Biglaw, Minority Issues, Racism

What’s Going On With Mayer Brown’s Title VII Suit?

Back in 2009, we wrote about a Title VII suit that a former associate filed against Mayer Brown. To make a long story short (read our prior posts for the full background), Venus Yvette Springs, an African American woman, alleges that the firm discriminated against her because of her race, and eventually fired her in 2008 during the height of layoff season.

Springs filed her complaint against the Biglaw firm more than two and a half years ago, and in the time since, both parties have filed lengthy motions for summary judgment. Springs, who apparently had some time on her hands, also filed a lawsuit against Ally Financial, claiming that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for her suit against Mayer Brown.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled on the motions, and we’ve finally got an update. Will this discrimination suit be allowed to proceed?

Before we get to the ruling, here’s a refresher on the heart of Springs’s case against Mayer Brown:

discrimination complaint Mayer 1.jpg

Hey, being used as a “marketing tool” probably isn’t a half-bad gig, so long as you’ve got a $210K job to show for it like Springs once did. But that’s beside the point — what was the judge’s ruling?

According to the Am Law Daily, U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn has denied both motions for summary judgment, and has given Springs’s Title VII suit the go-ahead to proceed to trial:

A lawsuit brought by a former Mayer Brown associate in which she claims the firm fired her because she is black can proceed, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Friday. At the same time, the judge cleared the way for counterclaims brought by Mayer Brown that accuse the associate of improperly taking confidential client documents in the months prior to her September 2008 departure from the firm.

As you can imagine, Springs, who in her departure memo compared her time at Mayer Brown to the Holocaust (oy vey, you read that correctly), is happy just to have survived… summary judgment. Am Law reached out to Springs for comment, and she noted that she was “very pleased.”

Springs is “so, so look[ing] forward to trial.” You wouldn’t think that a woman who quoted Bible passages in her departure memo would be, like, so, so excited for anything except a prayer circle, but apparently the Lord on high heard her prayers on this case.

Springs is represented by Julie Fosbinder in this case, so unlike her pro se filing against Ally Financial, we may not see any additional legal documents filled with highly repetitive, confusing, and incomprehensible rambling. But get out your rosaries, folks, because we can always pray for another benchslap.

Discrimination Suit Against Mayer Brown Can Proceed, Judge Rules [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: Benchslap of the Day: A Case of Having Too Much Flair
Plaintiff in Mayer Brown Title VII Case Departed With Flair
Title VII Suit Against Mayer Brown

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