For example, in 1995, Castillo approved the lawyers’ claim that their few plaintiffs were the tip of a much larger problem at Citibank, converting the relatively small discrimination case into a high-payoff class-action lawsuit.
Castillo also applied the controversial disparate-impact legal theory, which says banks can be found guilty of discrimination when color-blind policies yield a customer base that is significantly different ethnically or racially from the community in their local market.
He also had connections to his fellow progressives at Miner Barnhill & Galland, the firm where Obama practiced law.
In 1997 and 1998, for example, Nancy Maldonado worked as a legal clerk in the firm while it settled the Buycks-Roberson case and collected $950,000 in fees.
She then walked through the legal industry’s revolving door to work as a clerk for Judge Castillo from 2001 to 2003.