Nominated for the CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year Award
Tennie Pierce v. City of Los Angeles. The incident shook the foundations of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Tennie Pierce, a 19-year veteran of the LAFD, was the victim of racial harassment and retaliation, including being fed dog food mixed with his spaghetti. Tennie’s resulting lawsuit, along with several other high-profile cases, exposed the abusive and discriminatory atmosphere of the LAFD. As a result of these suits, an audit was performed by the city’s controller. It found that 87% of African Americans and 80% of women were aware of or had experienced some form of discrimination while at the department. As a result of the lawsuit and the high-profile focus upon racial discrimination in the Department, embattled LAFD Chief, William Bamattre, resigned. Douglas L. Barry was appointed as acting Chief, the first African-American in the Department’s history to assume the job. After much publicity, Tennie’s case was settled. In 2008, Genie Harrison was nominated for the CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.