The unconscionable actions and rantings that led up to the murder of the son of a New Jersey federal judge show the sad underbelly of gender discrimination in law. U.S. District Judge Alia Moses and Nicole Westbrook, a litigator with Jones & Keller, say the current construct of the legal profession feeds anti-feminist thinking, but it can change. Learn how we can constructively move toward an expedited and effective judicial process based on the facts of a case, not the gender of the attorneys trying or presiding over the case.
By Judge Alia Moses and Nicole Westbrook, as featured in Bloomberg Law in a @BLaw Insight
When alleged shooter and self-proclaimed anti-feminist attorney Roy Den Hollander arrived at the home of the Hon. Esther Salas, the first Latina woman to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge in New Jersey, he carried with him in his car a “competitor” hit list of female judges and one female public defender—all with Hispanic ties—marking women as targets in the legal profession.
This is not the first time women in the law have been targeted. In 2005, the Hon. Joan Lefkow, a judge in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Illinois, was also targeted by a disgruntled litigant. Her husband and mother were killed in the attack.
As a former litigator, now the first female federal judge in the Western District of Texas—and also Hispanic—and a current partner and litigator, we (both authors) are troubled by the portrayals of women in the law, which allow for the societal imprint of women in the law being targeted for their work. Sadly, we are not surprised that progressive female judges and litigators are the target of a self-proclaimed anti-feminist like Den Hollander. That, in itself, should be shocking.
This begs the question: How do we constructively move toward an expedited and effective judicial process based on the facts of a case, not the gender of the attorneys trying or presiding over the case?
Click below to read more at Bloomberg Law in a @BLaw Insight.