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Katten Litigation Head Tapped to Address Racial Disparity in Federal Courts

Katten Litigation Head Tapped to Address Racial Disparity in Federal Courts

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Katten announced today that Gil Soffer, managing partner of the firm's Chicago office and co-chair of its national Litigation practice, will serve on the Racial Justice Diversity Committee for the Northern District of Illinois.

US District Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer formed the 11-member panel to explore how racial disparity impacts people and policies in the federal court. The group was given broad authority to independently examine juror diversity, staffing at all levels as well as various other aspects of the court and issue a public report on their findings and recommendations.

"The persistence of racial inequality requires close examination of our major institutions no matter how difficult the process. I am deeply honored to be part of such an important mission, and to work with such an esteemed group," said Soffer, a former federal prosecutor and senior US Department of Justice official.  He has served as an independent corporate compliance monitor for a major international pharmaceutical company in one of the most substantial Foreign Corrupt Practices Act resolutions to date.

The committee is led by retired judges Ruben Castillo, the first Latino federal judge in Illinois, who ascended to the post of chief judge in the Northern District of Illinois, and Ann Claire Williams, the first and only African-American woman appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Other retired judges and local practicing attorneys make up the remainder of the panel.

"Ongoing systemic racism has long existed in our nation, justice system and legal profession. The court recognizes that real change requires ongoing commitment and sustained effort," Pallmeyer said in a statement. "The appointment of a Diversity Committee is an important next step in examining and addressing these injustices."

Katten is a full-service law firm with nearly 700 attorneys in locations across the United States and in London and Shanghai. Clients seeking sophisticated, high-value legal services turn to Katten for counsel locally, nationally and internationally. The firm's core areas of practice include commercial finance, corporate, financial markets and funds, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, structured finance and securitization, transactional tax planning, and trusts and estates. Katten represents public and private companies in numerous industries, as well as a number of government and nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit


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