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When D.C. communications boutique Fisher, Wayland, Cooper, Leader & Zaragoza merged with Shaw Pittman in 2000, Fisher partner Douglas Woloshin wasn’t sure his corporate work would blend well with his new firm. So he made sure that the merger agreement allowed him to leave at any time and immediately receive his withdrawal payments. A year later, he was forced out. Now, Woloshin’s locked in battle with Shaw Pittman over $326,000 in retirement payments, according to court documents in Arlington County Circuit Court. Neither party is talking, but court papers detail the saga. For the first few months after Woloshin left, Shaw Pittman paid him more than $167,000 in retirement pay. Now the firm says those payments were made in error because changes in the partnership agreement mandate that such payments can only be made after a departing partner turns 62. (Woloshin was 55 at the time he left.) Woloshin, currently the managing partner of Duane Morris‘ 40-attorney D.C. office, claims the amended agreement does not apply to him because of his status under the merger contract. Shaw Pittman has hired Venable attorney Philip Harvey and counterclaimed that Woloshin should return the money. Last month, Harvey tried to subpoena management at Duane Morris over when and how it wooed Woloshin to its D.C. office. The court turned down that request, but the case is set for trial in February.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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