The saga continues…
The law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP has recently fired another salvo in its bid to defeat the class and collective action filed against it, based on a theory that temporary lawyers were not doing “professional” or “attorney” work and were therefore non-exempt. The firm filed a a short notice seeking judgment and had sent a supporting memorandum of law to USDJ Abrams pursuant to an individual practice rule “concerning redactions and filing under seal.” The case is entitled Hening v Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP et al.
The law firm previously sought (in December 2013) to have the case dismissed relying on the FLSA professional exemption, but Judge Abrams refused to dismiss the suit, concluding that it was “not implausible that Henig engaged in something other than the practice of law.” The plaintiff had argued that his work was “extremely routine” and did not require any exercise or utilization of “legal knowledge and/or judgment in performing his job duties…”
A similar case filed against Skadden Arps had been dismissed and is being appealed by the plaintiff to the Second Circuit. Obviously, and quite appropriately, the outcome of that case will be (probably) dispositive of the Quinn dispute, unless there are significant factual differences.
On that note, and but yesterday, Judge Abrams ruled that he would not decide the case before him, pending the Second Circuit Skadden decision. This was done pursuant to the plaintiff’s request to stay.
The consolidation is appropriate. I still adhere to my earlier conclusion—the defendant law firms will prevail.
Only more so…