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October 7, 2009 11:14 AM

Judge Tosses Suits by Kasowitz Benson and Ex-IP Chair

Posted by Brian Baxter

For almost two years, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman and former IP chair Jeremy Pitcock traded nasty accusations over Pitcock's departure from the firm in December 2007. Last week a state court judge in New York told both sides to take their respective civil suits and go home.

The New York Law Journal's Nate Raymond reports that Justice Martin Shulman found Pitcock's claims of defamation, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty on the part of his former employer to be "unavailing" and "unpersuasive."

The dispute began in January 2008 when Kasowitz Benson released a statement citing Pitcock's alleged sexual harassment of female employees as the reason he left the firm for New York IP boutique Morgan & Finnegan.

After being ousted at Morgan & Finnegan, which filed for bankruptcy and disbanded earlier this year, Pitcock sued Kasowitz Benson in June 2008. The firm responded with a suit of its own against Pitcock the following month, accusing him of harassing 12 women in a manner that "extended to physical contact and assault."

The two cases were later consolidated in New York state court. In a ruling that won't be published until later today, Shulman also found that Kasowitz Benson had failed to show how Pitcock's departure had damaged the firm.

Sullivan & Cromwell partner Gandolfo "Vince" DiBlasi represented Kasowitz Benson in the matter, while Pitcock turned to John Balestriere and Craig Lanza from New York's Balestriere Lanza.

The NYLJ reports that Pitcock, who court records show once earned $1.2 million annually at Kasowitz Benson, now runs a two-lawyer IP shop called The Pitcock Law Group in Nanuet, N.Y.

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