Nos. 02-5052 & 02-5053.

292 F.3d 918 (2002)

Timothy C. PIGFORD, et al., Appellees, v. Ann M. VENEMAN, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, Appellant.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

Decided June 21, 2002.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Howard S. Scher, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs were Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., U.S. Attorney, and Robert M. Loeb, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice.

Jason A. Levine argued the cause for appellants. With him on the brief were Anthony Herman and Alexander J. Pires, Jr.

Before: SENTELLE, RANDOLPH and TATEL, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge TATEL.

TATEL, Circuit Judge:

The question presented in this appeal concerns a district court's authority to interpret or modify a consent decree — here, the settlement of a class action brought by over 20,000 African-American farmers charging the United States Department of Agriculture with racial discrimination in lending practices. Due to class counsel's failure — "bordering on legal malpractice...


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