Cyrus Mehri served as Class Counsel in the two largest race discrimination class actions in history. Roberts v. Texaco Inc.settled in 1997 for $176 million. Ingram v. The Coca-Cola Company, settled in 2001 for $192.5 million. Both settlements include historic programmatic relief, featuring independent Task Forces with sweeping powers to reform key human resources practices such as pay, promotions and evaluations. Mehri was named a finalist for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by Trial Lawyers for Public Justice in 1997 for his work on the Texaco case, and in 2001 he was a finalist again as co-lead counsel in the Coca-Cola case.
Mehri is currently serving as co-lead counsel in Gutierrez v. Johnson & Johnson, a race glass ceiling case on behalf of African American and Hispanic salaried employees and Jenkins v. BellSouth, a testing and glass ceiling case on behalf of approximately 15,000 hourly and salaried African-American employees. Recently, Mehri served as lead counsel in one of the most significant apprenticeship cases in history, Robinson v. Ford Motor Company, which will create over 270 skilled trade positions for African-American workers.
Corporate Counsel magazine described Mehri as “the one who pushed racial discrimination suits to the top of Corporate America’s agenda.” Fast Company magazine stated, “He is something of a one-man army in the battle against business as usual. . . [H]is impact – both in terms of penalties and remedies – is undeniable.” New York Times said, “Mr. Mehri’s vision for corporate America involves sweeping change, not the piecemeal kind.”
In September 2002, Mehri and Cochran released a report, “Black Coaches in the National Football League: Superior Performance, Inferior Opportunities.” This report has served as a catalyst that has resulted in the creation of an owners’ Workplace Diversity Committee and the creation of a new plan to “level the playing field” in minority hiring for head coaches.
In March 2003, the Detroit City Council passed a testimonial resolution honoring Mehri and wishing him “continued success in changing the fabric of America.” In January 2004, the Pigskin Club of Washington, DC granted Mehri the prestigious “Award of Excellence.”
Mehri serves as counsel for the Fritz Pollard Alliance.