On June 9th, disbarred Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme where he and others fleeced investors out of millions by luring them to invest in phony employment settlements. Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein Is Sentenced to 50 Years for Ponzi.
It was all a big con job. The settlements Scott and his friends peddled never existed. We last blogged about Scott in November at Another lawyer acting badly. . . .
L is for losers.
But what’s most interesting is not that Scott’s going to the Big House for half a “C note” of time. No, what’s news is that almost contemporaneous with Scott getting his, a new study announced that employment plaintiffs aren’t getting theirs. The takeaway from the study is that employment cases are losers for plaintiffs. Most Job Discrimination Suits Win, at Best, Small Settlements, Study Says.
Had Scott Rothstein’s hapless investors known this, they’d have known Scott was feeding them a Florida swamp’s worth of B.S. They might have then bet on something with better odds, like a lottery ticket or a casino keno game.
The study, Individual Justice or Collective Legal Mobilization? Employment Discrimination in the Post Civil Rights United States, was funded in part by the American Bar Foundation and analyzed the outcomes of employment discrimination lawsuits filed in federal courts from 1988 to 2003. The research found that the litigation overwhelmingly consists of individuals not classes and that a majority result in small settlements.
The study’s authors, Laura Beth Nielsen, Robert L. Nelson and Ryon Lancaster, concluded that, “Our analysis suggests that employment discrimination litigation maintains law’s jurisdiction over claims of workplace discrimination while not providing a significant remedy or authoritative resolution in most cases.”
A Foundation press release announcing the study, also said, “More than 40 percent of plaintiffs either have their cases dismissed or lose at summary judgment. The other half are likely to settle very early in the process. Only 6 percent of those filing employment discrimination lawsuits in federal court go to trial, where their chances of winning are 1 in 3.”
Photo Credit: “Marc” by Janus Bahs Jacquet at Flickr via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 unported license.