Allen & Overy, Biglaw, Jews, Religion

Schoenfeld v. Allen & Oy-vey-ry: We’ve Got Close to Bupkis

Norman Schoenfeld Allen Overy LLP Above the Law blog.jpgBack in December — around the holidays, so many of you may have missed it — we wrote about Schoenfeld v. Allen & Overy. It’s a lawsuit brought by Norman Schoenfeld, an observant Jewish lawyer who once worked in the New York office of Allen & Overy. Schoenfeld claims, among other things, that A&O discriminated and retaliated against him as a result of his observing the Sabbath.
Since then, we’ve received many requests for updates. This message is representative:

“Is there any news on this lawsuit? As a Sabbath observant 2L, this is of interest to me and many of my friends. A post on ATL providing an update would be appreciated. Love the site. Thanks.”

We’re not aware of any procedural developments in the case. And we sadly didn’t receive much in response to our request for firsthand information about Norman Schoenfeld or Allen & Overy in New York. Here’s the most interesting tip we received — some opinions from an A&O associate:

“That this suit goes on is beyond anyone here at A&O. I did not know this Schoenfeld guy much for the five minutes he worked here and don’t know if his complaint has merit. I will say this though: associates don’t want to work with Mark Wojciechowski and are asking not to work with him.”

“He told A&O he was bringing associates from Mayer Brown; MB associates refused to come work with him. Better to stay on a sinking ship like MB NY than work for a nightmare like Mark Woj….”

“No one can understand how firm management let this happen (rumor is that A&O already fired their first outside counsel). Recruitment of NY lawyers is badly affected and we just wait to see how much this costs the firm in damages (and associates of course since all s**t gets passed down – you know the partners won’t take the hit in their pocket).”

We contacted the firm for comment, but they didn’t have anything to add.
If you have any firsthand information to pass along about the events in question, please email us. Thanks.
Complaint: Norman Schoenfeld v. Allen & Overy (PDF)
Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: The Jewish Version of Charney v. S&C?

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