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Jones Day offices in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

Jones Day lawyers, representing CVS Pharmacy Corp., are raising alarms that a federal appeals court decision that erased a fee award misapplied legal standards and will invite “protracted” litigation over compensation in future cases.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in June overturned a $307,000 fee award for the law firm, which had successfully challenged U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission claims that a CVS severance agreement unlawfully interfered with protected workplace rights.

The appeals court, finding the EEOC’s case against CVS wasn’t fruitless, vacated the legal fees awarded to Jones Day. The applicable fee statute, the court said, “does not punish a civil rights litigant for pursuing a novel, even ambitious theory.” The law firm on Monday asked the court to reconsider the decision stripping fees.

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