The WSJ Law Blog reports that New York Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman held that a former Holland & Knight partner wasn’t an employee under city and state anti-discrimination laws and therefore wasn’t entitled to age discrimination protection for his expulsion at age 55.
Per the Law Blog’s summary, the ex-“partner” argued that he was “utterly unable to influence the firm to do much of anything” (which will ring true to many law partners). But the Justice reasoned that plaintiff “offered no evidence to show that he didn’t have a stake in Holland & Knight, or that he didn’t have a right to elect managing partners or directors.”
A few years ago I blogged an overview of the vague and confused law on the subject, including the views of Judges Easterbrook and Posner in an important case, and the leading Supreme Court opinion. For the full and up-to-date examination, see Bromberg & Ribstein, §2.02(b)(2).
Until the Court clarifies the law (as Judge Easterbrook sought to do), these cases will multiply as Big Law disintegrates, dumping partners along the way.