United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi.
Carlton W. Reeves, District Judge.
ORDER ESTABLISHING RECEIVER SELECTION
CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case involves a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that
defrauded hundreds of investors. The ill-gotten gains of that
scheme now reside in Defendants' estates. The Court has
determined that a receivership over those estates is
appropriate. After conferring with the parties, the
Court has created a process for selecting a Receiver that
incorporates their advice.
Court believes that particular care is necessary in
appointing officers of the federal judiciary, an institution
that fails to reflect the diversity of the public it serves.
Just one in five Article III judges are people of color, and
only one in three are women. Since 2017, less than one in ten
people appointed as Article III judges have been people of
color, and less than one in four have been
women. Bankruptcy and magistrate judges appointed
by the judiciary are even less diverse,  and people of
color are hired for just one in six clerkship
positions. When federal judges appoint counsel in
multi-district litigation, fewer than one in five leadership
positions are filled by women.
same lack of diversity defines the broader legal profession.
Despite making up a quarter of the country, people of color
represent just one in ten lawyers, and only a third of
lawyers are women. At major law firms, fewer than one in ten
partners are people of color, and fewer than one in four
partners are women.
patterns of exclusion appear in Mississippi. While black
people make up 40% of the population,  they represent
fewer than 16% of Mississippi's federal bankruptcy,
circuit, district, and magistrate judges. One survey
found that fewer than 4% of federal clerks hired in
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas were black. People of
color represent fewer than 11% of the Mississippi
bar. Women make up fewer than 16% of
Mississippi's federal bankruptcy, circuit, district, and
magistrate judges, and just 23% of the state's
indisputable that systematic oppression lies behind much of
the judiciary's lack of diversity. The legal
profession's exclusion and discrimination against people
of color, especially in federal courts, have been well
documented. Research also establishes that federal
courts are “places of discrimination” for women,
where they feel “invisible” and face “pain,
isolation, and injury” - especially from men cloaked
in the robes of justice. Particularly hurtful strains of race-
and sex-based hatred have appeared in Mississippi's
doubt, some steps have been taken to remove these stains.
Still, when given the opportunity, courts should take steps
to increase their diversity. Justice is a search for
truth. That search will fail if a court does
not incorporate a wide array of experiences, facts, and
perspectives into its decisionmaking processes. “The
case for diversity is especially compelling for the
judiciary, ” as District Judge Edward M. Chen has said.
can the public have confidence and trust in such an
institution if it is segregated - if the communities it is
supposed to protect are excluded from its
ranks?” To deliver justice and ensure its
legitimacy, then, the judiciary must diversify
fulfilling that duty here, the Court will use the
“inherent power” courts have “to provide
themselves with appropriate instruments required for the
performance of their duties.”The Court will require the
Receiver to take steps to guarantee that its hiring practices
are as inclusive as possible, ensuring the participation of
those who have traditionally been excluded from legal work in
America. Applicants are encouraged to commit to bold and
creative steps involving recruiting, retaining, hiring, and
other staffing concerns in their applications. Through their
fulfillment, those steps may aim for - though may not
guarantee achievement of - targets for billable hours
performed by those underrepresented in the legal profession.
Even steps that aim for very modest targets, such as 25% of
hours being conducted by women and 20% of hours being
conducted by people of color, would be laudable.
Court is looking for a candidate who has the proper
professional experience, business acumen, communication
skills, ability to manage conflicts of interest, and
commitment to inclusion. In sum, the Receiver must be deeply
qualified to do justice and identify, collect, and protect
all property subject to the receivership and minimize
dissipation of estate assets.
Court has posted a Receivership Application on the Southern
District's website and Twitter account. Candidates
(including those whom the parties have previously endorsed)
should submit their applications either electronically
(reeves firstname.lastname@example.org) or physically to
the Court by 5:00 p.m. Central on June 8, 2018. By June 15,
the Court expects to provide select applicants with
information necessary to conduct a complete pre-appointment
conflicts check. The results of that check should be
submitted to the Court by the close of business on June 22.
The Court will strive to appoint a receiver by July 1.