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On the Record

The Daily Record's law news blog

Baltimore attorney representing ex-Jones Day associates in $200M bias suit

(Vladimir Cetinski /

(Vladimir Cetinski /

Attorney Deborah K. Marcuse, Baltimore managing partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP, is lead counsel in a $200 million gender bias lawsuit filed against law firm behemoth Jones Day this week.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of six former associates is a gender-, pregnancy- and maternity-discrimination class and collective action. The 107-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia describes Jones Day as “a brotherhood ruled by one man” and details how the firm’s culture harms the progress of female associates both in terms of compensation and career progress.

“The Complaint chronicles how male senior partners give the best work to male associates, who earn more and are promoted more rapidly, and how female lawyers’ work is regularly undervalued,” Marcuse said in a statement.

David W. Sanford, chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp, and Russell L. Kornblith, the firm’s New York managing partner, are also representing the women.

“Jones Day’s fraternity culture presents female attorneys at Jones Day with an unpalatable choice: participate in a culture that is at best inhospitable to women and at worst openly misogynistic or forego any hope of success at the Firm,” the complaint states.

The case is Tolton et al v. Jones Day, Case No. 1:19-cv-00945-RDM.

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