Plaintiffs firm Sanford Heisler Sharp said Monday that it is opening a new office in Baltimore led by Deborah Marcuse, who rejoined the firm in February.
The firm also recruited Steven Kelly, formerly a partner at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White, to lead the firm’s criminal/sexual violence practice from the new Baltimore location.
Sanford Heisler, which built its reputation winning big settlements in discrimination class action litigation and qui tam lawsuits against companies including Amgen and Novartis, recently found a new niche suing major law firms. Before Norton Rose Fulbright absorbed Chadbourne & Parke, Sanford Heisler represented a female partner in a $100 million gender bias suit against Chadbourne. Chadbourne, with its successor firm, agreed to settle the case last month. A similar Sanford Heisler case against Proskauer Rose is still pending in Washington, D.C., federal court.
Marcuse, who previously ran Sanford Heisler’s New York office before joining Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec in Pennsylvania, will co-chair the firm’s Title VII practice from Baltimore. She said the firm’s recent efforts on pay inequity in Big Law helped to attract her back to Sanford Heisler.
“I am super interested in the work that we do, and Sanford Heisler Sharp has a unique team,” Marcuse said.
She added that she was excited to be working again with David Sanford, chairman of the firm, and the opportunity to address issues involving workplace harassment.
Kelly said he was attracted to Sanford Heisler because it offered a larger platform for his practice representing survivors of sexual assault, which he said had “grown tremendously” in the wake of the #MeToo moment.
Kelly became involved as a teenager as an advocate supporting assault survivors after the sexual assault and murder of his sister.
Baltimore is Kelly’s hometown, but his practice had increasingly become national. His new firm will allow him to partner with new colleagues such as Marcuse on major cases, he said.
Marcuse, a former Washington, D.C., resident, said Baltimore presented the firm with a lot of opportunities to take on important civil rights matters, and she was excited to return to the area.
Sanford Heisler’s Baltimore office—its sixth location after Washington, New York, San Francisco, San Diego and Nashville—is already up and running. The Baltimore lawyers are working out of temporary office space near the Inner Harbor, for now, with expectations of finding a permanent home this fall.