Randi Ilyse Roth
Judicial adjunct work
Ms. Roth has served in a judicial adjunct role in one of the largest civil cases and one of the largest criminal cases in America that have involved claims processes.
From 2000 to 2012, Ms. Roth worked as the independent court-appointed monitor in the Pigford v. Vilsack settlement. In Pigford, a class of approximately 22,000 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), alleging race discrimination in the administration of federal agricultural credit programs. With a staff of nearly 40 full-time employees and additional lawyers on contract, the Pigford monitor’s office: (1) wrote more than 5,800 fact-specific, detailed appeals decisions regarding individual farmers’ claims; (2) managed the scripting and quality control for a call center that took thousands of calls per month; (3) traveled throughout the South, meeting with claimants and their farm organizations to solve problems and disseminate information about the case; (4) at the federal court in Washington, DC, led frequent working meetings of the parties’ lawyers (plaintiffs’ civil rights lawyers, the Justice Department, and USDA’s General Counsel staff), and the neutrals (adjudication and arbitration neutrals and the class action administration firm); and (5) filed dozens of court reports regarding the implementation of the consent decree.
Ms. Roth worked as the Claims Facilitator in a criminal case, U.S. v. Fata. Ms. Roth contracted with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the E.D. of Michigan to support DOJ by designing and implementing a claims process to distribute funds to victims of a former hematologist-oncologist who pleaded guilty to health care fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks. As part of the defendant’s scheme, he deliberately administered medically unnecessary injections and infusions to patients, including chemotherapy, iron, cancer treatment drugs, and other medications. He also administered unnecessary diagnostic tests involving the injection of radiological material into patients. U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman imposed a sentence of 45 years in prison and ordered the defendant to forfeit assets. As Claims Facilitator, Ms. Roth, in collaboration with DOJ, designed claim forms and supporting documents, conducted focus groups with victims to obtain their input into design of process, built a claims web site for case (www.fataclaims.com), and conducted claimant information meetings in the community. Additionally, Ms. Roth prepared written reports to the Court, prepared scripts for and oversees work of phone agents who respond to claimants’ calls, appeared in Court to provide status reports, and decided all claims (producing a set of recommended outcomes for DOJ and the Court). For details, see the U.S. v. Fata claims website.
Ms. Roth is a founding member of the Academy of Court-Appointed Masters (ACAM), and serves on its board of directors. She is a primary author of the original 2006 version of the ACAM bench book, Appointing Special Masters and Other Judicial Adjuncts: A Handbook for Judges.
Other legal work
Before working as the Pigford monitor, Ms. Roth worked as a civil legal aid lawyer. From 1986 to 2003, she was first a staff attorney and then executive director of Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG), a national nonprofit law firm that provides legal services to low-income family farmers. From 1984 to1986, Ms. Roth worked on Chicago’s south side at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, representing low-income clients in a range of matters including disputes about federal benefits (Social Security, food stamps, Medicaid) and disputes about housing issues (evictions, entitlement to public and subsidized housing, safety conditions in public housing).)
Philanthropy and nonprofit work
Ms. Roth served as the executive director of the Otto Bremer Foundation from 2008 to 2014. The Otto Bremer Foundation is a nearly $1 billion foundation that serves communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic, and social participation in and for the betterment of those communities. Ms. Roth provided leadership and management at this private foundation while annual payout increased by almost 70 percent from $24 to $40 million; built partnerships with foundation and non-profit leaders in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, increasing foundation effectiveness; oversaw development of focus areas in which nonprofit leaders had significant input to design approaches to respond to community problems; introduced effective approaches to evaluation (see Evaluation Flash Cards); built from scratch or re-built significant aspects of operations structure; managed operating budget of about $3 million.
Ms. Roth currently serves as a board member or trustee of two grant-making organizations: the civil legal aid grant maker in Minnesota [the Legal Services Advisory Committee (LSAC) to the Minnesota Supreme Court], and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation.
Through the work at Bremer, LSAC, and the Bar Foundation, along with other work in the broader philanthropy and program evaluation communities, Ms. Roth has developed an understanding of the administrative, tax, and state and federal law obligations of foundations, as well a deep understanding of fruitful approaches the development of sound grant-making programs and protocols. Ms. Roth has gone through extensive training in promising approaches to philanthropy both at the Aspen Institute and in MDC’s Passing Gear Philanthropy program.
In addition to handling case work for Complex Settlements, Ms. Roth currently serves as the executive director of Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul, an anti-poverty organization that grew out of the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches. Interfaith Action grows connections between clergy of different faiths to work together and to mobilize congregational volunteers to create an infrastructure of opportunity in the Saint Paul area.
Ms. Roth holds a Bachelor’s degree with high honors from Yale University and a law degree with honors from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
Key Volunteer Work
Legal Services Advisory Committee to Minnesota Supreme Court (LSAC), Member, January 2015 – present. Member of committee appointed by MN Supreme Court to make statewide decisions about urban and rural legal aid funding, and to engage in work regarding legal aid strategy.
Minnesota State Bar Foundation, Trustee, June 2014 – present. Foundation raises funds and makes grants to support legal aid to the disadvantaged, law-related education, and support for development of the profession.
Academy of Court-Appointed Masters (ACAM), board secretary (April 2019 – present); board member, 2018 – 2019. Was a founding board member in about 2005, served for several years in that timeframe.
Bremer Bank Community Development Entity Advisory Board, Member, 2014 – present.
Jewish Federation of Greater Saint Paul, 2006 – 2016. Served as chair of extensive community planning effort, and as board member and officer.
United States Public Delegate, United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, 2012. Represented the United States as one of seven U.S. public delegates to the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights, Minnesota, late 1980s – present. Served on synagogue board of trustees for most of the past twenty years (late 1980s – 2017); served as officer in several different capacities over the years; chair Rabbinic Liaison committee (late 1980s – present) ); member Rabbinic Search Committee (2018 – 2020). Volunteer focus has included personnel, operations, programming, consensus-based problem-solving, and grant-seeking.
Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), Pittsboro, NC, 2008 – 2018. Serve as member of board of directors of national branch of international organization dedicated to cultivating markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially-just, and environmentally-sound family farms.
Dwight Hall at Yale, New Haven, CT, 2019 – present. Serve as member of board of directors of student-run service organization that focuses on developing passionate, innovative leaders in social justice.
Twin Cities Cardozo Society’s Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award, 2019.
Northwestern Law’s Student-Funded Public Interest Fellowship Distinguished Alumni Award, 2015.
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