JusticePod is the official podcast of Public Justice. In each episode, we will share insights on developments in the courts, legislatures, regulatory agencies, and in corporate America. JusticePod was created to inform individuals, as well as the attorneys who represent them.

We are committed to featuring highly qualified guests and their tireless pursuit of wrongdoers who wield their power to the detriment of regular Americans. It is our hope that our speakers will enlighten you about our activities, and maybe even inspire you to join us in fighting on behalf of the public interest.

Listen to each episode below and subscribe via Spotify or Apple Podcasts by clicking the buttons below.

Episode Four: The “Hormel Deep Dive” — A New Model for Sharing Evidence of Corporate Misconduct


Episode Description

Have you ever found yourself walking down the grocery store aisle and wondering which of the many different claims boasting the most natural or healthy ingredients to believe? It’s confusing. It turns out that confusion is intentional. In this episode we learn why.

Our guests are two members of the Public Justice Food Project – Litigation Director David Muraskin and Communications and Organizing Coordinator Masha Vernik.

David, Masha, and their team recently published “Hormel Deep Dive,” a groundbreaking website that provides access to an archive of compelling and previously inaccessible documents uncovered in false advertising litigation against Hormel Foods.

“Consumers want to shop in ways that align with their values,” the website’s description reads, “but the lack of transparency in labeling and advertising poses a major barrier to doing so. This deep dive introduces revelations—many in Hormel’s own words—about the severity of Hormel’s factory-farm practices and the extent to which Hormel sought to deceive and take advantage of customers in marketing its line.” The documents – including marketing materials, depositions of Hormel executives, and tradeshow presentations – “paint a damning picture of industrial meat products like Hormel’s and the branding used to sell them.”

Listen to what David and Masha have to say about what these documents reveal and why they matter to consumers. Also, hear why this deep-dive approach is a model for leveraging and surfacing hard-won litigation discovery to more broadly expose the details of corporate misconduct.

David focuses on impact litigation – actions intended to bring about societal change – to counter the harms of corporate concentration, particularly in the industrial animal agriculture sector. David litigates constitutional, consumer, and worker matters. Prior to joining Public Justice, David prosecuted qui tam litigation, served as the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Assistance Project Fellow with Public Citizen, and clerked for Judge James L. Dennis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. David has taught courses on impact litigation and complex civil litigation at George Washington Law School, Vermont Law School, and Georgetown University Law Center.  He graduated from Stanford Law School with distinction, has a master’s from Oxford University, St. Anthony’s College, in forced migration, and received a BA from the University of Chicago with highest honors.

Masha supports “the movement part” of movement-oriented legal advocacy by crafting strategic narratives alongside impacted communities to make the case for a regenerative and just food system. Masha organizes a seed-saving network for growers to connect with culturally resonant seeds as part of the Jewish Seed Project. She came to Public Justice with experience as a city council campaign manager in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a farm worker at a mid-sized diversity vegetable farm in Washington State, and as a student organizer for fossil fuel divestment. Marsha graduated from Boston University, summa cum laude, with a BA in International Relations.

I hope you find this episode inspiring and informative! We’re very proud of the work David and Masha do, and appreciate them sharing their experience on this important project.

Susan Gombert, Host

Justice Pod: Conversations with Public Justice Change Makers

Episode Three: Karla Gilbride Tells Her Story Behind the Unanimous Pro-Employee Win at the Supreme Court

Episode Description

The Federal Arbitration Act is clear, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote: “[C]ourts are not to create arbitration-specific procedural rules …. Or put conversely, it is a bar on using custom-made rules, to tilt the playing field in favor of (or against) arbitration.”

With the support of all eight of her colleagues, Justice Kagan’s opinion in Morgan v. Sundance  put an end to the long-running tilt of justice toward employers in the form of  judge-made rules that favor arbitration. This important holding clears the way for more workers, consumers, and other individuals harmed by corporate misconduct to pursue their rights in open court.

Karla Gilbride, Senior Attorney at Public Justice, argued the case to the high court on behalf of the plaintiff, Robyn Morgan, an hourly employee at a Taco Bell franchise owned by Sundance, Inc.  It was not only Gilbride’s first Supreme Court argument, but she was the first blind attorney to do so in the court’s history.

Listen to Public Justice’s Ellen Noble — who assisted in the case — as she interviews Gilbride about her remarkable experience. This is a must listen not only for attorneys who represent workers, but for anyone interested in Supreme Court history, or the ongoing need for accommodations for the disabled, or anyone preparing for oral arguments at any level. Gilbride shares the thrill of arguing in the same spot — and directly in front of! — some of her heroes and inspirations. She also shares that, like a music fan who camps out in front of a box office to get tickets for their favorite band, a young Gilbride did just that in order to secure a seat to observe her first Supreme Court argument.

Asked for a comment, Gilbride said the Supreme Court has finally “put an end to the arbitration exceptionalism that many corporations have been seeking, and that many courts have been giving them.”

After you listen to the podcast, you can hear Gilbride’s argument and read the complete transcript of the hearing. You can also read and watch more about the case on the Public Justice Blog.

I hope you find this the episode inspiring and informative! We are all so very proud of Karla, Ellen and the whole team, and are thrilled with the important, decisive, and unanimous outcome they achieved.

Susan Gombert
Justice Pod: Conversations with Public Justice Change Makers

Episode Two: What a Canned Tuna Price-Fixing Case Means to Employment and Civil Rights Class Actions

Episode One: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Hardeman v. Monsanto Roundup Litigation and Appeal

Episode Description

Monsanto Co. has “stopped at nothing to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence” that its widely used and extremely profitable weed killer,  Roundup, is a “deadly product that causes cancer and ruins lives and families.”

That is according to a post written by Leslie Brueckner, Senior Attorney with Public Justice following the May 2021 Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling against Monsanto, and for Edwin Hardeman, a California resident who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after decades of exposure to Roundup. A jury awarded Hardeman $5.3 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages, which was later reduced to $25 million, for a total $30.3 million award.

In this inaugural episode of Justice Pod: Conversations with Public Justice Change Makers, Leslie, is joined by David J. Wool, an attorney with the Wagstaff Law Firm.  Wool and Jennifer A. Moore of the Moore Law Group, were on the trial team led by highly-regarded mass tort plaintiff attorney Aimee Wagstaff.  Public Justice’s Brueckner served as co-lead appellate counsel along with Wool before the Ninth Circuit.

Listen to what they felt inspired the jury to return such a substantial award, how Monsanto attempted to defend its actions, what the evidence revealed, and what it was like in the courtroom with the Hardeman family when the foreman read the verdict.

I hope you find the episode inspiring and informative!

Susan Gombert
Host of Justice Pod:
Conversations with Public Justice Change Makers

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