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Judge throws out former Kasowitz associate’s $77 million lawsuit against the firm

Gregory Berry will return to court for a contempt hearing

Humble isn’t exactly the word one would use to describe Gregory Berry.

The former Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman first-year associate was so confident in his own legal expertise that he took it upon himself to send an audacious email to the law firm’s partners last summer in an attempt to obtain more responsibility at work.

“It has become clear that I have as much experience and ability as an associate many years my senior, as much skill writing and a superior legal mind to most I have met,” he wrote.

Not surprisingly, the email didn’t go over too well with his superiors. One partner informed Berry that his email had “burned bridges,” and he was fired a few days after.

Also not surprisingly, Berry sued the firm. He accused Kasowitz of wrongful termination, fraud and breach of contract, among other things. He also claimed the firm’s partners behaved unethically, caused him emotional distress and obstructed his future career in law. In a brief filed this past September, Berry called his ex-employer “extraordinarily vindictive” in its treatment of “an enthusiastic and bright-eyed first perhaps overly excited to get started in the practice of law.”

To Berry’s disappointment, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten dismissed his $77 million suit on Tuesday, saying he is breaching his confidential severance agreement with Kasowitz, which paid him $27,000 in exchange for his waiver of claims against the firm.

But the saga isn’t over. Berry must return to court Jan. 24 for a contempt hearing. According to Above the Law, Judge Bransten was upset when Berry walked out of her courtroom before the proceeding was over, while she was still putting her ruling on the record. She reportedly called Berry’s walkout “contemptuous” and instructed the remaining lawyers to inform him that all parties should return to court for a hearing later this month.

Ashley Post

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