January 19, 2022

Appointment recognizes nationally renowned class and collective action civil rights and employment litigator and industry thought leader

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a leading U.S. plaintiffs’ law firm, has appointed Christine E. Webber Co-Chair of the firm’s nationally recognized Civil Rights & Employment practice.

A civil rights and employment class and collective action law dynamo, Ms. Webber is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and has played a principal role in managing the Civil Rights & Employment practice alongside founder and Co-Chair Joseph M. Sellers since the two joined the firm in 1997 from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, an organization providing pro bono representation in civil rights cases.

Ms. Webber is also the Co-Chair of the National Employment Lawyers' Association’s Class Action Committee, the nation’s pre-eminent employee-side legal association, a position she has held since 1999, and a member of Law360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board since 2020.

“I am honored to help lead this team of incredible attorneys who have distinguished themselves as some of the most innovative advocates for civil rights and workers’ rights in the country,” said Christine Webber, Co-Chair of the Civil Rights & Employment practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “I am so proud to work with this team to represent our brave clients who fight to ensure equal rights and end workplace injustices, seeking a more inclusive future and end to invidious discrimination based on gender, race, age, or other personal characteristics. Their cause and an unwavering belief in the justice system are cornerstones of our Civil Rights & Employment practice. I look forward to building upon these foundations and expanding the firm's role in advancing justice.”

Ms. Webber is one of the country’s leading voices in addressing novel artificial intelligence (AI)-related discrimination claims under federal fair housing and other civil rights and employment laws. She is currently lead trial lawyer in CFHC, et al. v. CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions (D. Conn.), a cutting-edge civil rights case challenging CoreLogic’s algorithmic background check which allegedly discriminates against African-American and Latinos seeking rental housing in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Trial is currently scheduled for March 2022. Because of the novel AI-related discrimination claims, the case has been identified by Law360as one of “3 Real Estate Cases to Watch in 2022.”

Ms. Webber frequently speaks on AI-related discrimination issues, including most recently to Fortune, “A New Law Governing the Use of A.I. in Hiring May Trigger Lawsuits,” (December 2021) and at Yale Law School’s ISP/WIII AI Governance Symposium (November 2021).   

Ms. Webber is also recognized by the legal industry for her work. In 2022, The Best Lawyers in America named Ms. Webber the “Lawyer of the Year” in the Washington, D.C. metro area in the category of “Employment Law – Individuals.” In 2019, Ms. Webber was the recipient of the “Roderic V.O. Boggs Award” for her “sustained commitment” to the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs’ values and clients. Annually, she is recognized by Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers.

With the appointment of Ms. Webber, nine out of the ten practice groups at Cohen Milstein are now led or co-led by women. 

“Having worked with Christine for nearly 30 years, I am thrilled that she agreed to serve as co-chair of the practice group with me,” said Joseph M. Sellers, Co-Chair of the Civil Rights & Employment practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “She is an exceptional litigator and a tremendously collaborative and creative leader who is as dedicated to our clients as she is to the growth and wellbeing of our practice. She will be an invaluable asset to the future of our practice.”

Cohen Milstein’s Civil Rights & Employment practice includes civil rights and employment law visionaries and innovators who have litigated and tried several landmark civil rights discrimination class actions, including Keepseagle v. Vilsack (D.D.C.), resulting in a historic settlement of $760 million for Native American farmers and ranchers; and Department of Homeland Security, et al. v. Regents of the University of California, et al. (U.S. Supreme Court), blocking the Trump Administration’s plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and preserving immigration protections for approximately 650,000 current DACA recipients. The Court’s 5-4 ruling upheld the partial summary judgment in Cohen Milstein’s case: NAACP, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, as President of the United States, et al. (D.D.C.)  – one of three cases consolidated before the Supreme Court; as well as National Association of the Deaf v. Harvard & MIT (D. Mass.), which resulted in two landmark settlements on behalf of deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. The ruling required two of the most lauded academic research institutions in the world to include closed captioning in all online content, establishing a precedent for academia and business worldwide.

Alongside the NAACP, the firm is currently litigating Thompson, et al. v. Trump, et al. (D.D.C.), brought under the “Ku Klux Klan Act” of 1871 against Donald J. Trump, in his personal capacity, and others for conspiring to prevent members of Congress from discharging their official duties to approve the counted results of the Electoral College in order to elect the next President and Vice President of the United States on January 6, 2021.

In 2021, Cohen Milstein’s Civil Rights & Employment practice was named Law360’s “Practice Group of the Year – Employment.” Similarly, the practice and team members are ranked among the top in the industry nationwide by Lawdragon, The National Law Journal, and Legal 500 among others. In the area of employment law, the team continues to focus on litigating novel, cutting-edge cases involving the FLSA, Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act; procedural issues related to class certification and class arbitration; and novel joint employer liability issues.

About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country handling major, complex plaintiff-side litigation. With more than 100 attorneys, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa. and Raleigh, N.C. For additional information, visit www.cohenmilstein.com or call 202.408.4600.