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Memo in Support of Motion to Dismiss

Memo in Support of Motion to Dismiss

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Published by david_lat
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss.
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss.

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Published by: david_lat on Dec 11, 2013
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12/13/2013

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DB1/ 76795451.2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MATTHEW J. RYAN,Plaintiff,v.BUCKLEYSANDLER LLP1250 24th Street, N.W., Suite 700Washington, DC 20037KIRK JENSEN1250 24th Street, N.W., Suite 700Washington, DC 20037ELIZABETH MCGINN1250 24th Street, N.W., Suite 700Washington, DC 20037Defendants.Case No.: 1:13-cv-01816Hon. Beryl A. Howell
DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES INSUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION TO DISMISS AND COMPEL ARBITRATION
Defendants BuckleySandler LLP, Kirk Jensen, and Elizabeth McGinn move this Courtunder the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1
 et seq
., to dismiss this case and compelarbitration on the ground that Plaintiff Matthew J. Ryan’s (“Plaintiff”) claims are subject tomandatory, binding arbitration.
Factual Background
Plaintiff, a 47 year old white male, began his association with the predecessor toBuckleySandler in March 2008 on a temporary basis as a contract attorney through a legalstaffing agency, assisting with document reviews. (Compl. ¶ 10.) That temporary associationterminated in or around April 2009 with the conclusion of the project for which Plaintiff washired. (
 Id 
.) In December 2009, BuckleySandler hired Plaintiff as an employee on a temporary
Case 1:13-cv-01816-BAH Document 3-1 Filed 11/29/13 Page 1 of 9
 
DB1/ 76795451.2
2 basis to perform document review work. (
 Id 
. ¶11.) BuckleySandler reclassified Plaintiff from atemporary staff attorney to a full-time, at-will employee in September 2010. (
 Id 
. ¶13.)When BuckleySandler hired Plaintiff in December 2009, the parties agreed that, shouldany disputes related to Plaintiff’s employment (or termination of his employment) arise, thosedisputes would be resolved by binding arbitration. This agreement was memorialized in awritten Employee Agreement to Arbitrate (“Arbitration Agreement”), which Plaintiff executedas “a condition of my employment or continued employment.” (Declaration of Terri Carnahan(“Carnahan Decl.”), Ex. 1.) The contours of the parties’ Arbitration Agreement were explained both on the face of the agreement and in a separate document provided to Plaintiff entitled“Notice to Employees About Our Mutual Arbitration Policy.(Carnahan Decl., Ex. 2.)BuckleySandler also provided Plaintiff with a copy of the Mutual Arbitration Policy, andPlaintiff expressly acknowledged his receipt, review, and acceptance of the Mutual ArbitrationPolicy in the Arbitration Agreement, the first sentence of which reads, “I acknowledge that Ihave received and reviewed a copy of BuckleySandler LLP’s Mutual Arbitration Policy(“MAP”), which is incorporated by reference into this Agreement.” (Carnahan Decl., Ex. 1.)Plaintiff agreed that binding arbitration would be his “sole remedy” for all employment-related claims that might arise against BuckleySandler or any of “its employees, officers,directors or agents.” (Carnahan Decl., Ex. 1, at 1.) The Mutual Arbitration Policy expresslystates that the potential claims within the scope of the Arbitration Agreement include, but are notlimited to, claims raised under the “Age Discrimination in Employment Act” and the “D.C.Human Rights Act.” (Carnahan Decl., Ex. 2, at 1.)In exchange for Plaintiff’s agreement to arbitrate his claims, BuckleySandler agreed toemploy Plaintiff and further agreed to submit itself to binding arbitration for any claims it might
Case 1:13-cv-01816-BAH Document 3-1 Filed 11/29/13 Page 2 of 9
 
DB1/ 76795451.2
3have against him. (Carnahan Decl., Ex. 1, at 1.) BuckleySandler also agreed that if Plaintiff submitted a request for binding arbitration of a claim, BuckleySandler would pay the entire costof such arbitration, except for an amount equal to the civil action filing fee in Plaintiff’s “localcourt.” (
 Id 
.)BuckleySandler terminated Plaintiff’s employment on January 31, 2013 when iteliminated its staff attorney program. (Compl. ¶ 111.) In March 2013, Plaintiff executed aseverance agreement waiving all claims against BuckleySandler in exchange for a severance payment. (
 Id.
 ¶ 121.) In July 2013, Plaintiff filed a charge with the U.S. Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging age discrimination. (Compl. 7.) Afteinvestigating the charge, the EEOC found no probable cause and dismissed it. (Compl.,Attachment.)In direct violation of his agreement to arbitrate and his severance agreement, Plaintiff hasfiled the present action alleging causes of action under (1) the Age Discrimination InEmployment Act (“ADEA”) (Compl. ¶¶ 125-30) and (2) the D.C. Human Rights Act(“DCHRA”). (Compl. ¶¶ 131-34.) At the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum,Defendants will vigorously contest Plaintiff’s gratuitous and untrue allegations and show them to be false.
1
But this is not the proper forum to resolve Plaintiff’s dispute, because Plaintiff isobligated to arbitrate his claims against Defendants. Accordingly, Defendants move to dismissthe Complaint and to compel arbitration, and seek attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing thismotion.
1
Even a cursory reading of the complaint demonstrates that Plaintiff has failed to comply with the notice pleadingrequirements of the Federal Rules and evidences his intent to smear Defendants in a public filing containingscurrilous, impertinent, and immaterial allegations. Although such allegations are ripe for a motion to strike under Rule 12(f), Defendants prefer to deal with these matters in the mutually agreed upon arbitration forum.
Case 1:13-cv-01816-BAH Document 3-1 Filed 11/29/13 Page 3 of 9

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