Taft successfully argued for the affirmance of a summary judgment decision in favor of the firm's client, the Chicago Board of Education (Board), in a race discrimination class action filed by the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU).
The class action concerned layoffs made by the Board in 2011. In December 2012, CTU filed suit against the Board in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that the 2011 layoff decisions disparately impacted African American teachers and staff in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. In 2020, Judge Jorge Alonso granted summary judgment in favor of the Board, and CTU appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
In a decision issued on Sept. 22, 2021, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment. This is a significant win for the Board, as the class included several hundred teachers and paraprofessionals. Given the length of time from the case filing to this decision, the potential back pay award could have been substantial.
Partner Tim Eaton argued the case in the Seventh Circuit. Chicago attorneys Allison Czerniak, Cary Donham, Ioana Guset, and John Kennedy (as well as Eaton) were on the brief.
A link to the opinion can be found here.
Eaton has a distinguished career in commercial and appellate litigation, as well as arbitration, and has been involved in a number of high-profile cases. He has handled hundreds of appeals before the Illinois Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Appellate Court of Illinois. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.