The Firms

December 16, 2008 1:36 PM

Dechert: Ex-Associate's Lawsuit is Bogus

Posted by Zach Lowe

In September, we brought you the unusual story of Marc Lubin, a former Dechert associate who sued the Philly firm for allegedly making false promises about the high-level deal exposure he would get at Dechert. In the suit, which seeks nearly $6 million in back pay and damages, Lubin claims the work provided was basically that of a "glorified paralegal"; he also said a Dechert partner told him he was fired in 2004 for being "different." Lubin took the comment as a shot at his Orthodox Jewish beliefs.

Dechert fired back in papers filed late Monday in New York trial court. The firm and its counsel at Miller & Wrubel basically claim that Lubin's entire lawsuit is bogus. The firm says no one lied to Lubin during the interview process in October 2002 (though Dechert's lawyers admit they don't know precisely what hiring partners said during those interviews), and they deny the allegation that Lubin's religion played a part in his dismissal.

As for Lubin's claim, set forth in his complaint, that he was a highly sought-after commodity who left a "secure" $215,000 job at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for the chance of more fulfilling work at his new firm, Dechert again challenges the notion. It denies that Lubin's job at Skadden was actually "secure," though the firm doesn't explain how it knows this. Dechert lead attorney Joel Miller was traveling and unavailable for comment. Skadden did not immediately respond to questions about Lubin's tenure there.

Lubin had been at Skadden since about 1999 after short stints at both Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Latham & Watkins in the mid-1990s; he graduated from Columbia Law School in 1994.

He claims Dechert offered him work on a complex deal involving the securitization of attorneys fees from tobacco litigation. The deal, which he described as "poorly organized" and "in total disarray" by the time he arrived, eventually fell apart, Lubin's complaint says. Dechert confirms the deal was a firm matter in its response, but declines to comment further citing attorney-client privilege.

Dechert's team also says the suit is barred by statute of limitations rules and seven other affirmative defenses.

Lubin's attorney, Neal Brickman, did not return calls seeking comment.

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