Bravo, sir! On behalf of past, current, and future associates, I want to salute Judge Charles Breyer. Now, I don’t use the word “hero” often, but Judge Breyer (yes, Justice Stephen Breyer’s brother) just might qualify.
Inspired reportedly by his own experience as an associate having to take a deposition on December 24th in Boston no less, Judge Breyer issued an unusual order in the opioid multidistrict litigation against McKinsey & Co. Judge Breyer pushed up the deadline for the motion to dismiss — from January 14 to December 10 — because he didn’t want to “ruin a lot of Christmas vacations for a lot of people.” Acknowledging it may be appealable, he nonetheless went on to order plaintiff attorneys not to assign associates work on the response to McKinsey’s MTD over the holidays:
“Partners, you spend your lives as you wish, but associates who must take your direction and must please you and must obey your directions, they’re at your bidding,” he said at a Sept. 2 hearing held via Zoom. “Well, not for the week of Dec. 19 through Dec. 26 in this litigation.”
But at least one partner is on board with Judge Breyer’s order. Elizabeth Cabraser, partner at Lieff Cabraser and lead plaintiff counsel, said at the hearing, “I hope this order does become precedential. It’s very wise, and the nation’s associates would thank you.”
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).