Law Firms

Jurors rule against associate who sued King & Spalding for alleged ethical retaliation

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Fired King & Spalding associate David Joffe lost his wrongful termination lawsuit Monday when jurors found that the law firm had no liability.

Jurors deliberated for less than two-and-a-half hours before reaching a verdict, Law360 reports.

Juror Adrianne Lobel told Law360 that the decision was difficult.

“We felt really badly for the plaintiff,” she said. “He just didn’t put in enough evidence.”

Joffe had alleged that he was fired in December 2016 for raising ethical concerns about a partner who made an untrue representation to a federal judge. Joffe claimed that the firm violated an implied restriction on its ability to fire an individual who insists on compliance with legal ethics standards.

King & Spalding, on the other hand, claimed that Joffe was fired largely because of a downward slide in which he failed to file business development plans for three years.

During the trial, U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni of the Southern District of New York barred expert testimony that Joffe’s firing caused him to lose a lifetime of paychecks in BigLaw or a high-end boutique law firm, according to previous coverage by Law360.

Joffe had claimed that his lost earnings were as high as $52 million, but Caproni said he couldn’t offer the proof because he failed to lay the necessary groundwork.

Also during the trial, Caproni denied King & Spalding’s motion for judgment as a matter of law but said it was “the closest I have come to granting such a motion.”

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