Law Firms

'Confrontational' Lawyer Loses DLA Piper Bias Suit


A lawyer who claimed DLA Piper fired her for complaining about discriminatory treatment has lost her lawsuit against the firm.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed the suit by Charlene Morisseau after she failed to file court papers opposing the law firm’s summary judgment by the court’s extended deadline, the New York Law Journal reports.

Morrisseau, a black Harvard law graduate, was representing herself after firing her lawyers. Kaplan deemed DLA Piper’s reasons for firing Morrisseau to be admitted because of the flubbed deadline, the legal newspaper reports.

“Here, the uncontradicted evidence demonstrates that plaintiff did not perform in a manner satisfactory to Piper notwithstanding her academic credentials,” Kaplan wrote. “She was a confrontational, stubborn, and insubordinate employee in an environment in which professional personal relations, flexibility and a willingness to accept supervision were essential.”

Kaplan also said Morrisseau had “defied court orders, ignored schedules, failed to show up for or obstructed her deposition, and filed frivolous applications.”

Morrisseau had claimed the law firm treated her differently than white associates. She said one partner blamed her for a mistake he made representing a Sept. 11 widow and another failed to give her sufficient feedback explaining why he rated her writing skills as subpar.

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