Attorney Kate Fitzpatrick – on becoming a lawyer and her current work:
I went to law school at 27 because by then, five years out of college, I had found myself in jobs that left me thinking I could do more to contribute to making the world a better place. By that point, I also had worked at more than ten jobs – from my first job around age 12 helping a disabled neighbor to, after college, doing content management for a few different companies during the first .com boom. I had become interested in workplace dynamics and when the law stepped in to force a different, more equitable balance.
I applied to and graduated from the US’s leading public interest law school and got my first legal job working as a legal aid lawyer for the poor. After about two years, I moved to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, enforcing and defending the state wage laws for seven years often on behalf of the most vulnerable. Over this period, I also helped to co-found and serve on the board of a nonprofit that helps provide lower-wage workers with legal information and advocacy. I further served as a Joshua A. Guberman Fellow in the Legal Studies Program at Brandeis University from 2012-2015.
After almost ten years as a lawyer, I was ready for something different. I established my own Massachusetts employment law practice where I represent individuals in a broad range of employment law matters, including with severance agreement and noncompete/nonsolicitation negotiations as well as wage, commissions, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, sexual harassment, family and medical leave cases, and other matters. I also provide strategic legal counseling to employees during difficult times at work, including as to performance reviews, performance improvement plans, and planning for leave or separation. Read some client testimonials here.
Over the years, I have worked on hundreds of matters, representing clients in state and federal courts, class action matters, cases involving substantial numbers of employees and assets, and before various agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance. I have also criminally prosecuted employers and their corporate officers for violations of the wage laws. Following is a sample of some of my cases:
1. George v. Marlborough Hospital, D.Mass. Civil No. 1:17-cv-11295-WGY
(disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation litigation on
behalf of a health care professional who, inter alia, was terminated due to her disability);
2. Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Coakley, D.Mass. Civil Action No.
10-11521-DJC, First Circuit No. 11–1441 (2010-2014) (defense of the state
independent contractor/misclassification law from a constitutional
challenge by a trade association based on federal preemption);
3. Commonwealth v. Labor Solutions, et al., Criminal Action Nos. 2009-01164,
WOCR2009-01165 (Mass. Superior Court) (lead prosecutor responsible for
criminal investigation and conviction of company and its owner running a $24
million underground staffing agency in cash, employing thousands, on 60 counts
of wage, tax evasion, and insurance fraud violations).
4. Doe, et al v. City of Worcester, et al., D. Mass., Civil Action No. 4:2006-cv-
40133-FDS (class action constitutional and civil rights challenge to city that was
restricting the borrowing privileges of the homeless at the public library).
I am a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and Northeastern University Law School in Boston, a member of the Massachusetts bar and the federal bars of the District of Massachusetts and the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, as well as a member of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Legal Network for Gender Equity.
Contact me here.