A blog post on Bloomberg BNA discusses a pending case in which a contract attorney has filed a putative class action against a prominent law firm, arguing that he is entitled to overtime pay for document review work he performed. The plaintiff has argued that he and others were performing mechanical work that required no legal judgment.
In Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP, the Second Circuit overturned the trial court’s dismissal of the Complaint and held that, accepting the allegations in the Complaint as true, if the plaintiff exercised no legal judgment in his document review work, then he would not be “engaged in the practice of law.” The Second Circuit has remanded the case for further proceedings.
Traditionally, lawyers have been treated as exempt professionals under the Fair Labor Standards Act and have typically not been paid overtime wages. This case may open the door to that automatic exemption and significantly impact the way law firms operate going forward.