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Elon Law scholar: Gender discrimination in courts influences lawsuit outcomes

“Third Generation Discrimination: The Ripple Effects of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace” by Professor Catherine Ross Dunham will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Akron Law Review.

Professor Catherine Ross Dunham

In many instances, it can be difficult for a plaintiff suing her employer to demonstrate gender discrimination in the way a company operates.

It doesn’t help that some of the very courts hearing such cases have their own issues with implicit gender discrimination.

In a forthcoming article for the Akron Law Review, Elon Law Professor Catherine Ross Dunham builds upon past research into gender discrimination by looking at two cases - Wal-Mart v. Dukes, and the lesser-known trial court case of Ellen Pao against the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins – where employment practices were facially neutral but their effects in a bias-based, homogeneous work environment were discriminatory. 

“Third Generation Discrimination: The Ripple Effects of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace” examines the role of the court system, judges and juries, in evaluating complex claims and argues that gender discrimination exists in the court system, which prevents some discrimination cases from achieving greater success.

Dunham concludes that this court system bias needs to be interrupted to allow for meaningful change in litigation success and, as a result, workplace culture. The article will appear in a special edition of the Akron Law Review dedicated to women in the law.

Dunham is an expert in the law related to civil procedure and civil litigation. She teaches and writes in the area of federal civil procedure and is co-author of the text “Skills and Values: Civil Procedure” published by Lexis. She has authored articles on procedural doctrine and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and regularly contributes the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure update to the American Association of Law Schools Civil Procedure Section Newsletter.

In addition, Dunham is an expert in North Carolina Civil Procedure, teaching North Carolina Civil Procedure for Kaplan and serving as a co-author on “North Carolina Civil Procedure Deskbook”, a forthcoming publication from Carolina Academic Press. Dunham serves on the faculty of the National institute for Trial Advocacy and teaches in regional, national and international advocacy programs.

She has also served as a trial analyst for several major news outlets, including NBC and CNN.



Eric Townsend,
9/1/2017 4:55 PM