Litigation Update: Judge in Data Breach MDL Appoints Diverse Plaintiffs’ Leadership Team

by | Mar 8, 2021

Five weeks after the judge presiding over the data breach MDL involving cloud management software firm Blackbaud Inc. issued an order inviting the parties to consider appointing a diverse team to lead the litigation, counsel did just that. In an order dated February 16, US District Judge J. Michelle Childs of the District of South Carolina appointed what is hailed as the most diverse leadership team ever to lead a multi-district litigation.  The group consists of eight women and four men and includes lawyers of color.

When she encouraged lawyers to consider a diverse leadership team in a January 8 order, Judge Childs stated “The court also seeks to develop the future generation of diverse MDL leadership by providing competent candidates with opportunities for substantive participation now.”

The plaintiffs’ team has four lead counsel:

  • Amy Keller – DiCello Levitt Gutzler
  • Krysta Pachman – Susman Godfrey
  • Marlon Kimpson – Motley Rice
  • Harper Segui – Whitfield Bryson LLP

Frank Ulmer of McCulley McCluer LLC will serve as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel

Members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee include:

  • Gretchen Freeman Cappio (PSC Chair) – Keller Rohrback LLP
  • Desiree Cummings – Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
  • Melissa Emert – Kantrowitz, Goldhammer & Graifman, PC
  • Kelly Iverson – Carlson Lynch
  • Howard Longman – Stull, Stull & Brody
  • Douglas McNamara – Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
  • Melissa Weiner Pearson – Simon & Warshaw, LLP

The following Defense Leadership Team members will serve as co-lead counsel:

  • Ronald Raether Troutman – Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Ashley Taylor, Jr. -Troutman – Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • David Anthony Troutman – Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Tambry Bradford – Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Angelo Stio III – Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Amy Pritchard Williams – Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Cindy Hanson – Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Josh Davey – Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Timothy St. George – Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Celeste Jones – Burr Forman McNair
  • Rutledge Young III – Duffy & Young, LLC


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