F. Paul Bland, Jr., Named Executive Director of Public Justice
Bland Succeeds Arthur H. Bryant, named Public Justice’s Chairman
Washington, DC – Public Justice Foundation’s Board of Directors has unanimously appointed F. Paul Bland, Jr. the new Executive Director of Public Justice.
“This organization has successfully been doing public justice for more than 30 years and now we are moving to the next chapter to assure that we can continue to do this work for many more years to come,” said Ted Leopold, Public Justice Foundation President. “The board overwhelmingly agreed that very few could stand in the shoes of long-time Executive Director Arthur Bryant and carry forward the torch for Public Justice.”
Bland succeeds Arthur H. Bryant, Executive Director for the past 27 years, who was named Public Justice’s Chairman and elected an ex-officio member of the Public Justice Foundation’s Board of Directors
Public Justice has been involved, under Bryant’s leadership, in a broad range of cutting-edge, high-impact litigation – fighting for consumers’ rights, workers’ rights, civil rights and liberties, environmental protection, corporate and government accountability, and the poor and the powerless. Its Access to Justice Campaign, launched in 2004, has made Public Justice the national leader in the courts against corporate efforts to expand mandatory arbitration, federal preemption, unjustified secrecy, and other barriers to Americans’ constitutional right to a jury trial and a day in court.
Bland, a strong consumer advocate and prominent litigator, has been an attorney with Public Justice for more than 17 years. Bland said he was excited for the opportunity to lead the organization to have an even bigger impact fighting injustice.
“Corporations cheat consumers and workers through practices such as predatory lending and wage theft when they think they can get away with it,” Bland said. “We know a lot about cutting through this nonsense. Corporations such as coal companies and factory farms pollute our rivers and dump greenhouse gasses into the air whenever they can push all the costs on other people.
“We will fight for private citizens who are harmed by this kind of pollution. And we will fight for powerless people who don’t have a voice, such as kids in schools that stand by and ignore systematic bullying. “
Bryant, as Chairman, will continue to play a prominent role as a spokesperson, litigator and fundraiser for Public Justice.
Bland noted that, when Bryant began as Executive Director in 1987, he led a staff of two in a small office in D.C. and fewer than 25 annual members.
“He led Public Justice’s growth to nearly 30 staff in offices in DC and CA and almost 2,500 annual members,” Bland said. “Arthur guided us to achievements in a broad range of precedent-setting litigation that compares favorably to any other public interest organization in the country.”
Bryant expressed his strong support for Bland as Executive Director: “We have a true superstar in Paul,” he said.
Bland said, “Public Justice has a proud past, and we will work like crazy to be even more effective in the future.”
The Public Justice Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports Public Justice PC, a public interest law firm. Through creative litigation, public education, and innovative work with the broader public interest community, we protect people and the environment; challenge government, corporate, and individual wrongdoing; and increase access to justice. publicjustice.net
F. Paul Bland, Jr., Executive Director
F. Paul Bland, Jr., a Staff and Senior Attorney at Public Justice since 1997, has been responsible for developing, handling, and helping Public Justice litigate a diverse docket of public interest cases. Paul has argued and won more than 30 cases that led to reported decisions for consumers, employees or whistleblowers in six of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the high courts of nine different states.
Bland has been named top consumer attorney by numerous organizations, including being the 2006 recipient of the National Consumer Law Center’s Vern Countryman Award, which “honors the accomplishments of an exceptional consumer attorney who, through the practice of consumer law, has contributed significantly to the well being of vulnerable consumers.”
Bland successfully argued several appeals where courts rejected claims that various federal laws preempted state laws that would benefit consumers law claims. He has also argued and won several appeals where courts limited abuses of mandatory arbitration clauses.
Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, Paul had argued and won a number of appeals where courts struck down contract terms banning consumers from bringing class actions.
Bland is a 1986 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1983 magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a B.A. in Government. Prior to coming to Public Justice, Paul was Chief Nominations Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and worked for nearly seven years with Kieron F. Quinn in Baltimore, Maryland, where he handled consumer and toxic tort class actions, prosecuted qui tam suits and defended libel suits.
Arthur H. Bryant, Chairman
Arthur H. Bryant, Chairman of Public Justice, joined the organization as its sole staff attorney in 1984 and has been Executive Director since 1987. He has won major victories and established new precedents in several areas of the law, including constitutional law, toxic torts, civil rights, consumer protection, and mass torts.
Bryant has twice been named one of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America by The National Law Journal.
He has been recognized and honored for his public interest and legal accomplishments by publications and organizations nationwide, including The American Lawyer, College Sports Magazine, Harvard Law School, the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association and numerous others. The Oregon Trial Lawyers Association has named its public service award the Arthur H. Bryant Public Justice Award.
Among many other things, Bryant and Public Justice have successfully represented more women intercollegiate athletes and potential athletes in sex discrimination litigation against colleges and universities than anyone in the nation. He has especially focused on battling for access to justice in America and the right to a day in court for all.
Bryant is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School. After serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Gabrielle M. McDonald, he worked as an associate at the Philadelphia law firm of Kohn, Savett, Marion & Graf (now Kohn, Swift & Graf), handling First Amendment, civil rights, and complex civil litigation. While there, he brought and tried the case that forced the admission of women to Philadelphia’s previously all-male Central High School.