines specifically chosen for Public Justice supporters by Al, Lisa and the vineyard’s winemaker. You’ll learn more about how each wine is created and what makes them unique – all while supporting the work of Public Justice.

2018 Essential Riesling
92 points, Wine Enthusiast
48 cases produced

2018 Essential Grenache
96 points, Best of Class, North Coast Wine Challenge
Gold Medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition
90 cases produced

2016 Reserve Malbec
Gold Medal, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Gold Medal, Sonoma County Harvest Fair
68 cases produced

You receive all three wines for $169 (+shipping), and $75 of your order will be contributed to Public Justice by Thirty-Seven Wines.

To get started, please use the following link to order directly from Thirty-Seven Wines Public Justice VT Pack. In order to have the wines shipped in time, you must order by Monday, April 5. A few days before the tasting, Lisa will send you instructions for the tasting and Zoom login information.
As a bonus, Al and Lisa are also donating an additional 10% of all wine orders from April 16 - 23 to Public Justice.

If you have any questions regarding the tasting, please reach out to Senior Meetings & Events Manager or 703-517-6418.
Public Justice welcomes this month's new members - your unwavering commitment to our mission to combat injustice helps us reach our goals.

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