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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 White Plains.

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 manager.’”

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 here:


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 here.


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 were honored.


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 here.


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 jokes."

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 harassment.

To view the article, please click here.


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' ASSOCIATION
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 magnificently!'"

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 AT LAWLINE
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.

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