San Francisco Attorney Sues Nixon Peabody Los Angeles for Sexual Discrimination

Nixon Peabody logo.JPGWith all the layoffs rippling through the Biglaw community, we are likely to see more lawsuits from attorneys directed at their former employers.

Right now, Nixon Peabody is in the spotlight. A former associate is suing the firm. The National Law Journal reports:

Henry Har, now an associate in Holland & Knight’s San Francisco office, claims that he was wrongly fired from Nixon Peabody in 2008 because of his sex and gender, and because he is Asian-American. …

Har, a graduate of New York University School of Law, originally worked in Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office and moved to the Los Angeles location in September 2007. His complaint states that the Los Angeles office had a “drastically different working environment” from the San Francisco office and that attorneys in the office “demonstrated inappropriate and offense behavior towards ethnic minorities, women and homosexuals.”

The firm responds after the jump.

Nixon Peabody furnished the NLJ with a flat denial of Har’s claims:

“The firm is committed to providing an open and inclusive workplace. It does not comment on pending litigation, but resolutely denies Mr. Har’s charge of discrimination and will vigorously respond to it in court.” The law firm also provided a link to its diversity page on its Web site.

A link to the diversity page? Isn’t that a little like saying “I have lots of gay friends.”

There are more juicy details of Har’s complaint in the NLJ story.

But of course, there are two sides to any firing. The NLJ also reports the stated reason for Har’s departure:

Har was fired from the Nixon Peabody in February 2008, according to his complaint, which states that the reason the firm gave for his termination was because he assaulted a fellow associate at a firm-sponsored happy hour. Har, who denies the assault against attorney Rudy Salo occurred, described the incident as a “verbal spat” that transpired after Salo accused him of stealing his chair and sitting on his jacket during happy hour.

And because we know our readers care about this stuff:

Salo is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and is an associate in the public finance group of Nixon Peabody’s Los Angeles office.

Could this just be another NYU v. GULC deathmatch that got out of hand? I can’t wait to see Nixon Peabody’s motion to dismiss.

Former associate sues Nixon Peabody, alleges sexual discrimination [National Law Journal]

Earlier: Former Associate Takes Skadden to Court

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