President’s Message – June 2014


by Ted Leopold, Public Justice Foundation President

“All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

As my term as President of Public Justice draws to a close, these words by Martin Luther King, Jr. truly embrace the core strength and values of this organization and what it offers each of us, locally and globally. We are intrinsically connected to the mission, because every battle and every victory resonates across the civil justice system and reflects back on the bedrock of our professional and personal goals. The success of one case radiates throughout the nation as we set a precedent for righting wrongs and preventing future injustices. 

The Food Safety & Health Project was developed to hold corporations accountable for the manufacture, distribution and marketing of food and other products that endanger consumers’ safety, health and nutrition. Through this initiative, we filed lawsuits against industrial dairies in Washington and petitioned Texas state agencies to enforce health and safety laws governing egg-producing facilities. However, these litigations extend beyond the states in question and endeavor to create a safer food chain across the nation. While the effort is localized, the potential impact is globalized. 

Another paragon of our national scope is the Worker’s Rights project. Public Justice takes on cases to fight for workers’ safety, enforce minimum wage and other basic workplace standards, and protect employees from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Our litigation has exposed and stopped discrimination, changed unfair workplace practices, and won fair compensation for injured, low-wage, women, and minority workers on both an individual and class-wide basis. Cases filed in Texas and Tennessee are representative of the plight of labors across the country battling inequality and advocate for the protection of their civil rights. 

The impact of Public Justice is grounded in innovative litigation that has game-changing consequences for the rights of consumers and for the future of the civil justice system. Every case and every plaintiff represents our collective voice, and as members of this great organization, our unity empowers them. 

This year Public Justice evolved organizationally, and much of those changes were established in the interest of building a unanimous vision for the future. Just like the cases that we work on, the financial strength, structure and cohesion of leadership all encapsulate the culture and impact of the organization. The steps we took will shape the future of this organization, much as the cases we take shape the future for our children. Ultimately, we are bonded by our diversity, our tenacity and our commitment to each other. 

As I conclude my last Presidents message, I hope each of you embraces the impact that you have had over this past year. Whether you wrote a check, attended an event, or recruited a member, you have been part of a movement to create a safer and more equitable society for future generations. I am better leader because of you, and our organization has a stronger future because of our unity and commitment to each other. I am so thankful to have shared this journey with each of you and will always be awed by the impact of Public Justice. 







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