Celebrating New Leadership, Engaging Discussions, and Advocating for Equality

July 31, 2023

by M&S Staff

Ellen Eardley is made Managing Partner

In early July, Ellen Eardley became Mehri & Skalet’s Managing Partner! Ms. Eardley’s extensive experience and dedication to fostering an inclusive work environment will guide our organization forward – ensuring our core values are always at the forefront of our work. 

“We are delighted that Ellen Eardley is stepping into the role of Managing Partner. Through her unwavering dedication and unparalleled expertise, Ellen earned the trust and respect for this role from every part of our firm as well as admiration and recognition from clients and the broader legal community alike. As Managing Partner, we are thrilled to see Ellen continue to strengthen the firm as a business and to facilitate conversations and actions regarding inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and social justice.”

– Cyrus Mehri, Partner, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC

Cornell University & American Constitution Society (ACS) Discussions Lead to Larger DEI Conversations

Cornell University

In June, Cyrus Mehri returned to his alma mater, Cornell University Law School, to lead a crucial discussion, ‘Justice, Equity, Democracy & Inclusion (JEDI)’ at the Alumni Reunion. He guided the audience through a series of historic cases, including the $192 million Coca-Cola settlement – highlighting the financial success of embracing diversity. Regarding industry-wide efforts, Mr. Mehri emphasized the power of humanizing discrimination, referencing Mehri & Skalet’s challenge to the 2017 travel ban, and looked to BlackRock’s racial equity assessment with M&S partner Working IDEAL and Covington & Burling Senior Counsel Eric Holder, Jr., to show institutional courage to change. Sharing his vision for the future, Mr. Mehri urged both individuals and organizations alike to embrace diversity and incorporate inclusiveness and belonging.

Use the link below to navigate through the full discussion and the table of contents on our website.

American Constitution Society (ACS)

In May, Mr. Mehri joined attorneys Lauren McCoy Coffey and Kavita Ramakrishnan, along with DEI expert Rosa Nuñez, on the panel: ‘Inspiration, Divergence, and Disappointment: Two Paths Towards Diversity in the Workplace’ to discuss the creation of the Rooney Rule, the Mansfield Rule – which the Rooney Rule inspired – and efforts needed to increase workplace diversity across industries. During the panel, Mr. Mehri shared his journey in bringing the Rooney Rule to fruition. He emphasized its potential to reform the business world, underscoring that diversity of thought and background leads to innovation and scientific breakthroughs. 

M&S Applauds New Bill to Revitalize Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act

In June, lawmakers introduced The Economic Inclusion Civil Rights Act of 2023. The legislation’s earlier version, ‘The Economic Inclusion Civil Rights Act of 2021,’ was inspired largely by an Atlantic essay written in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by M&S partners Cyrus Mehri and Joshua Karsh, and M&S Of Counsel the Honorable U.W. Clemon. In response to the proposed bill, Judge Clemon released a statement emphasizing his support for the bill and underscoring the significance of revitalizing Section 1981. 

 “The law, as currently interpreted, is too narrow and fails to protect activities like the right to shop, eat out, cash a check, make a withdrawal, or apply for credit free from racial harassment. This means that many of the appallingly common experiences of being discriminated against for doing such things ‘while Black’ are not redressable under Section 1981.”

His call to action resonates with the ongoing efforts to rectify long-standing injustices and ensure a more equitable society.

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