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June 30, 2003
Appeals Court Reinstates Sexual Harassment Suit against Law Firm
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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed a lower court's dismissal of a sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against the Pasadena, Calif.-based law firm Reeves & Associates and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The Ninth Circuit also overturned an award of attorneys' fees against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) previously granted by the Federal District Court in Los Angeles.

In an unpublished opinion, a majority of the three-judge Ninth Circuit panel reversed the lower court's decision and ruled that the EEOC had presented sufficient evidence to support a claim for both sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, and that the Reeves firm was not entitled to the $363,075.21 in attorneys' fees awarded against the EEOC. In the event that Reeves & Associates does not petition the Ninth Circuit for a rehearing, the case will be remanded to the district court for trial.

The EEOC's lawsuit charged that the law firm's founder, Robert L. Reeves, sexually harassed several women and discriminated against women on the basis of pregnancy. The suit, initially filed on September 29, 2000, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Western Division), was dismissed in 2002 by the district court after the Reeves firm brought motions for summary judgment.

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