RALEIGH — Litigating against a tech giant like IBM is certainly no small feat. But according to Raleigh lawyer Matthew E. Lee, it’s also been “fun.”

At least, that’s how he recently described it to Bloomberg Law.

Lee, a partner at Whitfield Bryson LLP in Raleigh, is part of a team representing former IBM salesman Justin Fessler who alleges that the company unlawfully “capped” his sale commissions after repeatedly telling him his earning potential would be uncapped.

Matthew E. Lee. Source: Whitfield Bryson

In May, they scored a major win when the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a dismissal granted to IBM in November 2018. The appeals court ruled that the District Court erred when it tossed plaintiff Fessler’s claim against Blue Blue over unpaid sales commissions.

Court resurrects lawsuit claiming IBM stiffs its own salespeople on commission

The “stakes were really high” on that appeal, Lee said in a July 27 interview, because the court’s decision controlled the outcome of several similar cases pending against IBM over its sales commission practices.

But he credits it as a team effort. “The three of us together, we complement each other well,” Lee said, referring to his co-counsel Jeremy Williams of Whitfield Bryson and Mark Sigmon of Sigmon Law PLLC.

“I don’t think anything happens in the litigation world,” especially at this level, “with one person,” he was quoted as saying.

Whitfield Bryson has offices in Charleston, S.C., Los Angeles, Nashville, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Before the pandemic, Lee often traveled from Raleigh to San Francisco to attend court hearings and scheduling conferences for his cases in the Northern District of California. With courts conducting more matters remotely, he’s now able to prepare at home and argue from a conference room.

The case now goes back to the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, for written discovery and depositions.