Contract Attorneys

Lawyer suing for document-review OT applies for job with defendant; sanctions bid fails

A lawyer who filed a suit contending that lawyers in document-review jobs deserve overtime pay is still looking for contract work—and even sent his resume to one of the defendants.

The resume sent by David Lola to Tower Legal Staffing spurred a sanctions bid by its lawyers, who contended Lola’s resume shows that document review is indeed the practice of law, the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) reports. Lola is name plaintiff in the would-be class action that claims document review is routine, nonexempt work that is entitled to overtime pay.

Lola’s resume describes document-review tasks that are the subject of the litigation, according to Tower’s lawyers at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. Lola said his work included “quality control, privilege logging and redactions.” In the defense lawyers’ view, that work is more extensive than alleged in Lola’s complaint.

The Ogletree lawyers sent a safe-harbor letter to Lola’s lawyer threatening a sanctions request if the suit wasn’t withdrawn, spurring Lola’s lawyer to notify the court about the issue, the story says. Ogletree’s lawyers outlined their views in their own letter (PDF) to the court.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan indicated there would be no need to file the sanctions request. “The court sees no obvious inconsistency between the resume entry and any of the allegations” in the plaintiff’s suit, Sullivan said in his order (PDF). Tower’s arguments “would not support a nonfrivolous motion for sanctions and are really addressed to the merits of the pending motion to dismiss,” he wrote.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is also a defendant, but it was not a party to the sanctions letter, the Am Law Daily says.

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