Know Your Judge: Orinda D. Evans

This week in Know Your Judge, we feature Orinda D. Evans of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Evans joined the federal bench in 1979 after she was nominated by President Jimmy Carter. Evans served as chief judge from 1999 to 2006 and two years later assumed senior status.

One of her recent rulings in an employee benefits case allowed a group of SunTrust Bank Inc. workers to proceed as a class with their claims that the financial firm violated federal benefits law by allegedly offering high-fee, underperforming in-house funds in its 401(k) plan.

In 2013, Evans—sitting by designation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuitjoined an opinion upholding a lower court judgment that ordered Alabama State University to pay three black former administrative employees a combined $1 million for engaging in racial and sexual harassment and retaliation.

Numbers & Statistics

Evans fully or partially grants request for dismissals in labor, employment, and benefits cases around 80 percent of the time. She fully denies motions to dismiss sparingly.

Evans’ rulings are reviewed by the Eleventh Circuit—the federal appeals court that reviews decisions from federal district courts in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Her rulings in matters involving labor, benefits, and employment discrimination are usually affirmed, with only three employment and benefits cases being overruled, according to Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics.

Evans usually resolves wage and hour cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act faster than disputes involving labor, benefits, and employment discrimination. On average, it takes Evans:

  • 332 days to resolve a lawsuit under the American with Disabilities Act (she heard 17);
  • 344 days to dispose of a lawsuit involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (she heard 61);
  • 347 days to close an employment discrimination case (she heard 310);
  • 275 days to dispose of a wage and hour dispute (she heard 97); and
  • 411 days to resolve a general labor matter (she heard four).

Looking for more analytics on judges? Check back each Wednesday for our Know Your Judge feature or try Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics. And contact us if there’s a judge you want us to highlight.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carmen Castro-Pagan in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at; Martha Mueller Neff at