Nafissatou Diallo might be accusing Dominque Strauss-Kahn of committing a crime in Manhattan, but she filed her civil suit in the Bronx, where she lives. That was probably a canny move, say legal experts. Juries in the borough tend to be far more sympathetic to plaintiffs, and award far higher payouts than in, say, Manhattan. The Post cites an unsourced stat that, at one time, the average payout in the Bronx was $5 million, compared with $1 million in Manhattan.
"The Bronx civil jury is the greatest tool of wealth redistribution since the Red Army," said civil-rights lawyer Ron Kuby. "As a purported socialist, DSK shouldn't mind the venue," Kuby quipped.
(The Post is still having a hard time deciding whom it dislikes more in the case, apparently.)
A jury of Diallo's peers in the Bronx would probably be closer to just that — her peers: other immigrants, more minorities, and less wealthy than it might be in Manhattan. It's likely that such a group would be more sympathetic to her story — though, on the other hand, news reports explaining the "Bronx effect" don't do her legal team any great service in trying to counteract the image of Diallo as a gold-digger.
DSK's lawyers, meanwhile, will probably file to have the suit moved to federal court in Manhattan or even Westchester, where a jury would probably be even whiter and wealthier. Such a maneuver might be the most naked acknowledgement yet of the class and race issues that have been swirling around the case since the outset.