Trials & Litigation

Law Clerk Sues Judge for Assault, Says He Slapped Her with a Legal File

A female law clerk who is also an attorney has filed suit against the Fergus County, Mont., judge for whom she works, seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault.

Britt T. Long says in the Fergus County District Court suit that she took an unpaid medical leave after District Court Judge E. Wayne Phillips “intentionally slapped her buttocks with a case file folder” on Dec. 8, 2010, reports the Billings Gazette. Although she recently tried to resume her job, she says, there was no work for her to do and she has not gone back.

Long alleges that the situation has caused her “extreme personal stress and embarrassment, anxiety, stress, interrupted sleep, elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations and other symptoms associated with extreme anxiety.” She is seeking compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Phillips said he couldn’t comment in detail on pending litigation, but told the newspaper he was discouraged and disappointed by the suit and asked that citizens consider his more than 10-year record of working hard to be a fair judge.

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