- Kasowitz: Associate Who Touted Superior Legal Mind Can’t Claim Ouster Deal Was Unconscionable
Kasowitz: Associate Who Touted Superior Legal Mind Can’t Claim Ouster Deal Was Unconscionable
Posted Sep 16, 2011 9:02 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A first-year associate fired after asserting he had a “superior legal mind” can’t turn around and claim his separation agreement was unconscionable, according to his former law firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman.
The law firm is seeking dismissal of the $77 million suit filed by Gregory Berry, who asserts he was fired after he emailed partners about his "superior legal mind" and asked for more responsibility, Above the Law reports. Berry’s suit, filed last month, claims the law firm lied about allowing young associates to grow quickly into their jobs.
The firm’s primary argument is that Berry’s suit is barred by the release of claims he signed in May 2011 providing, among other things, two months’ salary. The motion (PDF) is “short on snark,” Above the Law says, but it does reference Berry’s touted legal prowess in footnote 8.
“Plaintiff’s self-proclamation that he has a ‘superior legal mind’ … demonstrates he is ‘a far cry from the prototypical “uneducated” and “needy” individual for whom the unconscionability doctrine was fashioned,’ ” the footnote says. It also notes that Berry signed the agreement after receiving the advice of “experienced employment counsel.”