By Carlyn Kolker
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former employees of law firm Dewey &
LeBoeuf who claim they weren't given sufficient warning about
the firm's collapse can sue as a class, a bankruptcy judge ruled
Approximately 450 former employees and lawyers of Dewey
claim that before the firm fell apart in May they were not
notified that their jobs would be terminated, a violation of the
federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The
act requires employers to give 60 days of notice before mass
layoffs, and a similar New York state law requires 90 days of
The former employees, headed by lead plaintiff Vittoria
Conn, a former document specialist in the firm's New York
office, are seeking 60 days of wages and benefits from the Dewey
In February, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn denied the
estate's motion to dismiss the employees' case, and the class
was certified after the opposing parties "met and conferred,"
Glenn wrote in Friday's ruling.
Conn's attorney, Jack Raisner, and Frank Oswald, a lawyer
for Dewey, didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.
The lawsuit was first filed on May 10, about a week after
Dewey notified its staff and attorneys that they could face mass
layoffs. Dewey filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May
The case is Adversary Proceeding, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 12-01672.
For Vittoria Conn: Jack Raisner and Rene Roupinian of Outten
For Dewey & LeBoeuf: Frank Oswald, Jonathan Ibsen and Lara
Sheikh of Togut, Segal & Segal; and Joshua Davis and Elizabeth
Levine of Goulston & Storrs.
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