Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, No. 14-3845 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, appealed the district court's dismissal of his putative collection action seeking damages from defendants for violations of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq. Plaintiff's complaint arose out of his work as a contract attorney in North Carolina. The court agreed with the district court’s conclusion that: (1) state, not federal, law informs FLSA’s definition of “practice of law;” and (2) North Carolina, as the place where plaintiff worked and lived, has the greatest interest in this litigation, and thus the court looks to North Carolina law to determine if plaintiff was practicing law within the meaning of FLSA. The court, however, disagreed with the district court’s conclusion, on a motion to dismiss, that by undertaking the document review plaintiff allegedly was hired to conduct, he was necessarily “practicing law” within the meaning of North Carolina law. The court found that accepting the allegations as pleaded, plaintiff adequately alleged in his complaint that his document review was devoid of legal judgment such that he was not engaged in the practice of law, and remanded for further proceedings.