As we head into the summer months, our team at Public Justice is busier than ever. From preparing for our virtual Annual Gala and Awards Celebration to celebrating an unprecedented win in court against the corporate behemoth Monsanto (see more below!), we have much to share with you regarding our recent successes, ongoing work, and what's in store for us in the near future.

First, we are excited to announce the finalists for the 2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award! This year, our three finalists have accomplished outstanding and historic work. The changes they have made through the legal system echo across countless communities, and we look forward to highlighting them in the coming months. This year's finalist cases tackle issues regarding police brutality and corruption, a historic breach-of-trust lawsuit impacting thousands of Native Hawaiians, and a class action on behalf of thousands of inmates illegally overcharged for making phone calls to their families. Learn more about each of our finalists here.

Finally, this past Tuesday marked a grave reminder of the work that still needs to be done in fighting our nation's systemic racism, as we honored the life of George Floyd and mourned the one-year anniversary of his murder. In a recent update from our team, we renewed our commitment toward bringing about meaningful change by continuing our work to end qualified immunity, and supporting legislation that holds government officials and law enforcement accountable.

"On this one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we at Public Justice want to especially hold his family, friends and supporters in our hearts and minds. We believe, as Floyd’s then-6-year-old daughter Gianna said, ‘Daddy changed the world’.

But we also believe that in a just world, it would not take the murder of a Black man by police to galvanize action and change. That’s the world Public Justice is fighting for."
Despite a nearly impossible-to-follow news cycle, Public Justice staff have continued to garner press coverage for their vibrant case docket and other legal advocacy. Here are just a few recent highlights:

  • This month, our Senior Attorney Karla Gilbride, who is part of the legal team representing Amazon workers and their families at Amazon's JFK8 Staten Island facility who allege Amazon's failure to protect its workers from COVID-19 is a public nuisance, presented oral arguments in the workers' appeal to a Second Circuit Court of Appeals panel. "The court doesn't need to wait for OSHA to do something," Gilbride told the Second Circuit. Karla's arguments in Palmer v. Amazon were recently featured in Law360's coverage of our appeal. Click here to listen to the recording of the argument.
  • Our Kazan Budd Staff Attorney Alexandra Brodsky recently spoke with The Chronicle for Higher Education regarding her own experience in advocating for the civil rights and safety of students and the status of Title IX, as the federal government re-examines its rules for the third time in 10 years: "'The question is, what is necessary for a victim to be able to fully participate in campus life?' [...] Sometimes, that is not possible for a survivor if they are sharing a campus with a person who assaulted them.'"
  • Our Senior Attorney Leah Nicholls recently published an article for The Legal Examiner, describing a critical issue for plaintiffs seeking justice regarding document discovery. Using a recent decision in the Nichols v. Noom case, Leah explains why it sets a concerning precedent for the scope of document discovery: "Which office software your opponent uses shouldn’t dictate whether you can discover the information you need to prevail in litigation."
  • In early May, the DOJ alleged it never ordered Tyson Foods to keep its plants open during the early months of the COVID pandemic despite Tyson's claims, according to a recent filing in a federal case before the Eighth Circuit. Our Food Project Staff Attorney Randy Chen spoke to FERN regarding Tyson's attempt to skirt responsibility: "If the court rejects Tyson’s argument, it would have 'a lot of implications for any other worker who’s been injured at a meatpacking plant because of COVID'".
This month, Public Justice scored a critical victory for consumers nationwide and for access to justice. On May 14, we won the appeal in Hardeman v. Monsanto, in which Monsanto challenged an $80 million verdict on behalf of a California man who contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from his exposure to Roundup.

This is the first appellate ruling in the country on this issue and will affect the rights of millions of current and future victims of the dangerous herbicide. On this important win, our Senior Attorney Leslie Brueckner who served as co-lead counsel on behalf of Hardeman spoke with "This is a resounding rejection of Monsanto’s attempts to immunize itself from liability for the terrible injuries caused by Roundup [...] It’s a huge victory for public safety."
Read Leslie's latest blog post for a detailed rundown of the case, and the major significance of this decision for the millions of victims of Roundup across the nation:

"Decisions like this one are the only thing that can put pressure on Monsanto to put a cancer warning on Roundup. That’s what makes this victory so important. The civil justice system is often the only way to hold powerful actors accountable for their wrongdoing. When juries speak out often enough, and loudly enough, companies are forced to listen—and change their ways."
Plant-based meat is all the rage these days. Most recently, it was discussed in a New York Times op-ed by Ezra Klein, in which he argues that removing animals from our food system will solve the many problems it causes.

However, according to our Food Project Director Jessica Culpepper, "there's no silver bullet to curing the destructive industry that is animal agribusiness."

Recently, Jessica recently weighed in on this growing trend of meatless meat in a recent blog post, in which she lays out the larger forces at work that impact our food system and our communities: "Without tackling the root of the problem and dismantling corporate control of the food system, meatless meats will perpetuate the same harms they supposedly prevent."
At the Food Project, we know real food solutions will shift power toward people and communities that are currently being harmed by our food system, and away from corporations who put profit over people and the environment.

We're building a movement that will fight for a food system free from extraction and exploitation. Visit the Food Project's website here.
Celebrating Champions of Change:
The 39th Annual Public Justice Gala & Awards Ceremony
A Special Virtual Event Experience
Save your "seat"! Make your plan to join us virtually on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at 7 pm ET for Public Justice's 39th Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony.

Join us as we celebrate and honor changemakers from across the country including the 2021 Champion of Justice Award-Winner, Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalists & Winner, Public Justice President Eric L. Cramer, and more!
If you would like to attend or sponsor the Gala, click here or the button below. All sponsors will be recognized on our website and invitation, as well as during the event. The deadline to be included on the invitation is Tuesday, June 1, so don't delay!

For more information contact Susan Gombert, Senior Meetings and Events Manager at or (703) 517-6418.
Public Justice welcomes this month's new membersyour unwavering commitment to our mission to combat injustice helps us reach our goals.

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