June 19, 2024
court papers

Napoli Shkolnik has filed a lawsuit against one of its lawyers for breach of contract.Getty Images

  • Napoli Shkolnik, a law firm in New York, is suing one of its attorneys for “quiet quitting.”

  • The firm said Heather Palmore breached her contract by also working for her own legal practice.

  • Her lawyer said Napoli Shkolnik filed the “bogus” lawsuit after she raised discrimination claims.

An attorney in New York is being sued by her own law firm for “quiet quitting” — a buzzy term for workers who do the bare minimum at their jobs without resigning.

Napoli Shkolnik, a personal injury litigation firm based in New York, has taken the action against Heather Palmore. She’s accused of neglecting her duties at Napoli Shkolnik and breaching her contract by simultaneously working at her own practice, Palmore Law Group, PC

The complaint was filed on Thursday in the New York Supreme Court for Nassau County. It alleged that Palmore, who was first hired in October 2021, “took advantage of the new remote work environment to ‘quiet quit’ her job” at Napoli Shkolnik.

The firm’s complaint explicitly references the pandemic-era “trend” of “quiet quitting.” It also notes the “troubling trend” of employees “furtively” working more than one full-time job simultaneously.

In his complaint, Napoli Shkolnik said: “Ms. Palmore wrongly joined both trends.”

Napoli Shkolnik said that Palmore’s computer records show she was “active” for “mere minutes a day” on the “overwhelming majority of workdays” in 2023 — despite submitting timesheets that claimed she had “spent hours performing legal research and drafting and ‘outlining’ documents.”

Moreover, in further evidence for its allegation of “quiet quitting,” Napoli Shkolnik claims that Palmore gave an opening statement in a medical malpractice suit in November 2021 that “shockingly” lasted just eight minutes. Typical opening statements in such cases “are approximately one to two hours long,” per Napoli Shkolnik.

The law firm wants to strike Palmore’s compensation for her “period of her disloyalty” — meaning it wants her to return more than $400,000.

It says she collected “one of the most substantial draws in the entire firm” while “performing little to no work” and “directly competing with the firm” by simultaneously running her own legal practice.

Palmore’s attorney, David Gottlieb, told Law.com: “Napoli Shkolnik filed this completely bogus preemptive lawsuit only after Ms. Palmore raised serious claims of discrimination against the firm and was preparing to file her own action.”

He continued: “This preemptive lawsuit is a transparent and ill-advised attempt to try to gain some perceived strategic advantage, but it is obviously an act of blatant retaliation. We will be moving forward with Ms. Palmore’s lawsuit in short order, which will include claims based on this retaliatory conduct.”

Lucas Markowitz of Offit Kurman, for Napoli Shkolnik, told Abovethelaw.com that Palmore “misrepresented her skillset, experience and book of business to obtain a position with Napoli Shkolnik. She then directly competed with Napoli Shkolnik by leading her own law firm.”

Representatives for Palmore and Napoli Shkolnik did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider