Law Firms

Ex-Associate Sues Quarles & Brady, Alleges Firm Gave Minorities Harsher Evaluations

A former associate at Quarles & Brady in Phoenix contends in a lawsuit that the law firm was more critical of minorities than whites and gave better work to nonminorities.

The suit by Luis Ramírez claims that after he complained about discrimination, he was blackballed from work for some clients, subjected to “manufactured” evaluations and then fired, the Am Law Daily reports. Ramirez, a Hispanic of Dominican heritage, filed suit (PDF posted by the Am Law Daily) on Thursday in federal court in Phoenix.

“Plaintiff was subjected to evaluations that were unduly more critical than the evaluations of nonminority associates, contained generalizations and stereotypes based on race and national origin, and false assertions that were not verified for accuracy,” the suit says.

“The firm allows the evaluations to be used by discriminatory actors … as a tool to label minority employees and send the message that they are not going to make it to partnership and therefore have no reason to stay at the firm long term,” the suit alleges. “The firm also ignores that minority associates have a very difficult time getting work assignments. Consequently, many minority associates, including Hispanics, leave the firm and never become partners.”

During one evaluation, a partner attacked Ramirez’s work ethic even though he worked until 9 p.m. on a document production project for another partner for nearly a year, the suit says.

Quarles & Brady Phoenix managing partner Jon Pettibone told the Am Law Daily that the firm believes there is no merit to the suit.

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