Lawrence M. Pearson represents both individuals and corporate clients in legal matters involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, whistleblowing, severance negotiations, employment law, contracts, workplace policies and compliance, internal investigations, employee discipline, entertainment law and civil rights law. He has litigated many dozens of employment, contract and tort cases to resolution in federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and American Arbitration Association (AAA), among other forums. Mr. Pearson has represented clients from the fields of financial services, law, technology, media and entertainment, publishing and reporting, medicine, hospitality, education, government, architecture, and many others.
Mr. Pearson has handled numerous high‐profile cases that have garnered significant media attention, and have been featured in The New York Times, the New York Law Journal, CNN, Time, the New York Post, New York Magazine, The Washington Post and The Guardian, among others. He also has appeared as a commentator on legal matters on CNBC, and his cases have been covered on CNN, WPIX and TMZ.
Mr. Pearson’s most recent notable outcomes have been obtained on behalf of both employees/individuals and corporate clients. Recent representative matters handled by Mr. Pearson on behalf of individuals include:
- Representation of five plaintiffs in connection with high‐profile gender discrimination and disparate impact matter against major worldwide financial services firm;
- Representation of plaintiff in Sarbanes‐Oxley whistleblower retaliation action against JP Morgan Chase. Grant of summary judgment vacated and remanded following appeal to Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Sharkey v. JP Morgan Chase, No. 10 Civ. 3824(RWS) (SDNY); 13‐4741‐cv (Oct. 9, 2014 summary order);
- Representation of plaintiff in high‐profile Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower retaliation case against Deutsche Bank involving allegations of client overcharges and widespread systems failures. DeDilectis v. Deutsche Bank, 13‐cv‐01504(VEC) (SDNY);
- Defeated summary judgment on breach of contract claims filed against MSNBC by former on‐air personality. DiFolco v. MSNBC Cable L.L.C., No. 06 Civ. 4728(LAP), 831 F. Supp.2d 634 (SDNY 2011);
- Negotiated severance terms and public retraction of mistaken corporate statement on behalf of former CEO of a globally recognized brand of paint and coating products; and
- Negotiated terms of modeling contracts with leading modeling agencies on behalf of top fashion model.
Recent representative matters handled by Mr. Pearson on behalf of employers include:
- Defended defamation action against global financial services firm in FINRA arbitration. Panel denied claimant’s claims in their entirety and awarded substantial damages to respondent on counterclaims;
- Obtained a favorable ruling from the bench on a motion to dismiss all claims against a major department store brought into discrimination and retaliation lawsuit as a joint employer by a cosmetics salesperson suing a store vendor. Conde v. Sisley Cosmetics USA, Inc., No. 11 Civ. 4010(RJS), 2012 WL 1883508 (SDNY May 23, 2012); and
- Conducted and issued findings in connection with many internal corporate investigations, including matters involving fraud, kickbacks, sexual harassment and retaliation.
Experience and Types of Cases
Before joining the Firm, Mr. Pearson was an attorney at Jackson Lewis LLP, where he counseled and represented employers in labor and employment matters, as well as at Morgan Lewis LLP, where he was an associate in the Labor & Employment Practice Group.
Mr. Pearson has successfully represented individuals pursuing claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, torts, civil rights violations and unpaid compensation and benefits. He also has successfully defended management‐side clients from various employment, contract and tort claims.
Mr. Pearson is a trusted advisor to businesses and individuals, and has extensive experience counseling clients on dispute resolution, employee discipline, reductions‐in‐ force and terminations, wage‐hour compliance, workplace policies and practices, leaves of absence and disability accommodation, restrictive covenants, recruiting and hiring practices and many other issues. He develops and implements employment policies, handbooks and agreements, partnership and services contracts and conducts training seminars for management and employees on employment law compliance and avoidance of discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
Mr. Pearson has been selected as a Super Lawyer Honoree by Super Lawyers.
Mr. Pearson received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was Book Review Editor of the Journal of Labor and Employment Law and won a Public Service Award for his work with the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, from The George Washington University, where he also was a member of the Honors Program, minored in Philosophy and received a merit scholarship.
Admitted to Practice
Mr. Pearson is admitted to practice in New York, and in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.