Labor & Employment

Skadden, staffing agency OK payment of $75K to doc-review lawyer trio to settle overtime suit

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Updated: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and a staffing agency have agreed to settle for $75,000 a federal lawsuit by three document review attorneys seeking overtime pay.

The case is David Lola v. Skadden. Name plaintiff David Lola first sued Skadden and Tower Legal Staffing in 2013, accusing them of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying contract attorneys for overtime hours worked. The settlement, which is outlined in a Tuesday filing in the Manhattan case, is a “particularly excellent result,” writes plaintiffs’ lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum of Joseph & Kirschenbaum, since the trio will get maximum compensatory damages and one-third of the liquidated damages they might have received at trial.

However, it leaves unanswered questions concerning the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act that are also of considerable interest to other law firms, the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) reports.

They include whether document review work by the plaintiff attorneys did not require legal judgment and was hence covered by the FLSA; and also whether the law firm, as well as the defendant staffing agency, is considered the plaintiffs’ employer.

However, those questions are still alive in another ongoing case in which Kirschenbaum also represents the plaintiffs, the Am Law Daily article notes.

That case, brought by contract document-review lawyer William Henig against Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and the Providus New York LLC legal staffing company was the subject of an October summary judgment hearing in Manhattan federal court. The judge has yet to rule on the summary judgment issue.

The Am Law Daily article doesn’t include any comment from representatives of Skadden and co-defendant Tower Legal Staffing Inc. It says the staffing agency will pay the full cost of the settlement, which must be approved by the trial court before it is final.

Related coverage: “Document review arguably ‘devoid of legal judgment,’ 2nd Circuit says, allowing wage suit to proceed”

Updated Jan. 20, 2017, to name the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

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