H Rodgin Cohen 2 Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGYesterday Aaron Charney, the former Sullivan & Cromwell associate now suing his former employer for sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation, filed an amended complaint against the firm. To download copies of Charney’s latest filings, follow these handy instructions.
Some background about the new complaint, from an article by Anthony Lin in this morning’s New York Law Journal:

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bernard Fried dismissed Charney’s original pro se complaint without prejudice earlier this month, ruling that some of the ex-associate’s allegations and attachments were irrelevant and potentially violative of disciplinary rules. The judge gave Charney leave to replead his case.

Though Charney, now represented by four lawyers, excised the material cited by the judge, he added new allegations concerning events that took place after his initial complaint was filed, in particular a Jan. 31, 2007, settlement meeting.

Discussion continues after the jump.


Those of you who have been following the case are intimately familiar with the notorious January 31 settlement conference. It’s when S&C litigaton partner Gandolfo “Vince” DiBlasi allegedly boasted about the firm “defend[ing] the Nazis.” Here’s what the new complaint has to say about it:

Charney has claimed that he destroyed the hard drive [of his personal computer] on Feb. 4 because he was intimidated into doing so at the Jan. 31 settlement meeting. In his amended complaint, he charges that this intimidation and an alleged cover-up afterward constituted a conspiracy to discredit him and his case in violation of city human rights law.

According to the amended complaint, Charney said Grinberg asked him to attend the meeting because Sullivan & Cromwell executive committee member Gandolfo V. DiBlasi was threatening to have Grinberg deported to his native Canada. At the meeting, Charney claims, DiBlasi berated him and adamantly demanded the production or destruction of his home computer hard drive.

“[D]eported to his native Canada”? Awesome. (Although, for the record, we hear that Grinberg is a native of Eastern Europe — even if he may be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.)

Charney claims Grinberg took several pages of notes which he gave to his lawyer, Edward Gallion, a former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, for safekeeping. In his amended complaint, Charney says he believes DiBlasi and the firm’s defense lawyer, Charles Stillman of Stillman, Friedman & Shechtman, then sought an affidavit from Gallion stating there had been no discussion of the hard drive at the Jan. 31 meeting. Charney claims Gallion, who was fired by Grinberg, destroyed Grinberg’s notes and offered to provide such an affidavit as a “favor” to Sullivan & Cromwell.

WOW. Those are some pretty serious — and salacious — allegations. We look forward to finding out more during discovery.
Because we finally have grist for the mill, after a fairly quiet period, today we’re going to be doing LOTS of Aaron Charney coverage. This is just the first of multiple posts. So if you’ve been suffering from Charney withdrawal, rejoice — relief is here!
Former Sullivan Associate Adds Claims to Complaint Against Firm [New York Law Journal]


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