University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Neal v. James EE-MI-0190
Docket / Court 98-811846 NZ ( State Court )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
In April 1998, seven African-American attorneys who sought or had jobs with the City of Michigan's Law Department filed suit in Michigan state court, claiming they were discriminated against on the basis of race from 1994 to 1999 in violation of Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. They ... read more >
In April 1998, seven African-American attorneys who sought or had jobs with the City of Michigan's Law Department filed suit in Michigan state court, claiming they were discriminated against on the basis of race from 1994 to 1999 in violation of Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. They alleged unfair promotions, discriminatory hiring, unfair transfers, and uneven work assignments. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and injunctive relief such as reinstatements and promotions.

The trial court judge, Cynthia D. Stephens, certified a class of all African- Americans who are current and former employees of the Detroit Law Department or applied for employment in a position requiring a legal education. The class includes not just lawyers, but also legal clerks and interns from law schools. An attorney for the plaintiffs said the class could include more than 200 current and former employees claiming disparate treatment and at least 200 or more African American applicants from a pool of 1,200 who were denied jobs. The Court of Appeals then granted interlocutory review of the class certification decision, and vacated and reversed it, finding an absence of sufficient commonality of experience to justify class action status. Neal v. James, 252 Mich. App. 12, 651 N.W.2d 181 (Ct. App. 2002).

After this point, we do not know what happened.

- 05/01/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Demotion
Discipline
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) City of Detroit Law Department
Plaintiff Description Until the court of appeals reversed, the class certifed was: all African-Americans who sought employment with, or were employed by, the City of Detroit Law Department from January 1, 1994 through December 1, 1999 in job classifications that had the prerequisite of a law school education, which included: law clerks, legal interns and lawyers.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 03/13/2002 (651 N.W.2d 181)
EE-MI-0190-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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