The First District Court of Appeal held that summary judgment was properly granted in a wage and hour case because plaintiff unlicensed law school graduate performed duties that brought him within the exemption for learned professionals. Zelasko-Barrett v. Brayton-Purcell, LLP, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2011 WL 3594015, No. A130540 (1st Dist. Aug. 17, 2011) .
Plaintiff was employed by the Brayton-Purcell, LLP (Brayton) law firm as a Law Clerk II after he graduated from law school but before he passed the bar examination. Id. *1. After being admitted to the bar, plaintiff was designated as an associate attorney, and performed tasks customarily performed by junior attorneys. Id. He drafted pleadings, discover demands and responses, did legal research and drafted memoranda of points and authorities, interviewed witnesses, etc. Id. The trial court granted Brayton’s motion for summary judgment and sustained objections to numerous statements where plaintiff denied he was employed in a professional capacity and performed work covered by the professional exemption. Id.
Plaintiff filed an action after voluntarily departing from the law firm, and alleged that he had been misclassified. Brayton successfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that in the Law Clerk II position plaintiff had been an “exempt professional employee.” Id. Plaintiff appealed. Id. Continue reading