In August, I discussed a putative class filed by a contract attorney arguing he was entitled to overtime pay for document review work. In Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., the Second Circuit overturned the trial court’s dismissal of a complaint and remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that, accepting the allegations in the Complaint as true, dismissal was improper.
A similar case had been filed against Quinn Emanuel in the Southern District of New York. See Henig v. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, 13-cv-1432. Last week, the District Court granted the law firm’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff contract attorney reviewing documents was “practicing law” and therefore exempt from overtime pay pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 541.304(a)(1).
Discussing the document review work, Judge Abrams noted that “Not all of it is law at its grandest but all of it is the practice of law.” The document review work “anticipate[d] the need for legal judgment, particularly with regard to privilege, which [was] ‘tricky’ and include[d] ‘a lot of gray areas.'”
Stayed tuned for further rulings in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Tower Legal Staffing, Inc.