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February 3, 2010 6:47 PM

Fried Frank Responds to Discrimination Suits

Posted by Zach Lowe

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson responded forcefully to an ex-associate's suit that accuses the firm of denying her partnership because she is gay, ignoring her complaints about sexual harassment and instructing lawyers to write exaggerated negative performance reviews of unpopular associates. 

The $50 million suit was filed in December in federal court in Manhattan by Julie Kamps, a Harvard Law School graduate who worked at Fried Frank for a decade before the firm allegedly terminated her during the middle of an arbitration in January 2009. Kamps claimed that litigation partner Janice Mac Avoy sexually harassed her; that partners told her to wear more feminine clothing; and that firm higher-ups retaliated against her for complaining. Kamps is represented by Daryl Davis of the employment firm Doman Davis; Davis did not return a call seeking comment. 

In a response filed late last month, Fried Frank, repped by Proskauer Rose partner Bettina Plevan, denied all of Kamps's allegations and argued that Kamps failed to state a valid claim, failed to seek other remedies, and missed the statute of limitations deadline.

Proskauer also is defending Fried Frank in an employment discrimination case filed in June in federal court in Washington, D.C., by a former document specialist. The plaintiff in that case, Ivory Fuller, alleges that Fried Frank failed to pay her overtime, denied her medical leave, and fired her after she complained. Fuller, who is black, also claims the firm discriminated against her based on her race.  A representative for The Goldsmith Law Firm, which represents Fuller, declined to comment. Fried Frank has denied Fuller's allegations in that case. 

A third former employee, Roseanne Zito, filed an employment discrimination case against Fried Frank in late November, court records show. A lawyer for Zito could not be included; Fried Frank has not yet responded to Zito's suit.

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