It’s all about hiding the ball.
If you’re not familiar with the real Shirley Sherrod story, not just the batty media circus, go here and here for background.
Meanwhile, via Riehl World View, we’ve got this nugget…
Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC Files Suit on Behalf of Hundreds of African American Farmers Who Claim Racial Discrimination against the United States Department of Agriculture
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 27, 2008–The following statement was issued today by the law firm of Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC:
The law firm of Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC filed a lawsuit today on behalf of hundreds of African American Farmers who allege that they were the victims of racial discrimination by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The farmers were originally class members in the action of Pigford v. Glickman but were denied benefits eligible to them due to defects in the notice program associated with the 1999 settlement. Specifically, the Plaintiff farmers were not given timely notice of the Pigford settlement and therefore were not able to participate in the settlement program and were not allowed to prove their claims on the merits. Last summer, Senator Barack Obama (IL) introduced legislation to allow these individuals the opportunity to prove their claims of racial discrimination on the merits. Senator Obama’s legislation ultimately became part of the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007, passed by Congress on May 22, 2008.
As alleged in the Complaint, tens of thousands of African American farmers were discriminated against by the USDA based solely upon the fact that they are African American. The plight of the black farmer in the United States remains worrisome. In 1920, black farmers in the United States owned 15.6 million acres of land; by 1999 that number had fallen to 2 million, and the number is still dropping by 1,000 acres per day. In 1910 there were 926,000 African Americans involved in farming; at the end of the century, just 18,000 remain, and studies report they are going under at five to six times the rate of white farmers. In recent farm subsidy payments, just 18 percent of black farmers received government payments in 2002 compared with 34 percent of white farmers. The average payment for black farmers was $3,460 versus $9,300 for whites, the study said. Overall, although 5 percent of the nation’s farmers are minorities, they get just 1 percent of federal commodity payments.
“I applaud Congress for taking such an important step with yesterday’s passage of the Farm Bill,” said Harris Pogust, partner with the firm. “For far too long, black farmers in our country have experienced injustice. Black farmers are such an important part of the fabric of our country. But they must be treated equally and fairly.
The government must be accountable to these farmers, whose time for justice is long overdue.”
Today, the law firm of Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC represents several thousand black farmers in their claims to restore their rightful entitlement to government funds. The law firm has established an informational website, www.blackfarmersjustice.com for individuals to access information and submit census information.
If you or anyone you know has been the subject of racial discrimination by the USDA you may be entitled to compensation pursuant to the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007. Plaintiffs are represented by the law firm of Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC, which has significant experience and expertise prosecuting complex actions nationwide. For more information on Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC, please visit www.pbmattorneys.com.
These clowns brag on their website that they’re one of the 2009 Plaintiff’s Product Liability Firms of the Year. They also list some 15 “dangerous drug” cases they’re signing up clients for, six defective medical device cases, 10 miscellaneous class actions, including the Pigford cases, and seven different kinds of medical malpractice cases.
Under their Pigford case descriptions, you’ll find this:
The Pigford Case was a class action lawsuit brought by Timothy Pigford, a black farmer in Eastern North Carolina. The suit alleged discrimination against black farmers. The suit ended when the United States Agriculture Department entered into a Consent Decree in which they agreed to compensate black farmers who were victims of discrimination between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1999.
The suit was the largest Civil Rights settlement in history with nearly $1 billion being paid to over 16,000 victims.
Unfortunately, about 70,000 black farmers were denied a review of their claim based on the merits because they did not submit a complete claim package by the filing deadline.
A provision of the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 passed by the U.S. Congress on May 22, 2008, now allows farmers like yourself, that were previously not afforded an opportunity to have your Pigford claim of discrimination heard on the merits, to re-file and again seek relief in the form of damages in the amount of fifty-thousand ($50,000.00) dollars.
The legislation will allow all late filers to hire an attorney and file a new lawsuit. All such claims must be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
A coalition of law firms in several states have banded together to bring these Pigford cases to court on behalf of farmers like you to have your claim handled in the fastest and fairest manner possible. Our law firms have collectively received the endorsement of both the National Black Farmer’s Association (NBFA) and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC). We are also endorsed by the founder of the NBFA, Dr. John Boyd, Jr. We represent the largest known number of Black Farmers who may be eligible for compensation under new law passed by Congress and have begun cooperating on the process and working together for all Pigford “late-filer” claimants. We currently have begun filing claims for hundreds of farmers like you who meet the requirements of the Act.
Bear in mind that according to the U.S. Census, there were only 18,000 black farmers in the whole country in 1992.
It’s a scam.
It’s a scam, but it pays well. Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC’s standard fee agreement is 33.5 percent – so when they hook you up for your 50K for being sufficiently pigmented and having had thoughts of agriculture between 1981 and 1997, they get $16,750.
Senate Republicans last week stripped out $1.2 billion in funding to settle claims like the ones Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC are hawking. That was too late to stop Shirley Sherrod from landing a $13 million settlement for she and her husband Charles’ collective farm. Guess it paid off that Charles, a former Black Panther, had a friendship with Bill Ayers – that guy from Obama’s neighborhood in Chicago that he didn’t really know well.