Discrimination suit against Ropes & Grey continues

April 3, 2013 The suit against Ropes & Gray by one of the firm’s former IP litigation partners, Patricia Martone, is one step closer to determination after a hearing before U.S. District Judge John Koeltl.

Martone claims that the firm undermined her Asia-focused intellectual property practice for years by passing her clients and cases to younger male partners, and then terminated her after she complained about discrimination.

For its part, Ropes & Gray argues that Martone was not terminated out of retaliation, but rather because it no longer made economic sense to keep her.

Koeltl has reserved judgment, telling the parties that he intends to deliver a decision in a few weeks and encouraging them to discuss a settlement in the meantime. And in light of the judge’s comment that the timing of Martone’s dismissal - so soon after the conclusion of an internal investigation into Martone’s allegations - was “troubling", Ropes & Gray may well be motivated to work something out.

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