As you learn on your first day of law school, there are two sides to pretty much every case (or rather, every interesting case, or any case worth including in a casebook).
It seems that Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell is no exception. In response to our email request for comment, we were contacted by S&C partner Theodore O. Rogers, Jr., a prominent and highly respected labor and employment litigator (pictured at right).
Mr. Rogers forwarded us a copy of this email, from the legendary H. Rodgin Cohen, Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell (and a god of the banking M&A bar):
From: Cohen, H. Rodgin
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 2:56 PM
Today an associate of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Aaron Charney, filed a complaint against the Firm, representing himself, alleging discrimination and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation. Mr. Charney chose to post his Complaint on the greedyassociates.com web site before serving the Firm.
The Firm categorically denies Mr. Charney’s allegations of discrimination and retaliation. Mr. Charney first raised assertions of this sort in May 2006 through a lawyer, and his assertions were followed by a multi-million dollar demand. The Firm promptly investigated his assertions at that time, and rejected Mr. Charney’s money demand. Mr. Charney chose to remain associated with the Firm thereafter.
Sullivan & Cromwell is widely recognized as welcoming to all persons without regard to sexual orientation. We are proud of our record of hiring and advancement of individuals irrespective of their sexual orientation, as well as of our lawyers’ representation of organizations and individuals who protect the rights of individuals to be free from sexual orientation discrimination.
Shortly after we received Cohen’s email, we received this interesting message from a reader (who is not at S&C):
“I gotta say, I was suspicious of the pro se thing (and posting the complaint on his website) before your interview. He’s right that any competent employment counsel is going to try to quietly settle it. As a gay m&a attorney in nyc, I’m glad he is drawing attention to their behaviour, but if I were in his place I’d likely have retained counsel, settled for two years’ salary and moved on.”
“Do you think they will pay him more now to make him go away? On the one hand, they can’t terminate him now because it would be de facto retaliation but on the other hand it makes it more difficult for him to prove damages because he is still working there and continuing to get ‘big deals.’”
Earlier: Prior coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)