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Bipolar Lawyer Accused of Trying to Bill Clients for Porn Loses Bias Appeal

Posted Jan 6, 2012 8:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New York Appeals court has ruled for a law firm accused of discriminating against a lawyer who tried to bill clients for porn movies and escort services.

James Hazen had been awarded $600,000 for lost pay and mental anguish caused when his firm fired him, according to Thomson Reuters News & Insight. Hazen claimed his employer, Hill Betts & Nash, failed to accommodate his bipolar disorder that caused the misconduct.

The Appellate Division, First Department, overturned the award by the State Division of Human Rights. “A petitioner's disability does not shield him from the consequences of workplace misconduct,” the Jan. 5 decision said.

Hazen had charged hotel rooms, limousines, alcohol, adult movies and calls to escort services to his corporate American Express card and then tried to bill clients for the charges, the opinion said.

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