Sexual Harassment

* Presidential campaigns for Election 2012 are focusing in on the Supreme Court and future appointments to the high court, and Vice President Joe Biden is really not a fan of Justice Scalia. [POLITICO]

* Dewey know what the ramifications of D&L’s $50M insurance policy will mean for the resolution of the failed firm’s bankruptcy proceedings? Well, Steve Davis is probably happy. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Howrey going to pay off all of our creditors? Probably by dipping into the coffers of the 70 other law firms that took on our defectors. Have fun with all of those subpoenas. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

* The percentage of women in Biglaw partnership positions is up 2.8% since 2003, but the equity gender gap remains. At least some progress is being made. [National Law Journal]

* “I thought your papers were terrific, I just disagreed with them.” Kleiner Perkins isn’t a fan of backhanded compliments, so the firm is appealing a judge’s decision to keep Ellen Pao’s case out of arbitration. [Reuters]

* James Holmes, the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie-theater massacre, is scheduled to make his first court appearance today for an initial advisement. Thus far, he’s facing at least 71 charges. [Denver Post]

* The class action suit filed against Cooley Law over its allegedly deceptive employment statistics has been dismissed, much like the NYLS lawsuit before it. More on the dismissal to come later today. [WSJ Law Blog]

* “Sex isn’t going to buy me dinner.” Michael Winner, the attorney accused of offering “pro boner” assistance to female inmates, claims in an interview that the allegations against him are “just plain false.” [WSB-TV Atlanta]

D&L's former partner settlement.

* Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Aurora, Colorado. [CNN]

* Dewey know why the deadline for agreeing to a proposed $103.6M settlement for former D&L partners has been pushed back? It looks like these people are still unhappy with the very thought of parting with their money. [Am Law Daily]

* Four judicial nominees were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to fill federal district court positions in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. Now it’s time to hurry up and wait for a final vote on the Senate floor. [National Law Journal]

* “This is a garden variety sex harassment case.” That may be true, but when you’re dealing with a high-profile venture capital firm, and the plaintiff is an ex-Biglaw associate, you’re probably going to get some really bad press. [Washington Post]

* Opening statements in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s racial discrimination trial were heard yesterday. Even “America’s Toughest Sheriff” might cower in light of plaintiff representation by Covington & Burling and the ACLU. [CNN]

* Washburn University School of Law is planning to build a new facility for $40M. Unfortunately, the school will never be able to amass the funds needed to kill all the gunners, but we can still dream. [Kansas City Star]

Sexual harassment in the workplace is never a fun thing to deal with. Those who have had the unique displeasure of experiencing this kind of unwelcome conduct must constantly be looking over their shoulders, always wondering when the next unwanted sexual advance will appear — or in this case, when the next birthday card featuring a gigantic erect penis will allegedly materialize in their mailbox.

This is what a New York public school administrator claims occurred to him. He has filed a lawsuit against his former superior and the New York City Department of Education, and it is filled with a potpourri of sexual harassment allegations.

Apparently everything’s fun and games until somebody gets butthurt over your alleged refusal to participate in a gay foursome….

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Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas

Yesterday and today, witnesses testified at the public hearing into ethics charges against Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures reflecting BDSM themes. Thus far, the proceedings haven’t been pretty — just like the nude pictures that started this whole mess.

Alex Chapman, the African-Canadian gentleman who claimed that Justice Douglas and her husband sexually harassed him, recently condemned the inquiry as “a bloody cover up.” Alas, cover up is one thing that this matter could have used more of. This headline from a Canadian news article says it all: “Despite attempts at propriety, little can hide tawdry nature of Manitoba judge’s sex trial.”

Tawdry indeed. Let’s look at the latest lurid allegations, including a claim by Alex Chapman that Lori Douglas touched his body….

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Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas

Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures with an S&M flavor, has been something of a whipping girl over the past two years. She has been publicly humiliated, with her name dragged through the mud — even though, when you stop and think about it, she was the real victim.

Now Her Honor will get her day in court — or at least before the Canadian Judicial Council, which is conducting an inquiry into her conduct. But so will her nemesis, Alex Chapman, the man with a checkered past who opened up this whole mess in the first place….

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Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas

For most of the time that she has been in the public spotlight, coming up on two years, Madam Justice Lori Douglas — the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures showing her engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys, and administering oral sex — has maintained a steady silence. Her husband (and the man who got her into this mess in the first place), lawyer Jack King, has spoken out, publicly apologizing for his misconduct. But Justice Douglas has been quiet.

Until now. Justice Douglas has come forward to share her side of the story — and to refute the allegations made against her in a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry that will determine if she will remain on the bench.

What does Justice Douglas have to say in her defense?

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On these pages, we cover a fair number of lawsuits relating to female anatomy. Suits about women who say they were fired from their jobs for their stunning beauty (or, depending on your level of cynicism, their other intimidating feminine assets). But we less frequently write about lawsuits stemming from the male anatomy.

Today, we’re making up for lost time. This afternoon we have two stories about men who allegedly have trouble with properly managing their personal packages, thus causing varying degrees of trauma to themselves and people around them.

Are these suits sexy? NO. Are they crazy? Uh, yup. Salacious? Check. And no matter how one discusses these suits, it will sound like an awkward conversation with Tobias Fünke.

So, let’s check out our Lawsuits of the Day. And watch your step…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuits of the Day: Ewwww. OMG, OMG. Gross.”

Last week, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the American Lawyer all mentioned an unusual debt in the bankruptcy case of Dewey & LeBoeuf. A former D&L associate, Emily Saffitz, was listed as being owed $416,667 — a sum big enough to put her in the top 20 unsecured creditors of the firm. This was apparently due to a “severance arrangement.”

Why did Dewey agree to pay an associate from the class of 2006 more than $400K in severance? According to the Times, Saffitz received this severance agreement after she “complained over how she was treated by a former Dewey partner and told the firm’s management.” According to the Journal, she filed “a complaint regarding sexual discrimination by a Dewey partner who is no longer with the firm.”

Inquiring minds want to know: Who was the partner in question? And what did he allegedly say or do to Emily Saffitz?

Finding out such details is difficult. Settlements in cases of alleged sex discrimination or sexual harassment often contain non-disclosure or non-disparagement provisions that prevent the parties from speaking about what took place.

So we didn’t expect we would ever find out which former Dewey partner triggered complaints from Emily Saffitz. Until, well, he emailed us….

Multiple UPDATES, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dewey Know A Partner Whose Alleged Actions Led to a $400K ‘Severance Arrangement’?”

As we reported late on Monday night, Dewey & LeBoeuf has filed for bankruptcy — the largest law firm bankruptcy in U.S. history, in fact. You can access a copy of Dewey’s voluntary petition to enter Chapter 11 over here (via Scribd).

Yesterday afternoon, Dewey’s lawyers appeared in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm’s lead lawyer, Albert Togut, introduced himself as follows: “I can finally confirm the worst-kept secret of the year. I am counsel for Dewey & LeBoeuf.” He’s going to be a very busy man over the weeks and months ahead.

Let’s find out what happened at the hearing, and also take a closer look at one of Dewey’s most intriguing unsecured creditors: a (rather attractive) litigatrix, a former Dewey associate now at another firm, who is owed more than $400,000 in “severance” by D&L….

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(And a report on Dewey’s day in bankruptcy court.)”

You may remember that back in the summer of 2010, an attractive and curvaceous woman named Debrahlee Lorenzana sued Citibank for wrongful termination. Apparently Lorenzana was “too hot” — so hot, in fact, that she allegedly distracted other bankers from doing their jobs, resulting in her firing.

Just two years later, another woman claims that she was fired for similar reasons — her employers at a lingerie business allegedly told her she was “too hot” and that her breasts were “too large.” Now, we know what you must be thinking: how can one be “too hot,” or have breasts “too large” to work for a lingerie company?

Everything’s possible in New York, but we know that TTIWWOP — “This Thread Is Worthless Without Pictures.” We’ve got a few, plus a video….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Yet Another Woman Claims She Was Fired for Being ‘Too Hot’”

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