Case: Neal v. James

98-811846 | Michigan state trial court

Filed Date: 1998

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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.Th…

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.

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

98-811846

Opinion

Michigan state appellate court

651 N.W.2d 181

March 13, 2002

March 13, 2002

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 19, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1998

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

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.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

City of Detroit Law Department (Detroit), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Demotion

Discipline

Hiring

Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)

Promotion

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black