A federal judge has kept intact a $50 million gender bias lawsuit against Proskauer Rose, but the Jane Doe plaintiff still faces a key hurdle: demonstrating that, as an equity partner, she’s covered under anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting employees, as opposed to business owners.

Following an in-court status conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Proskauer’s bid for summary judgment and dismissal of the suit. The judge sent the case into a discovery period, directing the two sides to limit their search to evidence that bears on the question of whether Doe should be viewed as a business owner, who would not qualify for protections under anti-discrimination laws, or as an employee who would be protected.

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