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Kevin J. O’Connor Quoted in Law360

Kevin J. O’Connor was quoted in an article titled “Attorneys React To High Court’s EEOC Attorneys’ Fee Ruling” in Law360, May 19, 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court found a defendant doesn’t need to obtain a favorable judgment on the merits of a Title VII claim to be a prevailing party, but declined to decide if the EEOC must pay $4.7 million in attorneys’ fees. Mr. O’Connor stated “To borrow a phrase from the opinion in CRST v. EEOC, the court’s decision makes ‘common sense,’ although it will probably have limited practical impact in the real world other than to perhaps deter the EEOC from bringing claims that are frivolous or where it has not met pre-conditions to filing suit. The court was faced with a situation where the EEOC was hit with an attorneys’ fee award of more than $4 million in a case where the defendant had obtained dismissal, but there had not been a full determination on the merits. The court ruled that common sense undermines the idea that a defendant has to reach a merits determination in order for a court to find that the suit was ‘frivolous, unreasonable or groundless’ within the meaning of the statute and prior precedents. Again, while the case is certainly interesting and a positive development for defendants who might be facing a frivolous Title VII case, in the real world it is rare to be in a position to seek sanctions and costs, so the practical impact of the decision is unclear.”

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