Coty Montag

Coty Montag Thurgood Marshall Institute Researcher & LDF Senior Counsel

As Senior Counsel for LDF, Coty Montag serves as lead counsel in numerous economic justice matters, including Pickett v. City of Cleveland, the first lawsuit to challenge a municipality’s water lien practices under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). She also serves as lead counsel for LDF in employment discrimination cases challenging criminal background check policies and in other fair housing matters. Coty is a frequent speaker at legal conferences nationwide, particularly regarding issues involving water justice, fair lending, and housing, and has co-authored numerous amicus briefs that have been submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts.

In addition to her role as Senior Counsel, Coty also serves as a Researcher for LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute. In 2019, the Institute published her report, Water/Color: A Study of Race and the Water Affordability Crisis in America’s Cities.

Before joining LDF in 2015, Coty served as the Deputy Chief of the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice, where she investigated and litigated fair lending matters. Her cases included United States v. Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank (E.D. Mich. 2013), the government’s largest-ever auto discrimination settlement; United States v. Synchrony Bank, f/k/a GE Capital Retail Bank (D. Utah 2014), the government’s largest-ever credit card discrimination settlement; and United States v. Wells Fargo Bank (D.D.C. 2012), a major fair lending investigation resulting in a $234.3 million settlement. During Coty’s tenure, the Civil Rights Division obtained nearly $1 billion in relief for Black and Latinx borrowers in fair lending settlements.

Prior to her service at the Department, Coty was an associate at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP in San Diego, California, where she focused on fair lending, consumer protection, and antitrust class action litigation on behalf of individual and institutional plaintiffs. Coty is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Florida.