Deborah Marcuse

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP - Baltimore
111 S. Calvert Street, Suite 1950
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 834-7415

Deborah K. Marcuse is Firm Managing Partner and Baltimore Managing Partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp.

Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Deborah has been recognized in the legal community as a Top 20 Labor and Employment Litigator (Benchmark Litigation 2021), Law360 Employment MVP (2019), and by the National Law Journal as one of the Elite Women of the Plaintiff’s Bar and a Plaintiff’s Lawyer Trailblazer (2021). Deborah also received a Women Worth Watching in Leadership Award from Profiles in Diversity Journal (2021) and has been recognized as a Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star since 2018.

At Sanford Heisler Sharp, Deborah’s practice has focused on the Discrimination and Harassment, Criminal/Sexual Violence and Public Interest practice areas, representing both individuals and classes. Her representations have included:
  • Litigating as lead counsel a landmark Title IX class action lawsuit against Dartmouth College brought on behalf of current and former female graduate students and undergraduates in Dartmouth’s Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, culminating in a $14 million Court-approved monetary settlement that also included programmatic relief valued at an additional $1.5 million.
  • Litigating as lead counsel an ongoing case on behalf of the former head of Valuation & Advisory for global commercial real estate behemoth Cushman & Wakefield, defeating Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s race and gender discrimination claims.
  • Litigating as co-lead counsel high profile class and individual cases against global law firms, including Morrison & Foerster.
  • Serving as lead counsel for Sanford Heisler Sharp and litigating in partnership with attorneys at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of Maryland, and the Capitol Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition to secure a preliminary injunction for a proposed class challenging unconstitutional bond hearing policies and practices of the Baltimore Immigration Court.
  • Litigating as co-lead class counsel nationwide gender discrimination class action lawsuits against Merck & Co., Inc. and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on behalf of female pharmaceutical sales representatives, culminating in over $10 million in Court-approved settlements.
  • Litigating as lead counsel an age discrimination, gender discrimination, and retaliation case on behalf of the former Head of Americas Research at Cushman & Wakefield.
  • Negotiating tens of millions of dollars in pre-suit settlements for individuals with gender, race, and retaliation claims against their former employers within various industries, including finance, legal, medical, pharmaceutical and tech.

Deborah received her law degree from Yale Law School, her doctorate in Religion from Duke University, and her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Yale College. During law school, Deborah was awarded the Frances Wayland Prize for her work with the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, where she represented incarcerated individuals and persons in immigration detention.

A member of the Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania bars, Deborah has co-authored Supreme Court amicus briefs on behalf of women’s rights organizations and individuals in Mach Mining v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and on behalf of LGBT student organizations at undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools in Obergefell v. Hodges. and presented at conferences on topics that include equal pay litigation, Title IX, deposition skills, and recognizing and eliminating bias in the workplace. Deborah is actively involved in the National Employment Lawyers’ Association, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Class and Collective Action Practice Group and has been a 2021 and 2022 Annual Convention Committee member.

Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Deborah was the founding head of the City of New Haven’s Reentry Initiative as an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow.