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Cozen O’Connor Says Sex Bias Plaintiff Fired for ‘Poor Judgment’

Posted Nov 19, 2007 7:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Cozen O'Connor claims in its answer to a sex discrimination suit that a junior female partner was fired because of "poor judgment and poor decision-making" rather than a double standard for male and female lawyers.

Plaintiff Patricia Biswanger claimed in her lawsuit that the law firm fired her for using firm resources for political activities at the same time it permitted political involvement by male lawyers. The suit also claimed that three partners at the firm "prefer and promote women who fit traditional female stereotypes.”

The firm, however, said it warned Biswanger not to use law firm e-mail and stationery for political activities yet she continued to do so, the Legal Intelligencer reports. The firm said it told Biswanger that it did not want to get involved in her dispute with a local judge and that her use of Cozen O'Connor resources gave the mistaken impression that the firm supported her.

"Firm attorneys may engage in political activities on behalf of themselves as individuals, but are restricted from engaging in political activities on behalf of the firm without advance approval," its answer says.

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