Chaffin Luhana Founding Partner to Speak at Duke University Conference on Women and Minority Lawyers

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Roopal Luhana to speak at Duke University’s conference entitled "Increasing the Number of Women and Minority Lawyers Appointed to Leadership Positions in Class Actions and MDLs" on April 6-7, 2017. She will be participating in the fourth panel entitled “Experiences of Women and Minority Lawyers Who Applied for Leadership Positions.”

Chaffin Luhana

Chaffin Luhana LLP, a national plaintiffs-only law firm, is pleased to announce that founding partner Roopal Luhana has been invited to speak at a special Duke University conference on the topic of women and minority lawyers.

Entitled “Increasing the Number of Women and Minority Lawyers Appointed to Leadership Positions in Class Actions and MDLs,” the conference is scheduled for April 6-7, 2017, and will take place at the W Atlanta Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia.

The purpose of the conference is to “lay the groundwork for the drafting of bench-bar best practices,” according to the University. Panels will focus on the status of the current class-action/MDL appointments of women and minority lawyers, the existing application and selection process, and what judges should consider when appointing a lawyer to a leadership position.

Roopal Luhana will be participating in the fourth panel, which is entitled “Experiences of Women and Minority Lawyers Who Applied for Leadership Positions.” She has served on committees in several multi-district litigations (MDLs) involving over-the-counter consumer products and defective pharmaceuticals, and was one of only two women on the Plaintiff Steering Committee in the Yasmin and Yaz (drospirenone) MDL in the Southern District of Illinois.

“I’m looking forward to participating in this important event held by Duke University,” she said. “Fifteen judges are going to attend, which gives us a great opportunity to share our experiences, inform opinions, and perhaps even potentially open some doors for women and minorities to be more seriously considered for leadership positions in the future.”

According to a recent study by the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and the Commission on Women in the Profession entitled “First Chairs at the Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table,” women are consistently underrepresented in lead counsel positions. In civil cases, 76 percent of all attorneys appearing as lead counsel were men, and 78 percent of all plantiffs’ cases were tried by men. When women were lead counsel, it was for defense 60 percent of the time.

When looking at class action cases, the researchers found that 98 percent had at least one man as lead counsel, but only 29 percent had any women as lead counsel. The researchers concluded that women were “consistently underrepresented in lead counsel roles” in all but a few settings. They added that the disparity was not due to lack of talent or ability, as other studies have shown women to be highly effective in the courtroom, but by implicit bias that hinders their progress.

Minorities, too, remain underrepresented in courts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 88 percent of lawyers are white, which is more than most other professions, including engineers, accountants, and physicians. The Washington Post noted in 2015 that though minorities now constitute about a fifth of law-school graduates, fewer than 7 percent make it to partner.

The goal of the conference is to fully consider the views of all interested parties, including men and women who have held class action or MDL leadership positions, and men, women, and minorities who are trying to break into the ranks.

Roopal Luhana will be participating with Panel 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

About Chaffin Luhana: Chaffin Luhana LLP has a long and successful history of protecting the rights of those affected by the serious side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and medical products. Partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana represent high-profile cases in federal and state courts across the country, and provide new online resource centers for clients and the public.

To date, Mr. Chaffin and Ms. Luhana have been involved in recovering over $1 billion for their clients during the course of their careers, and the firm itself has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for individually injured plaintiffs. Though unable to guarantee results, the firm has a distinguished track record of success and is highly committed to each case.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that may be related to a medication or medical device, contact Chaffin Luhana LLP for a free and confidential case review at 1-888-480-1123, or visit their website at https://www.chaffinluhana.com.

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