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Law firm lawyer sues firm for compensation

Loeb & Loeb partner says he was underpaid for his work in 2012

A former bankruptcy partner at Loeb & Loeb says the firm owes him big time.

Michael Molinaro said in a suit he filed earlier this week the firm owes him at least $160,000 for services rendered in 2012. Molinaro said that after he changed his title from partner to of counsel in February 2012, the firm’s chairman agreed to continue to pay him as an equity partner. Molinaro said the agreement was that the firm would continue to pay him based on his billable hours and collections. He claims he was supposed to receive the same firm profits that other partners who billed similarly received.

But last month, when Molinaro announced he would be leaving Loeb & Loeb to join Reed Smith as partner, things turned south. He claims in his suit that the firm refused to provide him with the 2012 partner pay information and instead proposed to pay him $160,000 if he signed an agreement to continue to work for Loeb “for many months,” according to the suit. Molinaro didn’t agree with the terms of the agreement and left Loeb for Reed Smith, where he currently is a partner.

Molinaro has asked Loeb to provide him with the compensation information for firm partners for 2012 so he can calculate his actual 2012 pay, otherwise, they should pay up the $160,000. He is asking for a jury trial.

Loeb maintains it has done nothing wrong. "Mr. Molinaro's lawsuit is without merit, and the firm will defend against his claims in the appropriate forum," a firm spokeswoman told Thomson Reuters.

Molinaro’s lawyer said the former Loeb partner was reluctant to bring suit, but had no choice as the firm has been “stonewalling him” for months.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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