Recent Happenings with Our Firm
DAVIDA PERRY SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT
May 12, 2017, Featured Speaker at NELA/NY Spring 2017 Conference "Individual
Liability in Discrimination Cases"
MOTION TO DISMISS AGE DISCRIMINATION CASE SUCCESSFULLY DEFEATED
Schwartz Perry & Heller is pleased to announce that we have successfully
defeated a motion to dismiss our client’s claims for age discrimination.
In the case of Kolja v. R.A. Cohen, our client was repeatedly degraded
because of his age, which included being told, “You are an old man,
you can’t work anymore” and “We need young men here.”
The court found that even though the plaintiff remained employed, he nevertheless
showed that he was damaged by these degrading comments and changes to
his assignments. We are pleased that our client will finally be able to
present his claims to a jury.
$1.555 MILLION JUDGMENT OBTAINED BY SCHWARTZ PERRY & HELLER AFFIRMED
BY COURT OF APPEALS
On March 23, 2017, the First Department affirmed a judgment for over $1.555
million that Schwartz Perry & Heller achieved for our client after
a six week trial in a case involving sexual harassment and retaliation. In Rivera v. UPS, the appellate court rejected the company's arguments
seeking to vacate the Judgment. The Judgment awarded our client her financial
losses and attorney's fees, as well as an award of $300,000 for emotional
distress and another $300,000 for punitive damages.
Schwartz Perry & Heller is proud to have obtained this substantial
result for our client, which demonstrates the harmful impact that sexual
harassment can have on victims. We hope that this decision will put employers
on notice that they must take sexual harassment in the workplace seriously.
AGE DISCRIMINATION CASE AGAINST ANTHROPOLOGIE HIGHLIGHTED IN NY DAILY NEWS
December 14, 2015 The following article about our age discrimination case
against Anthropologie appeared in the New York Daily News on December 13, 2015:
It appears that age discrimination is the stylish new thing at Anthropologie,
a new lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court alleges.
Blair Davis-Garett, now 57, says her bosses and co-workers at the boho-chic
chain boutique routinely tormented her because of her age.
Davis-Garett started working at a Long Island Anthropologie store in fall
2012, as a seasonal worker. The mother of two was then hired full-time
and, at age 54, “was significantly older” than her co-workers
and supervisors, the suit says.
When the store closed in January 2013, younger employees were moved to
other Long Island locations. Davis-Garett said she was transferred to
Davis-Garett’s manager gave her less desirable assignments, such
as the fitting room, she claims.
Once, Davis-Garett said she was assigned “the unenviable task of
cleaning up a dirty tampon that was left in the fitting room and feces
that was on the sales floor, none of which was required of her younger
co-workers,” the lawsuit alleges.
Davis-Garett had made clear she wanted to move up in the company, but when
a supervisor position opened up, it wasn’t discussed with her, she claims.
Anthropologie hired a twentysomething woman, whom Davis-Garett wound up training.
When Davis-Garett learned about another supervisor opening in June 2013,
she told her boss she was interested. Davis-Garett claims her boss replied,
“‘There are no managers who are your age,’” and
that “‘You’re not going to have the stamina to be a
Her lawyer, Brian Heller, said, “This really represents the worst
of what a person can expect in the workplace.”
Urban Outfitters, which owns Anthropologie, said, “We do not comment
on ongoing litigation. However, the company abhors discrimination of any
kind and has strong policies in place which flatly prohibit age discrimination.”
ATTORNEY BRIAN HELLER TESTIFIES BEFORE CITY COUNCIL
Decmber 9, 2015-Schwartz and Perry attorney Brian Heller testified before
the City Council’s Civil Rights Committee regarding certain proposed
amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law. Brian provided testimony
regarding Int. No. 814, which would amend the City Law to make certain
that any exceptions to the law be construed narrowly by courts, and would
recognize three court decisions that have followed the City Law’s
directive that courts use a broad and liberal analysis. Schwartz Perry
& Heller is pleased to be of assistance in ensuring that the City
Law remains at the forefront of the civil rights laws in the country.
FIRM WINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION IN AGE DISCRIMINATION SUIT
May 6, 2015.- Schwartz Perry & Heller prevailed in a summary judgment
motion in a New York age discrimination case. See coverage in the New
York Law Journal
SCHWARTZ, PERRY, & HELLER NAMED TO THE 2013 NEW YORK SUPER LAWYERS LIST
October 7, 2013 - Once again, Murray Schwartz and Davida Perry were selected
to the Metro New York Super Lawyers List in the field of "Employment
Law Litigation: Plaintiffs." Brian Heller, who was named to the Rising
Stars list last year, also joined them on the list this year. Additionally,
Davida Perry was named as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers on the list
for the second consecutive year.
FIRM IS CITED IN ABC NEWS ARTICLE REGARDING GENDER INEQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE
The article containing the comments by Brian Heller, Esq. can be found
MURRAY SCHWARTZ & DAVIDA PERRY NAMED TO THE 2011 NEW YORK SUPER LAWYERS LIST
October 7, 2011 - The New York Times Magazine contained a supplement entitled
New York Super Lawyers, in which it was announced that, once again, Murray
Schwartz and Davida Perry were selected as Super Lawyers in 2011, in the
field of "Employment Law Litigation: Plaintiffs."
The list appeared in New York Super Lawyers - Metro Edition and was seen
by more than one million readers and subscribers in a special advertising
supplement to the New York Times Magazine on Sunday, October 2, 2011 as
well as in New York Super Lawyers Magazine. Super Lawyers is viewed by
more than 13 million readers across the nation. Mr. Schwartz and Ms. Perry
are both delighted to again be named to the list also attended the biennial
reception held at the New York Palace Hotel in which the recognized attorneys
MURRAY SCHWARTZ IS INVITED TO APPEAR ON BLOOMBERG TELEVISION
On August 9, 2010, our Managing Partner Murray Schwartz appeared as a
guest on Bloomberg Television's program, "Taking Stock with Pimm
Fox." It was, of course, an honor for him to have been selected as
a guest panelist. The discussion centered on the recent resignation of
Mark Hurd as the Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard. Mr. Schwartz
served as one of two panelists who were interviewed by Mr. Fox. The other
panelist was an attorney whose office is in Washington, D.C. The conversation
initially began with a discussion of the facts and issues concerning the
conduct of several Chief Executives at large publicly held companies.
The subject matter of the discussion was then broadened to include more
general comments about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Mr. Schwartz stated his belief that sexual harassment in the workplace,
in many cases, is about power and the exercise of that power at the expense
of other employees who became victims. Additionally, Mr. Schwartz discussed
the protections employees who come forward in complaining of sexual harassment
and discrimination are afforded by the laws against retaliation. Mr. Schwartz
was able to provide unique and insightful thoughts on sexual harassment
in the workplace from his perspective as one of the recognized, leading
plaintiff's lawyers in that field.
To view a video of Mr. Schwartz's appearance please click
MURRAY SCHWARTZ INTERVIEWED BY MARKETWATCH ON ISSUES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
On August 9, 2010, our Managing Partner, Murray Schwartz was interviewed
by Market Watch, an online segment of the Wall Street Journal, with respect
to the question of "how firms may avoid sexual harassment problems."
In his interview by Market Watch, Mr. Schwartz stated, among other things,
that "the way it's prevent is by having a strong policy that
if someone does engage in sexual harassment they will be punished…the
stakes should be very high." During the interview, Mr. Schwartz made
other comments, one of which stated that, "the atmosphere of an office
should discourage too much informality such as when workers tell inappropriate
He also explained that "the workplace should not be sexually charged."
The conversation continued for a period of time, during which the subject
of sexual harassment was further discussed. Given the fact that Mr. Schwartz
is widely recognized as an attorney who has been involved in the subject
of sexual harassment since its very inception, it was fitting that he
be invited to speak on this very timely subject. Mr. Schwartz was involved
in a number of landmark cases that have helped shape the field of sexual
To view the article, please click
MURRAY SCHWARTZ ATTENDS NYCLA MENTORING PROGRAM EVENT ON STATEN ISLAND
Our Managing Partner, Murray Schwartz, in his role as a Mentor in the
New York County Lawyers' Association Mentoring program, attended an
outing at the Staten Island Yankees baseball game at Richmond County Ballpark
on Staten Island. The event was well-attended by mentors and mentees,
as well as members of the NYCLA staff. Mr. Schwartz was selected as a
NYCLA Mentor in January 2010, in its first class of Mentors in the pilot
program. He was selected along with several judges and other significant
members of the legal community. Mr. Schwartz, in his role as a Mentor,
helps to guide his mentee in developing and pursuing her legal career.
Mr. Schwartz commented that "the ball game was wonderful, but the
outstanding parts of the event were both the attractive setting of the
ball park with the New York City skyline behind it, as well as to share
the company of fellow mentors and mentees." Mr. Schwartz looks forward
to future mentor/mentee program events and is so very pleased to confirm
his strong belief that the program has great merit. It remains his hope
that he will continue to be afforded the opportunity to participate in
the program which he vigorously supports, for all the many benefits it
has and can provide.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ TO PRESENT LECTURE AT THE NEW YORK COUNTY LAWYERS'
It is with pleasure that we report that our Managing Partner, Murray Schwartz,
will present a lecture entitled, "An Introduction to Employment Law:
The Most Exciting Field in the Law!" on July 20, 2010, as part of
the New York County Lawyers' Association's (NYCLA) "Bridge
the Gap" continuing legal education (CLE) lecture series. The event
will take place at the Bloomberg Building in New York City."Bridge
the Gap" continuing legal education (CLE) programs are an opportunity
for newly admitted attorneys and law school graduates to satisfy their
first- or second-year of CLE credits. Mr. Schwartz has been a member of
the NYCLA faculty for many years and regularly writes and lectures extensively
on various topics related to employment law.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ NAMED TO THE ADVISORY BOARD OF THE ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY CENTER
We are pleased to announce that our Managing Partner, Murray Schwartz,
has been named to the Advisory Board of the St. John's University
Center for Labor and Employment Law. The mission of the Center is to help
perpetuate opportunities for students and practitioners to join to further
explore both the legal and practical implications of all aspects of labor
and employment law. Through the opportunities afforded by the Center,
Law students are afforded the opportunities to meet and work with practitioners
in the labor and employment fields through conferences and workshops sponsored
by the Center. Additionally, students are given opportunities to gain
skills and experiences through networking events and competitions organized
yearly by the Center. Mr. Schwartz enthusiastically looks forward to a
long and positive association with the University and Law School, and
to offer whatever assistance he may be called upon to provide.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ LECTURES TO CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW EMPLOYMENT LAW CLASS
We are proud that our Senior Partner, Murray Schwartz was invited to deliver
a lecture to the Labor and Employment Law Clinic course of the Benjamin
N. Cardozo School of Law. The event took place on February 23, 2010. Mr.
Schwartz' lecture encompassed a broad spectrum of topics within the
field of employment discrimination law. Among the issues Mr. Schwartz
discussed with the students were the Federal, State, and City human rights
laws, the role of employment discrimination attorneys in the workplace,
the Restoration Act of 2005, and why employment law is one of the most
exciting fields of practice. Following the lecture, there was an in-depth
question and answer period in which the students engaged Mr. Schwartz
in a lively discussion of both the legal and practical elements of employment
discrimination law. The response of the students clearly evidenced that
they enjoyed the lecture and benefitted from it.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ NAMED ONE OF NYCLA'S FIRST MENTORS
We are pleased to share with you the news that our Managing Partner Murray
Schwartz was selected as one of the Mentors in the New York County Lawyer's
Association (NYCLA) Mentoring Program. According to the program's
handbook, the Mentoring Program is designed to develop a positive and
supportive one-on-one relationship between an experienced individual and
an individual that wants to further his or her career; to provide constant
support and guidance through the Mentoring Program; to help the Mentee
develop their skills and gain confidence in their abilities; and to develop
a comfort level with self-promotion in the legal profession.
During the first meeting of the Mentors, which took place at the Home of
the Law - NYCLA's Building, the Mentors were afforded the opportunity
to meet with their respective Mentees and move forward with the program.
The mentors were charged with the responsibility of, among other things,
guiding the Mentee to develop skills necessary for success in the legal
profession, including dealing with ethical issues. Mr. Schwartz looks
forward to his participation in the program which will provide him the
opportunity to share his insights and experiences gained through over
sixty years of practice.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ SERVES AS PROGRAM CHAIR OF PANEL DISCUSSION SPONSORED BY NYCLA
On January 14, 2010 Murray Schwartz was the Program Chair and participated
in a panel discussion on various issues related to employment discrimination.
The conference, entitled, "Issues and Insights into the Field of
Employment Discrimination Law" was sponsored by the New York County
Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) and created by Mr. Schwartz. Murray Schwartz,
along with two other members of Schwartz Perry & Heller, Brian Heller
and Matthew Schatz, participated in the program. The response of members
of the audience to the lecture was provided to us by NYCLA and consisted
of at least the following:
"Speakers were very knowledge and presented materials well."
"The Q&A [Question & Answer] period was interesting"
"I liked the Q&A format - good idea"
"Murray Schwartz was brilliant and captivating"
"I liked the Q&A session"
"Fact patterns and analysis was very informative"
During the first segment of the program, Murray Schwartz and Brian Heller
lectured on the history of the New York City Human Rights Law, including
exciting changes and developments in employment discrimination law. The
second segment was an exciting and interactive question and answer period,
which provoked many questions from the attendees. The three panelists
were asked a series of questions related to sexual harassment, reductions
in force, disability discrimination, age discrimination, retaliation and
they imparted their knowledge, proven strategies and practical guidance
on key issues arising in the rapidly changing and broadening field of
employment law to more than forty attendees. Murray Schwartz, along with
everyone at Schwartz Perry & Heller, is delighted that the program
was so well-accepted. We look forward to creating and participating in
further such programs.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ WAS AWARDED THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM LAWLINE.COM
Lawline.com is a premier company providing online continuing legal education
courses for attorneys throughout the country. On November 5, 2009, our
managing partner Murray Schwartz received a lifetime achievement award
from Lawline at a reception and awards ceremony that took place at the
Harvard Club of New York. Attending were the esteemed members of the Lawline.com
faculty, of which there were approximately 70. Mr. Schwartz and one another
faculty member was honored with the lifetime achievement award. In attendance
was also Brian Heller and Matthew Schatz of Schwartz and Perry, who are
also both members of the Lawline.com faculty and shared with Mr. Schwartz
in the pride this award gave to all members of our firm.
During the celebration, there was distributed a current Lawline.com Directory
for the year 2009. There were significant comments with regard to our
firm in the Directory and with respect to Mr. Schwartz, such as: "Murray
just finished his fifth course with Lawline.com and has been a mentor
and inspiration for all attorneys through his passion for teaching."
With a sixty-year history in the legal field, Murray Schwartz, an employment
litigator, has seen his share of courtrooms and witness stands. He was
the lead trial attorney in the landmark sexual harassment case
Thoreson v. Guccione and Penthouse Magazine, in addition to the no less distinguished
Bracker v. Cohen and
McIntyre v. Manhattan Ford, the latter famously awarding Schwartz's client $6.6 million, one
of the highest sums ever given to a sexual harassment plaintiff.
Not only has [Mr.] Schwartz successfully communicated his knowledge and
experience to the Lawline community, he has invited others to participate
and enliven the discourse, most recently with partners Brian Heller and
Matthew Schatz on the state of the contemporary employment law. With respect
to Schwartz and Perry, a comment was specifically included in the Lawline.com
Directory which referenced Schwartz and Perry and stated the following:
"Schwartz and Perry Confront the Growing Epidemic of Employment Discrimination.
In the online CLE program 'Critical Issues in Contemporary Employment
Law,' Murray Schwartz teams up with Matthew Schatz and Brian Heller
to examine the disastrous effect that the economic turndown has exacted
on the employment field.
The distraught financial climate has not only led to an increase in the
rate of lay-offs and firings, but has also increased the propensity for
employers to engage in various forms of discrimination, from age and gender
persecution to sexual harassment. [Mr.] Schwartz and his associates tackle
these issues head-on, with an eye toward terminating both the nature of
the problem and the various modes of retaliation that targets of discrimination
have available to them. [Mr.] Schwartz also discusses the legislative
amendments and innovations that have arisen in conjunction with the downturn.
'This is an opportunity for people to understand how the law affects
all of their lives,' says [Mr.] Schwartz. 'Employment law is unique
in that it addresses what all of us do...which is to work! An interesting
question is, with this terrible economic crisis...how did the law help?
What did the law do? And I think it's amazing...it handled everything
It was a splendid evening shared by the comradery of the faculty members,
which was thoroughly enjoyed by all of those in attendance.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ WAS INVITED TO ADDRESS CARDOZO LAW STUDENTS
On October 22, 2009, Murray Schwartz appeared at Cardozo School of Law
as a member of a Panel selected by Cardozo Law School to address essentially
third year Cardozo law students on the subject of career affairs. One
of our associates, Stephen Pallonetti, a graduate of Cardozo School of
Law who attended the conference was invited to speak, as well. The primary
thrust of Mr. Schwartz's comments was to urge the students to seriously
consider their own strengths and desires in selecting the field of law
in which they wished to pursue their legal career.
If, as an example, a student enjoyed debating, presenting arguments, attempting
to persuade others to his or her position then, those factors might be
considered, as well as others in the selection process. On the other hand,
a more reserved student, who is more interested in research, writing and
practicing their profession in a more withdrawn fashion might consider
that fact, as well. In effect, a student should responsibly and seriously
consider the field of law they might wish to pursue. To obtain the greatest
fulfillment from the practice of law is to perform in a field that is
most compatible with the individual's personality and characteristics.
In effect, what Mr. Schwartz's was proposing was that the personality
of the student should play a role in the field of law that he or she pursues.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ AND DAVIDA PERRY NAMED TO 2009 NEW YORK SUPER LAWYERS LIST
On October 4, 2009, the New York Times Magazine contained a supplement
entitled New York Super Lawyers, in which it was announced that Murray
Schwartz, once again, and Davida Perry were selected as two of only eleven
attorneys selected as Super Lawyers in 2009, in the field of "Employment
Law Litigation: Plaintiffs" category. We are proud of the honor.
Additionally, there was an interview conducted by Super Lawyers with Mr.
Schwartz which was printed in the New York Super Lawyers Magazine which
is sent to attorneys and law libraries. Super Lawyers announced that only
five percent of New York metro attorneys have been named to the list.
The selection process is based on peer nominations, blue ribbon panel review,
and independent research. The list will appear in New York Super Lawyers
- Metro Edition and seen by more than one million readers and subscribers
in a special advertising supplement to the New York Times Magazine on
Sunday, October 4, 2009 as well as in New York Super Lawyers Magazine,
mailed to all active New York Metro attorneys and to the ABA-approved
law school libraries. Super Lawyers is seen bu more than 13 million readers
across the nation. Mr. Schwartz and Ms. Perry are both delighted at this honor.
Schwartz Perry & Heller PARTICIPATES IN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ROUNDTABLE
On July 22, 2009, our Managing Partner Murray Schwartz, Partner Brian
Heller, and Senior Associate Matthew Schatz all participated in an employment
discrimination law roundtable sponsored by Lawline, one of the leading
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) providers in New York. Our attorneys
acted as a panel to whom the Narrator from Lawline presented questions
that related to certain issues that exist in the workplace at this time.
All of the questions asked were timely in nature and the responses represented,
therefore, present thinking on these significant issues.
The representatives of Lawline were pleased with the program and indicated
that it might very well be the type of program that will again be conducted
in the future so that a process can exist to respond to issues that are
relevant and meaningful. The discussion were very lively and touched upon
those aspects of employment law that the panelists believed were highly
significant. Schwartz Perry & Heller was delighted to participate
in the program and looks forward to doing so in the future, as well.
MURRAY SCHWARTZ TO LECTURE AT BRIDGE THE GAP PROGRAM SPONSORED BY NYCBA
On July 16, 2009 Murray Schwartz will participate in a lecture entitled,
"An Introduction to Employment Law: The Most Exciting Field in the
Law!" for a "Bridge the Gap" series sponsored by the New
York City Bar Association. Topics covered included the recent changes
in employment law, the purpose of employment discrimination statutes and
an overview of how to effectively commence an employment discrimination claim.
"Bridge the Gap" continuing legal education (CLE) programs sponsored
by NYCBA are an opportunity for newly admitted attorneys and law school
graduates to satisfy their first- or second-year of mandatory CLE credits.
The program provides an opportunity for newly admitted attorneys to learn
the basics from the best of New York's leading practitioners, judges
and scholars. Mr. Schwartz serves as a member of the NYCBA faculty by
writing and lecturing extensively on the topic of employment law.