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Major Lindsey & Africa LLC’s racketeering lawsuit against a former recruiter has survived a motion to dismiss — barely. Denying in part the motion filed by a former Major Lindsey managing director Sharon Mahn, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon on Tuesday rejected Mahn’s argument that the dispute, which centers on confidential job placement information, belonged in arbitration. The judge also denied a stay in the action until the parties arbitrate money claims. The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the same ruling, however, the judge threw out Major Lindsey’s claims against Mahn under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and denied the firm’s request for expedited discovery. She issued some stern words regarding the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations claims, and ordered Major Lindsey to supplement its complaint with additional information about those claims before allowing any further discovery. “I frankly have no interest in retaining a case in which it appears that federal charges have been trumped up in order to avoid litigating what are essentially state and common law claims in New York Supreme Court,” the judge wrote. She added that she had “ample experience with the assertion of bogus RICO claims” by litigants who wanted to obtain federal jurisdiction or extract a “coercive settlement” by labeling someone a racketeer. Major Lindsey’s lawsuit, filed on May 26, alleges that Mahn, a former managing director of partner practice group in the firm’s New York office, took proprietary information about attorney job openings from its computers and gave it to at least one competing placement firm, Kagan Consultants Inc. Parker Leland LLC is another defendant. Major Lindsey allegedly discovered Mahn’s disclosures in e-mails she sent to one of the co-defendants and fired her in November 2009. Following her termination, the company copied the hard drive of Mahn’s personal computer, with her permission. McMahon noted that Major Lindsey has more than 15,000 pages of Mahn’s personal e-mails. In addition to asserting CFAA and RICO violations, Major Lindsey alleges breach of fiduciary duty and seeks an equitable accounting of the defendant firms. The complaint is under seal, but other court papers are available. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief barring Mahn from misappropriating and misusing data she allegedly obtained. McMahon found on Tuesday that, under an arbitration agreement between Major Lindsey and Mahn, claims for injunctive and declaratory relief belonged in court while monetary and other equitable claims belonged in arbitration. “[N]ot a dime in damages can be or will be awarded by this court against Mahn in connection with any claim,” she wrote. The judge noted that Major Lindsey had not sought a preliminary injunction when it discovered the alleged breach in November 2009 and had waited until the following May to file its lawsuit, at which time it again did not seek a preliminary injunction. “I do not disagree with defendants’ argument that plaintiff’s failure to sue Mahn until months after she was fired, as well as its failure to move for a preliminary injunction when it filed the lawsuit — or at any time to and including today — makes it highly unlikely that the plaintiff will obtain an injunction. But plaintiff is the master of its complaint,” she wrote. Representing Major Lindsey is Jeff Reichert, group general counsel for Allegis Group Inc. “The order speaks for itself,” said Reichert, who declined to comment further. Representing Mahn is Robert Anello of New York’s Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer. “The opinion speaks for itself,” Anello said, declining further comment. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Friday.

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