When Contract Attorneys Demand Overtime, Courts Are Split

October 29, 2014 – In The News
The American Lawyer

Mark Tabakman was quoted in The American Lawyer article, “When Contract Attorneys Demand Overtime, Courts Are Split.” Full text can be found in the October 29, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

New York attorney William Henig is now the lead plaintiff in a class action filed in March 2013 that accuses Quinn Emanuel and Providus New York of violating Federal Labor Standards Act and New York state law by not paying overtime.

Henig's complaint argues that even though legal work performed by lawyers is usually exempt from federal overtime requirements, the document review he performed was routine and required no independent thinking, it did not rise to the level of practicing law.

David Lola made allegations similar to Henig's in his suit against Skadden and Tower Legal Staffing.

“Whether the court will ultimately reach the same conclusion in Henig’s case remains to be seen. If the Henig case is also dismissed, that would put a real dent in the future prosecution of these cases,” says Mark Tabakman. “But plaintiffs lawyers will be looking for windows, even if they’re tiny, in those decisions that might allow for future cases.”