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Ray v. Ropes & Gray LLP

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

August 25, 2015

JOHN H. RAY, III, Plaintiff, Appellant,
v.
ROPES & GRAY LLP; DAVID C. CHAPIN; JOHN D. DONOVAN, JR; KEITH F. HIGGINS; JESSE J. JENNER; WILLIAM A. KNOWLTON; OTHON A. PROUNIS; DAVID M. MANDEL; ROBERT G. JONES; RANDALL W. BODNER; BRIEN T. O'CONNOR; JOY U. CURTIS; BRADFORD R. MALT; JOAN MCPHEE; JOHN T. MONTGOMERY, Defendants, Appellees

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APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Judge.

John H. Ray, III, with whom Ray Legal Consulting Group, P.C. was on brief, for appellant.

Michael B. Keating, with whom Christopher E. Hart, Daniel L. McFadden, Foley Hoag LLP, Lisa G. Arrowood and Arrowood Peters LLP were on brief, for appellees.

Before Howard, Chief Judge, Lipez and Thompson, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 104

HOWARD, Chief Judge.

John H. Ray III, at the time an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray (" Ropes" ), was informed in December 2008 that Ropes would not advance him for further consideration as a partner. Contending that the employer's decision was the result of racial discrimination, and that Ropes retaliated against Ray in various ways after he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (" EEOC" ), Ray filed an action pursuant to Title VII in federal district court. After the district court granted summary judgment to Ropes on the discrimination claim, the retaliation claims proceeded to trial where a jury concluded that Ropes had not unlawfully retaliated against Ray. Ray now appeals both the district court's summary judgment ruling and several rulings made during trial. We affirm.

I. Background

Because the retaliation claims went to trial, we present the facts in the first instance in the light most favorable to the jury verdict. Smith v. Dorchester Real Estate, Inc.,732 F.3d 51, 59 (1st Cir. 2013). We recognize that Ray has also challenged the district court's summary judgment decision and that the facts relevant to his discrimination and retaliation claims overlap considerably. Accordingly, when we reach the summary judgment issue, we consider the facts in the light most favorable to ...


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