Unlike yesterday — and by the way, we’ll keep the reader poll open for a few more hours — today we have no difficulty picking our Lawyer of the Day. Hollywood lawyer James Jackson maltreated his Filipino maid. We do not like it when you mess with our peeps.
From the AP (via Law.com):
A former Hollywood studio attorney and his wife were sentenced Monday for abusive treatment of their Filipino maid in a case federal prosecutors said “amounts to modern-day slavery.”
James Jackson, the former vice president of legal affairs at Sony Pictures, was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine. His wife, Elizabeth, was sentenced to three years in prison after her attorneys unsuccessfully pleaded for her to receive home detention.
These Hollywood types are ruthless (we’ve watched “Entourage”). Studio lawyers make Biglaw partners look like social workers. Consider the treatment alleged by the former maid in her civil suit against the couple:
[Former maid Nena] Ruiz claimed in her civil lawsuit that Elizabeth Jackson regularly slapped her and pulled her hair. She also said she was forced to sleep on a dog bed and was given three-day-old food to eat even as she was expected to clean and provide fresh fruit to the Jacksons’ pets. The Jacksons only paid her $300 for her work….
See? Studio lawyers are meaner than law firm partners. At least associates get paid $160K for their suffering.
Happily, Nena Ruiz ultimately made out quite well. She was awarded $825,000 in damages by the jury that heard her case.
P.S. In fairness to Mr. Jackson, it appears that much of the abuse was perpetrated by his wife. In her allocution, Elizabeth Jackson told the court: “In my life I have always tried and strived to do the right thing. I failed in this case.” Um, yeah.
P.P.S. A tipster observes: “Is it just me, or have these modern-day slavery stories been popping up a lot lately? See here.”
Former Sony Pictures Lawyer and Wife Sentenced in Forced Labor of Filipino Maid [AP via Law.com]
Hollywood couple sentenced in Filipino maid ‘slave’ case [AFP via Philippine Inquirer]
In Pictures: Long Island Slaver Family On Facebook [Gawker]