Biglaw, Labor / Employment, Racism, Rudeness, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Sex, Sex Scandals

Nelson v. Jones Day: Case Dismissed

Back in November 2010, we reported on the lawsuit of Nelson v. Jones Day. Plaintiff Jaki Nelson, an African-American woman who worked as a legal secretary in the Los Angeles office of Jones Day, sued the firm, alleging race-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and infliction of emotional distress. In her lawsuit, Nelson made some rather lurid allegations.

Allegations that, it appears, were lacking in merit. The case has been dismissed.

Let’s learn more — and see what the firm has to say about the dismissal….

Here’s a statement from Jones Day’s Kevyn Orr, the Washington-based ones Day partner responsible for coordinating the firm’s global recruiting and diversity activities:

In view of Above The Law’s prior coverage of the discrimination lawsuit brought against Jones Day by one of our former employees, Jaki Nelson, we thought you would be interested in the attached order and judgment that Judge Mary Ann Murphy issued last week disposing of the matter. Your prior coverage quoted Ms. Nelson’s baseless and inflammatory allegations about Jones Day and certain lawyers at the firm.

As you will see from the attached, Judge Murphy previously dismissed five of the plaintiff’s thirteen counts from the bench at the June 6, 2011, hearing and now in this July 11, 2011, order has dismissed the remaining eight counts summarily.

For the record, this news doesn’t come as a shock to us. After our original story on the lawsuit, we published a follow-up story quoting multiple sources expressing skepticism about Jaki Nelson and her lawsuit.

Back to the statement of Kevyn Orr (who is, by the way, African-American himself):

While we’re gratified that this matter has been finally and rightfully brought to a close, we remain concerned about what your coverage has conveyed to the public about the firm and some of the fine individuals who are a part of it. We are hopeful that by providing you with this order, you will believe it appropriate and only fair to devote the same amount of coverage to this dismissal on the merits as you did the filing of the complaint.

We’re happy to oblige; consider this post the requested coverage. (And note that even though we heard the news on Friday afternoon, we decided to hold until today, to maximize visibility; publishing something on a Friday afternoon in July is a recipe for having it ignored.)

Jones Day remains committed to providing a fair and equitable workplace for all of its employees free of discrimination and bias in any form. We likewise remain committed to providing the highest level of professional representation to our clients consistent with the high standards we have set for ourselves and the success we have been fortunate enough to enjoy throughout the past one hundred and eighteen years.

Congratulations to Jones Day, as well as all the individual attorneys and staff members at JD who were accused by Jaki Nelson of misconduct. There are few things more unpleasant than being subjected to baseless accusations — and few things more satisfying than vindication in a court of law.

P.S. If you’re in the shoes of Jones Day — i.e., named in a civil lawsuit or criminal case covered by Above the Law, then subsequently vindicated — please let us know. We’d be happy to run an update post noting your victory. Our readers are always interested in hearing how such matters are resolved. Thanks.

Nelson v. Jones Day: Order dated June 6, 2011
[Superior Court of California – County of Los Angeles]
Nelson v. Jones Day: Order dated July 11, 2011
[Superior Court of California – County of Los Angeles]

Earlier: Nelson v. Jones Day: Another Side of the Story
Lawsuit of the Day: Ex-Jones Day Secretary Alleges Racial Slurs, Sex Scandals, and More

(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments