Click here to read a personal interview with Davida Perry.
Davida S. Perry is the co-founding and managing partner of Schwartz Perry
& Heller LLP, a boutique law firm focusing on representing individuals
in all areas of employment law, including discrimination and sexual harassment cases.
Advocating fiercely for her clients for 31 years, Ms. Perry has been a
trailblazer in the field of employment law. A landmark case
(Thoreson v. Penthouse Magazine and Robert Guccione) set a significant precedent that a claim can be established based on a
victim's testimony alone. In addition to playing an important role
in the creation of the New York City Human Rights Law, Ms. Perry was significantly
involved in one of the first discrimination cases (Bracker v. Cohen) brought under this law. When the constitutionality of the law was challenged,
she fought successfully to have it upheld, which paved the way for victims
of discrimination working in New York City to avail themselves of one
of the most protective and comprehensive human rights laws in the country.
Serving as Second Chair on a sexual harassment trial (McIntyre v. Manhattan Ford), the $6.6 million award and its adjustment on appeal still stands as
one of the highest awards for sexual harassment in the nation.
Ms. Perry’s firm prosecuted employment law cases when this field
of law was relatively new and has been responsible for shaping the law.
Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP handles gender and sexual harassment disputes,
age discrimination, race, religion, nationality, and disability matters.
Ms. Perry has co-authored articles for programs sponsored by the New York
State Bar Association, The National Employment Lawyers Association, and
the Practicing Law Institute, among others. She has achieved an "AV"
rating with preeminence by Martindale-Hubbell. For each year since 2009
to the present, Ms. Perry has been designated a New York "Super Lawyer"
and a "Woman Leader In The Law.”
She’s passionate about the plight of her clients and the fundamental
importance of their jobs. In almost every case, it’s a David and
Goliath power equation, with a defenseless individual up against a company
machine that marshals an army of lawyers and human resources. She prides
herself on thinking outside the box, being tenacious and tough, but also
compassionate. She says, “When a client says to me, ‘This
is the worst time in my life and you’re the bright star,’
then I feel like I’m doing my job well.”
Ms. Perry is a proud supporter of the #metoo and #timesup movements.
Ms. Perry holds an “AV rating with preeminence” from Martindale
Hubbell, one of the oldest rating authorities worldwide. The “A”
represents the highest level of legal ability and the “V”
indicates “Very High” adherence to the Professional Code of
Responsibility in conduct, ethics, and diligence. According to Martindale.com,
the “AV” rating is a significant accomplishment — a
testament to the fact that Ms. Perry’s peers rank her at the highest
level of professional excellence
Ms. Perry has been listed by Thompson Reuters as a New York Metro Area
“Super Lawyer” every year since 2009, was named as one of
the “Top 50 Female Attorneys” in the New York Metro Area listing
in 2012 and 2013, and also named a “Woman Leader in the Law”
every year since 2012 by
New York magazine.
Ms. Perry has co-authored numerous articles and publications for programs
sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, the National Employment
Lawyers Association, and the Practicing Law Institute.
Ms. Perry has lectured on employment law for various continuing legal education
providers such as Lawline.
J.D., New England School of Law, 1985
B.A., Skidmore College, 1982
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- New York, 1986
- Massachusetts, 1986
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1992
- U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1996
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1999
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2002
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
- New York State Bar Association
- New York Employment Lawyers Association
- Women's Empowerment Networking Group
- Business Network International
Honors & Awards
- 2018 Women Leading Lawyer
- Named as one of New York's Women Leaders in the Law (2012-2018)
- Named to the New York Super Lawyers Listing (since 2009)
- "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell with Preeminence (since 2003)
- Honored by the National Employment Lawyers Association at its celebration
in honor of "Courageous Plaintiffs Who Fought Back" (1999)
- Recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Constitutional
Speaking Engagements and Publications
"Harassment in the Workpace 20 years after
Faragher" by Davida S. Perry and Brian Heller.2/27/18 For Thomson Reuters
Featured Speaker, “Individual Liability in Discrimination Cases,”
NELA/NY Spring 2017 Conference, May 12, 2017
- Featured Speaker, “Sexual Harassment & The New York City Human
Rights Law,” Lawline.com, April 24, 2012
- "Sexual Harassment in the New Millennium: The Impact of Faragher and
Ellerth," National Employment Lawyers Association Publication (Co-Author), 2002
- "How to Handle Your First Employment Discrimination Case," Practicing
Law Institute Publication (Co-Author), 1999
- "Trial Motions: Advantages and Considerations," Third Annual
Employment Law Litigation Institute, New York State Bar Association Publication,
Section on Labor and Employment Law (Co-Author), May 18-20, 1998
- "Counsel's Investigation and Retainer Agreements," National
Employment Lawyers Association Publication (Co-Author), April 24, 1998
- "Claims for Damage to an Employee's Reputation and Future Employment
Opportunities," Practicing Law Institute Publication (Co-Author),
March 5-6, 1998
- "Strategies for Settlement," Second Annual Employment Law Litigation
Institute, New York State Bar Association Publication, Section on Labor
and Employment Law (Co-Author), May 16-17, 1997