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Boies, Schiller & Flexner has agreed to have a judgment entered against it and to pay $37,500 each to two plaintiffs to settle a wage and sex discrimination suit brought in the Southern District of New York. The suit was brought by Bonnie Porter and Rachel Baird, two former female associates at the Armonk, N.Y.-based firm. Boies Schiller will also pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs. Hillary Richard of New York’s Brune & Richard, who represented the plaintiffs, said she expected Boies Schiller ultimately to pay between $150,000 and $200,000 pursuant to the settlement. In a statement, Porter said she agreed to the settlement because the firm had taken steps to address the issues raised in the suit. “This suit was about trying to make a difference, and I believe we have,” she said. “Today is a victory for all of us.” But Philip C. Korologos, Boies Schiller’s administrative partner and an individual defendant in the case, said that the firm had admitted no wrongdoing in the judgment and had made a tactical decision to try to end the suit for a nominal amount. “This nuisance value settlement is far less than our cost of defending this claim,” he said, adding that the $75,000 was a small fraction of what the defendants had originally sought. Apart from the firm and Korologos, partners David Boies and Robert Silver were also named as defendants. Boies, the high-profile litigator known for his work in the Microsoft antitrust case and other matters, defended himself. Mary Boies, the wife of David Boies but not an attorney at the firm, represented Silver and Korologos. The firm was represented by New York’s Epstein Becker & Green. Porter and Baird filed suit Jan. 15 alleging that Boies Schiller had maintained a segregated system that gave preferential treatment to men in terms of both salaries and status. The women charged that the firm placed female associates on a non-partnership track where they earned lower salaries than male partnership-track associates who performed substantially the same work. In their complaint, the women claimed that Baird, a 1992 Yale Law School graduate, earned no more than $112,000 a year at the firm, while two male partnership-track associates who graduated in 1996 received salaries of $159,000. The women also claimed they received bonuses based on 25 percent of certain billings, while male associates received 30 percent. The two women also filed a complaint in April 2001 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is pending. The plaintiffs would have sought a larger award of punitive damages had the case gone to trial, Richard said, though she noted an award of punitive damages would have been dependent on the outcome of the EEOC investigation, as punitive damages are unavailable for claims based on the wage discrimination claims. “Punitive damages are never a sure thing,” she said. “To resolve this case pre-discovery with a judgment against the firm is a great result.” CHANGES SEEN Richard said her clients were more amenable to settlement because Boies Schiller had recently placed the three remaining female associates in the firm’s Armonk headquarters on a partnership track and had given them substantial salary increases. These steps were not taken as part of the settlement agreement, but Richard said her clients felt their actions had forced the firm to act. “That was a huge piece of this for Rachel and Bonnie,” said Richard. “Their goal was to change the situation for the women left behind.” Korologos acknowledged the firm had made changes, but attributed them to the growth of the firm, and denied any relationship between changes at the firm and the lawsuit. Baird joined the firm in January 2000 after working for seven years as an assistant attorney general in Connecticut and as an assistant state’s attorney for the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. Porter, a 1998 graduate of Boston College School of Law, joined Boies Schiller in April 2000. She had previously been an associate at New York’s Rosenman & Colin, now KMZ Rosenman. Both left the firm in early 2001 and claimed in their suit they were constructively discharged when it became apparent that “they would never be treated with the same respect as their male counterparts.” Baird is now a solo practitioner in Torrington, Conn., while Porter is an associate at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder in Providence, R.I.

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