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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zelasko-Barrett v. Brayton-Purcell: Court Finds that Law School Graduate Was Exempt Professional

A number of recent cases address the scope of the white collar exemptions under California law. The Cal. Supremes have Harris v. Superior Court, (blogged here) in which they will determine whether insurance adjustors are exempt administrative employees, on their docket. They have granted review in two other cases pending their decision in Harris:

Hodge v. AON Insurance Services (blogged here) (whether insurance adjustors are administrative exempt) and Pellegrino v. Robert Half Intern., Inc. ("Pellegrino I," blogged here) (whether account executives are administrative exempt).

In June, the Second District Court of Appeal issued Soderstedt v. CBIZ (blogged here) holding that unlicensed employees of a public accounting firm may be exempt as learned professionals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (blogged here) reaching the same conclusion.

And now the First District Court of Appeal has issued the battle of the hyphenated names, Zelasko-Barrett v. Brayton-Purcell, LLP (8/17/11) --- Cal.App.4th ----, 2011 WL 3594015, holding that a law school graduate who was not licensed to practice law but who worked for a law firm and performed tasks customarily performed by junior attorneys was exempt as a learned professional.

I will not get into the details of the case, because I assume that the plaintiffs will petition for review and have an odd's on chance of it being granted pending Harris.

The opinion is available here.

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