Murphy Secures Dismissal of All Claims in Law Firm Suit

May 17, 2018 | Commercial Litigation

Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York recently dismissed all causes of action in a suit brought by two plaintiffs, a disgruntled former associate and a contract attorney previously employed by a boutique law firm.

In the matter of Brian Brook and Matthew Peed v. Simon & Partners LLP, (17-cv-6435 (GBD)), plaintiffs asserted a number of claims including breach of contract, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit and fraud alleging that they were entitled to virtually all of the fees received by the law firm for services rendered by the firm on behalf of a client because one of the plaintiffs had originated that client.

In deciding that all claims were to be dismissed, with respect to one plaintiff, Judge Daniels determined that he was an at-will employee entitled to discretionary bonuses and that he received such bonuses.  His dissatisfaction with the payments did not entitle the former employee to pursue a greater payout under a quasi-contract theory.  With respect to the other plaintiff, the Court noted that he was paid by the hour for his services and any purported conversations with the managing partner about a possible increase in his hourly rate based upon a potential change in circumstances were matters of pure speculation and, as such, did not provide a basis for damages.

The law firm was represented by Rivkin Radler LLP partner Kenneth C. (Casey) Murphy.

This verdict was covered in the New York Law Journal.

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