Navan Ward Jr., immediate past president of the American Association for Justice, said it’s incumbent on him and other attorneys to encourage other minority lawyers to get involved in mass tort cases.

“There’s so many different litigations—mass tort litigations, pharmaceutical drug or [medical] device litigations—where people of color are disproportionately affected,” said Ward, who is Black and a partner at Beasley Allen in Atlanta. “Unfortunately, a lot of times our voices aren’t heard. And the inverse reality is there are not as many people of color that are either handling these cases or are in leadership for these cases, and we feel that in order for, quite frankly, the mass tort litigation to be as strong as it can be, we need a representation of people of color in leadership positions, regardless of who the clients are.”