Liddle & Robinson Attorneys at Law New York City

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Wayne Tappe v. Alliance Capital Management, L.P. - 12/19/2001

Case Summary: Our client, Wayne Tappe, was fired from his position as a high-yield portfolio manager on the day that year-end bonuses were to be paid. In addition to filing claims for Mr. Tappe's bonus and severance, we filed claims of reverse age, gender and race discrimination against Alliance. Alliance moved to dismiss Mr. Tappe's discrimination claims, contending in part that a reverse discrimination plaintiff had to meet a higher pleading standard. To the contrary, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin held that "although [Mr.] Tappe is a young white male, he is not required to allege any "special circumstances" to support his claims of discrimination." The Court dismissed Mr. Tappe's discrimination claims, however, holding that they were not pled with sufficient particularity. We filed an Amended Complaint, and Alliance again filed a motion to dismiss the discrimination claims. This time, Alliance's motion was denied. The Court held that Mr. Tappe was not required to plead direct evidence of discrimination and that he met his burden by pleading that he was the only portfolio manager terminated even though he performed his job better than did the other portfolio managers, all of whom were in protected classes for age, race and/or gender. Mr. Tappe has since settled his claims against Alliance.

Jeffrey L. Liddle

Judge: Shira A. Scheindlin

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