As we’ve previously noted, when it comes to disputes between lawyers and their former firms, there are several sides to every story. For example, compare Yolanda Young’s claims against Covington & Burling with the firm’s response (PDF).
We try to cover both sides of these controversies. Having previously covered Roofiegate — aka Moor v. Bingham McCutchen, a complaint filed by ex-associate Michelle Moor against the firm, alleging that she was slipped a date rape drug at the firm’s holiday party — we now bring you this update.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has dismissed Michelle Moor’s complaint:
Based upon the Commission’s investigation, the Commission is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes a violation of the statutes. This does not certify that the Respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been raised by this complaint.
Details, plus a link to the Commission’s ruling, after the jump.
The allegations by Moor, and the firm’s response, were previously covered here and here. The dismissal notice summarizes them again. Reading between the lines of the disposition, one gets the sense that perhaps Michelle Moor was planning on leaving the firm anyway:
Respondent states Complainant had been telling colleagues she was unhappy with the large firm environment prior to the December 2007 holiday party, and that she was seeking other employment. Respondent states Complainant updated her resume on February 7, 2008 and Complainant received and accepted a job offer prior to her resignation on February 26, 2008.
The MCAD dismissed Moor’s sexual harassment / hostile work environment claim because (1) she initially “could not bring any evidence or personal knowledge as to who drugged her”; (2) “she fails to provide evidence that the drugging was sexual in nature”; and (3) she “fails to allege or show that anything sexual in nature took place during the December 17, 2007 drugging.”
(“[S]he fails to provide evidence that the drugging was sexual in nature.” We’re not experts on roofie administration, but we hear that it’s also a good way to get a kidney.)
In any event, it does sound like the former Bingham employee that Moor identified as the one who drugged her could use some etiquette lessons:
[S]everal witnesses (dinner attendees) confirm that [the employee's] conduct was inappropriate and he used sexually charged words during the conversation, including “pussy,” “roofies” and “balls.”
But such crudeness does not a viable MCAD claim make:
Although [the employee's] comments appear inappropriate and sexually charged, Complainant fails to show the comments were directed towards her in an effort to affect her work environment.
The Commission also found insufficient evidence to support Moor’s claims of retaliation and constructive discharge.
Congratulations to Bingham on putting this unpleasantness behind them — at least for now. Moor has the right to appeal the dismissal. We’ll keep you posted.
Michelle Moor v. Bingham McCutchen LLP: Dismissal and Notification of Rights [PDF]
Earlier: Worst Holiday Office Party Ever?
Internal Bingham Email Offers Rebuttal to Ex-Associate’s Claims