With Brad Seligman headed for the bench, his giant case against Wal-Mart is changing hands.
Governor Jerry Brown announced he'd tapped Seligman for the Alameda Superior Court on Thursday. The Impact Fund founder is perhaps best known for Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the huge gender discrimination class action he filed in 2001. The suit, originally filed on behalf of more than 1 million female Wal-Mart employees, alleges the retail giant underpays and underpromotes female employees. Although the U.S. Supreme Court shut the national class action down, Seligman has been pursuing claims on behalf of a smaller class in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Reached Friday, Seligman said he was in the process of informing defense counsel in Dukes that he’ll be off the case pending his swearing-in to the bench, and that Pasadena employment firm Hadsell, Stormer, Richardson & Renick will be taking over as co-lead counsel. Seligman’s firm, The Impact Fund, will still be counsel on the case, but will take a smaller role.
Seligman said he chose Hadsell Stormer because he knows the lawyers well and trusts them.
“They are one of the premier public interest firms in California,” he said. They have a “depth of experience litigating class action civil rights cases.”
According to the firm’s website, the 10-lawyer group has achieved several significant settlements in gender discrimination cases.
Hadsell Stormer partner Randall Renick will be the California co-lead counsel in the case, Seligman said, sharing duties with Washington, D.C. lawyer Joseph Sellers of Cohen Milstein.
Seligman is scheduled to be sworn in Monday morning.
“I’ve had five days to wrap up my practice,” he said, but he’s ready for his next career move. “I always wanted to leave [private practice] while I felt good, and I feel good,” he said.