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Ex-Associate Sues Ropes & Gray, Says Firm Discriminated Against ‘Token Black Associate’

Posted Aug 3, 2011 6:04 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Claiming that he was treated as a "token black associate" despite credentials including a degree from Harvard Law School and a clerkship on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former associate of Ropes & Gray has sued the law firm for discrimination and retaliation.

John Ray III asserts claims including breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and unfair competition, reports the Am Law Daily.

The suit was filed yesterday in federal court in Boston.

In a written statement, Ropes & Gray says it is confident that the court will dismiss the case, noting that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission did not find evidence of racial bias in the firm's decision not to make Ray a partner.

The EEOC did reportedly determine that the firm had retaliated against Ray for complaining of discrimination, which does not necessarily require any finding of underlying discrimination.

Related coverage:

Above the Law (May 2011): "(Potential) Lawsuit of the Day: Another Discrimination Claim Against Ropes & Gray"

Above the Law (May 2011): "(Potential) Lawsuit of the Day: More From John Ray About Ropes & Gray"

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