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JUDGE REJECTS MOTION TO DISMISS SUIT BROUGHT AGAINST BAKER & McKENZIE; SUIT STANDS FOR FIRM'S FIRST FEMALE PARTNER

JUDGE REJECTS MOTION TO DISMISS SUIT BROUGHT AGAINST BAKER & McKENZIE;
 SUIT STANDS FOR FIRM'S FIRST FEMALE PARTNER
 CHICAGO, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In a landmark decision, the Cook County Circuit Court today ruled that Ingrid Beall indeed has the right to maintain her suit against law firm giant Baker & McKenzie for sex and age discrimination and for the allegation of "constructive removal" from its law partnership, it was announced today by attorneys for the plaintiff. Beall is a 66-year-old attorney with the firm.
 The opinion was issued today by Judge Monica Reynolds in the case of Ingrid L. Beall vs. Baker & McKenzie at al. Originally filed in October 1991 by Judson Miner of Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland, the lawsuit alleges that Baker & McKenzie violated its partnership agreement, the Illinois Uniform Partnership Act, and its fiduciary responsibilities to her as a partner by constructively removing her from the partnership by denying her legal work and subsequent income.
 Baker & McKenzie, in response, filed a motion to dismiss the case, alleging that Beall was never removed from her partnership status, and that, because she was a partner rather than an employee, she could not bring claims seeking relief for sex and age discrimination because federal and state civil rights statues do not apply.
 "For the first time, Illinois courts have recognized that a woman partner who is pushed aside and denied benefits of partnership and the same benefits that men are allowed, now has the right to fight this in court," said Miner.
 The complaint also alleges that Beall's annual income plunged an average of 64 percent between 1988 and 1991, because she was routinely deprived of clients and assignments. During the same period, the firm provided generous monetary benefits, including income guarantees to younger, less qualified male partners.
 Beall also was denied positions on committees where important management decisions were being made. The original complaint further alleges that she has been the subject of derogatory comments and other mistreatment because she is a woman and because she has spoken out on behalf of women attorneys at the firm.
 Beall was the firm's first female senior partner, and has been a partner with the firm since 1961. She joined Baker & McKenzie in 1958, after attending the University of Chicago Law School, where she graduated second in her class.
 Baker & McKenzie is the world's largest law firm with approximately 50 offices throughout the world and more than 1,500 lawyers. The Chicago office has approximately 175 lawyers, 87 of whom are partners. There are currently three female partners in the firm.
 -0- 8/2/92
 /CONTACT: Marilyn Katz or Holly Sherman, 312-944-5706, or Judson Miner of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 312-751-1170/ CO: Baker & McKenzie ST: Illinois IN: SU:


TM -- NY090 -- 1969 08/20/92 20:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 20, 1992
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