Randi Ilyse Roth
Independent Court-Appointed Monitor, Pigford v. Johanns (D.D.C.)
2000 – 2013
In January 2000, appointed by judge Paul L. Friedman in the federal district court in District of Columbia to be the Monitor in a $1.1 billion national class action civil rights lawsuit brought by African-American farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture. Work included writing and issuing approximately 5,800 very complex decisions in appeals of individual claims; staffing approximately 3,000 calls/month from class members, the public, and public officials; leading frequent working meetings and mediation sessions with top lawyers on both sides of case (Justice department and civil rights plaintiffs’ attorneys); speaking throughout South to explain and build public confidence in work of Monitor’s office; testifying before Congress; and filing reports with federal court about progress of case. Required creating an organization from scratch, staffing up to 39 full-time employees and additional contract staff; designing and implementing human resources, finance, data, and other administrative systems to manage the operation; managing substantive output to parties’ and court’s expectations; managing contract vendors (such as phone bank, mailing house, database vendor, etc.); and functioning wisely and in a neutral manner in highly public, highly politicized environment. Details at http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/pigfordmonitor/.