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Even lawyers ‘lawyer up’ in employment law cases

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Former Ropes & Gray partner Patricia Martone is suing the multinational law firm for age and sex discrimina­tion and Employee Retirement In­­­­come Security Act (ERISA) violations. According to her complaint, senior partners at Ropes & Gray pressured her to turn over some of her key clients to younger, male partners. When Martone refused, she says, she was fired.

Martone is an accomplished ­intellectual-property attorney with more than 40 years of experience. She worked out of the firm’s Man­hattan office.

Shortly after her termination, Martone landed a partner position at Morrison & Foerster and attempted to access her Ropes & Gray retirement fund. Ropes & Gray refused to pay, saying her work with the new firm violated a noncompete agreement Martone had signed.

Although Martone’s lawsuit does not specify damages, a high-profile intellectual-property attorney probably isn’t asking for peanuts. Martone has hired high-profile employment attorney Anne Vladick to represent her.

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